Florida Panthers win first Stanley Cup in franchise history

Mike Armenti
June 24, 2024  (10:54 PM)

Sam Reinhart and Anton Lundell celebrate together
Photo credit: Sam Navarro - USA Today Sports

The Florida Panthers have officially been crowned 2023-24 Stanley Cup Champions.

It was quite the eventful series between the Edmonton Oilers and Florida Panthers, with many having assumed that it was near over after the Panthers took a commanding 3-0 lead to begin the series.
The Oilers made one of the most miraculous comebacks in the history of the sport, winning 3 consecutive games to force a final and deciding Game 7. Unfortunately for the Oilers, the fairy tale ending was not to be, as the Panthers came up clutch at home and were victorious, thanks in large to a brilliant performance from Sergei Bobrovsky, who was outstanding in the most important game of his NHL career, standing tall in a thrilling 2-1 win on home ice.
The margin for error was small in this one and while the Oilers did have their opportunities to tie the game in the 3rd period, the Panthers didn't give them anything easy, which is vitally important with players like Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl on the other side.
Matthew Tkachuk's family was in tears watching this one, and rightfully so.
The Conn Smythe Trophy, an award given to the most outstanding player in the playoffs, could have gone to any number of players. Zach Hyman led the NHL in playoff goals, Sergei Bobrovsky put together an incredible run, aside from a couple of games late in the series against Edmonton in the Stanley Cup Finals, Aleksander Barkov was incredible for the Panthers from start to end, and of course, Connor McDavid's historic postseason run made the decision a difficult one. In the end, the Conn Smythe went to McDavid, a very worthy recipient, after leading the playoffs in scoring and breaking Wayne Gretzky's record for most assists in a single playoffs.
Surprisingly, however, McDavid did not come back onto the ice to receive the award, obviously crushed by the heartbreaking loss in Game 7. Simply put, it's not the trophy he wanted.
With the Cup now having been awarded and the offseason officially under way, the focus will shift over to the NHL Entry Draft, which will take place on Friday and Saturday in Las Vegas, before teams travel back to their NHL cities in time for the start of free agency on Monday.
Congratulations to the Panthers on their incredible Stanley Cup run.
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Florida Panthers win first Stanley Cup in franchise history

Do you agree with the decision for the Conn Smythe Trophy winner?

Yes62981.1 %
No, it should have been ***10713.8 %
No, it should have been ***141.8 %
No, it should have been ***263.4 %
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