SUNRISE, Fla. -

For the Florida Panthers, last season started with a banner raising.

It was the prequel to a total collapse.

The Panthers gave up more goals than any other NHL team, were tied for last in scoring and finished with the league's worst record. It was an unthinkably bad season for a franchise that was coming off its first-ever division championship.

Panthers coach Kevin Dineen says his team cannot ignore the memory of last season's freefall. Changes were made, such as letting longtime Florida forward Stephen Weiss leave through free agency, and bringing Stanley Cup-winning goaltender Tim Thomas into the organization as a veteran influence.

Panthers captain Ed Jovanovski says the bad taste should be a driving force for Florida.