Dale Tallon was the laughing stock of the hockey world this summer when he signed eight different players to multi-year contracts in an attempt to get to the cap floor. Now that it is almost March and the Florida Panthers are leading the Southeast division, Tallon is the one that is laughing now. If that wasn't enough, most of the players who are leading the way for the Panthers are the ones that Tallon signed and traded for. Kris Versteeg, Jose Theodore, Tomas Fleischmann, Brian Campbell and Marcel Goc have all played a huge role into Florida's success this year and they have a very good shot at taking the Southeast. They are a borderline positive team in terms of possession and aren't going to scare a lot of teams in the playoffs, but they are good enough to win the Southeast this year. The Caps have fallen apart ever since Dale Hunter took over, the Jets aren't dominant and both the Lightning and Carolina have little to no shot at the playoffs this year. Florida's chances at the playoffs are very real and Tallon has said that he plans for them to be "buyers" this deadline. They could use a few pieces to make some noise in the playoffs, but the question is who can they add and how much space do they have to work with?
We'll explore that after the jump.