When you’re an NHL team in rebuilding mode there’s an unspoken expectation that fans won’t be misled. Take the Florida Panthers for instance who, in anticipation of a fresh start in 2011-12, launched a new season ticket campaign on their official website. There’s a noticeable absence of guys like Stephen Weiss, Dennis Wideman, and David Booth in the new advertisement – that’s because all three could potentially be playing for new teams by Monday, February 28.

The Panthers slogan is “Next Season. Guaranteed”, but judging by this new campaign it would appear that the only guarantee is that the franchise will be relying upon youth like Dimitry Kulikov and recently acquired Jack Skille to lead that promise. While it may not be foreshadowing some player movement, the Panthers marketing team is certainly exercising some caution as they move toward next season.

With veterans Bryan McCabe and Tomas Vokoun approaching unrestricted free agency, their omission is completely understandable. The exclusion of players like Weiss and Booth who have multiple years remaining on their current contracts, though, may be a sign of things to come for Dale Tallon and co.

Stick tap On Frozen Pond