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Panthers' journey from NHL punch line to Stanley Cup champs

Related Topics: Stanley Cup, Florida Panthers



SUNRISE, Fla. -- Aleksander Barkov didn't just lift the Stanley Cup after defeating the Oilers in Game 7.

He lifted close to three decades of failures, embarrassments and frustration off the shoulders of the players, the fans and this franchise.

The Florida Panthers are Stanley Cup champions. Not a punch line. Not being mocked for meager attendance. Not wallowing in mediocrity, on and off the ice, as the team went 25 years between playoff series victories.

Oh, there could have been more embarrassment. Like, the most embarrassment.