The Florida Panthers have turned the page to the Bill Zito era as he was officially announced as the team’s new GM Wednesday. The Panthers had high expectations this season but fell short in the playoffs to the Islanders.
So what is Zito’s recipe for a winning team?
“It’s a combination of talent and team and competitiveness,” Zito said Thursday morning on The Joe Rose Show.
As far as how the Cats will get to where Zito wants them, he emphasized the importance of the draft and developing the young guys already in the system.
“That’s your chance to get your elite players," Zito said about the draft. "The draft is your opportunity to get them, and once you get them develop them and nurture them.”
The Panthers already have an established Hall of Fame coach in Joel Quenneville that Zito and the organization, hope will get them over the hump.
“You speak to Joel for a minute and the passion jumps out at you,” Zito said of Coach Q.
So what was Zito’s message to the fans? It was simple: “Words are cheap, but we won’t be outworked.”