Dreger on Panthers’ slow start, Quenneville whispers

The Florida Panthers are not where they’d like to be in the standings early on, so how likely might a trade be before too long?

Darren Dreger had a Thursday morning radio hit on Edmonton’s TSN 1260, with the 3-5-3- Panthers hosting the Oilers that evening, and the Insider was asked how the Panthers are viewing their start and what the Oilers should expect from their opposition.

“They should expect an urgent team,” began Dreger. “A team that knows that they’ve got to get it going here early in the first half of the regular season. There’s no question about that. I don’t know about you, but I had the Florida Panthers pegged to be a much better team out of the gate in the Eastern Conference than what they’ve shown.

“Now, there are some factors. They’re not scoring as often as they would like, but a lot of teams fit into that grouping. Defensively they’re not terrible. They’ve had goaltending issues with Roberto Luongo out for an extended period of time.

“But Dale Tallon is one who doesn’t even like the word ‘panic,’ so he’s not going to panic. In saying that, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s pretty eager to try and shake the culture of this group a little bit. I don’t get the sense that there’s going to be anything significant, but if it continues to drag on where this team is still playing sluggishly, maybe then the general manager does step in in some way, shape or form.

“There’s been whispers since Joel Quenneville was let go by the Chicago Blackhawks. ‘Well hey, Dale Tallon and Joel Quenneville obviously have a great relationship dating back to the Blackhawks days when Tallon was a big part of the success there.’ I’m not buying that for a second yet, I’m just not. I think Boughner is a good coach. I don’t think that he’s in jeopardy. And most importantly, I think Joel Quenneville needs some time and wants some time to kind of recharge and take stock of what’s out there, and that might last until the offseason.”

The Panthers are last in the Atlantic Division with nine points, but have also played four fewer games than six of the seven other teams.