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Category: Florida-Panthers

Time For The Florida Panthers To Prove It

from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of NHL.com,

The Florida Panthers received a message from general manager Dale Tallon when they reported to training camp Thursday.

"Let's stop talking and start acting," he said. " 'Oh, yeah. Great summer. Great summer.' Well, now we have to prove it."...

Owner Vincent Viola has made a major investment, spending close to the $81.5 million NHL salary cap, to put pieces around the young, talented core. The Panthers have made the Stanley Cup Playoffs five times in 25 seasons, including once in the past seven, and ranked 30th in average home attendance last season at 13,261.

"He doubled down," Panthers president Matt Caldwell said. "I think he's been spending a lot as it is, and then he got to a point where he's like, 'We're kind of on the fringe. We've got to take the next big step.' "

read on

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Morning Line- Aaron Ekblad

"Maybe in the past people overlooked us, but right now, I would say we go into this year as the team to beat. With the players we've brought in and the core we have established, I mean, if we don't (win), you know things are going to go sideways pretty quick. We have to realize and know if we want to stay together, we have to win."

-Aaron Ekblad of the Florida Panthers.  NHL.com has more.

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  Tags: aaron+ekblad

Video- Season Preview For The Florida Panthers

ferom Jon Lane of NHL.com,

After an aggressive offseason, the Panthers are confident they will not only reach the Stanley Cup Playoffs but make a deep run. Florida hired three-time Stanley Cup-winning coach Joel Quenneville on April 8 and agreed to a seven-year contract with two-time Vezina Trophy-winning goalie Sergei Bobrovsky on July 1.

The Panthers also signed defenseman Anton Stralman and forwards Noel Acciari and Brett Connolly, who bring playoff experience to a core led by forwards Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau and Vincent Trocheck, and defensemen Aaron Ekblad and Mike Matheson.

The commitment to winning has energized the Panthers and their fans.

"What management did in free agency, you couldn't have asked for anything better," said Barkov, who is entering his second season as Florida captain. "We got a really good goalie, a defenseman and a couple of forwards. That's all we needed. I just can't wait to get back to training camp and start from there."

continued

Watch their season preview below.

Continue Reading »

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Roberto Luongo’s Sweater Will Go To The Rafters In South Florida

from NHL.com,

Roberto Luongo will be the first player to have his number retired by the Florida Panthers when they raise his No. 1 before their game against the Montreal Canadiens at BB&T Center on March 7, 2020.

The 40-year-old retired after a 20-year career in the NHL on June 26. He is second in NHL history in games played by a goalie (1,044), third in wins (489) and ninth in shutouts (77). He is one of three goalies in NHL history to have played 1,000 games.

"I want to thank the entire Panthers organization for this incredible recognition," Luongo told the Panthers website. "It's quite an honor to be the first player to have his number retired by the Panthers. I'm truly looking forward to sharing this special night with my friends, family, teammates and the Panthers fans."

continued

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  Tags: roberto+luongo

Denis Potvin Retiring From His Broadcasting Role

SUNRISE, Fla. - Denis Potvin in conjunction with the Florida Panthers and FOX Sports Florida announced today his retirement from television broadcasting.

A member of the Panthers inaugural broadcast team in 1993-94, Potvin, 65, spent 21 seasons as the Panthers Television Color Analyst.

"On behalf of the entire Florida Panthers organization, we want to thank Denis for his tremendous contributions to our franchise both as a broadcaster and as an ambassador of hockey in South Florida," said Florida Panthers President & CEO Matthew Caldwell. "A legend of the sport, it has been a privilege for our fans through the years to watch and listen to Denis analyze Panthers games. We wish him a happy retirement from this chapter of his illustrious career."

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  Tags: denis+potvin

Sergei Bobrovsky On Why He Left The Columbus Blue Jackets

from TSN,

Sergei Bobrovsky told Russia's Sport 24 that discord between him and Columbus Blue Jackets began after the team's first-round loss to the Washington Capitals in 2018 and he knew soon after that he would not sign an extension with the club.

There was no chance I'd sign an extension with (Columbus)," Bobrovsky said, per a translation by Sport-Express reporter Igor Eronko. "I felt I need another scenery. And it’s not just because of tensions with the (team)."...

"I was suspended by the team, there were some conflicts in the team, a lot of meetings and some of them just because of me," Bobrovsky explained to Sport 24. "I didn't feel comfortable. And still the Jackets tried and tried to extend me all season long."

The 30-year-old added that he believes he played his best hockey later in the season because the pressure of playing ahead of the trade deadline had worn off. He went 18-8 from the start of February and allowed just eight goals in the team's first-round sweep of the Presidents' Trophy-winning Tampa Bay Lightning.

a bit more

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  Tags: sergei+bobrovsky

Team Defense Will Be A Key For The Florida Panthers

from Walter Villa of the Miami Herald,

There were seven times last season when the Florida Panthers lost a game in which they scored four or more goals.

Had they won all seven games, they would’ve had 100 points, qualifying for the playoffs.

Defenseman Anton Stralman, who last year helped the Tampa Bay Lightning tie an NHL record with 62 regular-season wins, is now part of the Panthers, signing as a free agent. Stralman figures that goalie Sergei Bobrovsky — also signed as part of Florida’s much-hyped free agent class of 2019 — will go a long way toward fixing the Panthers’ defensive issues.

“Defense is a team thing,” Stralman said. “It’s how you play as a unit and as a structure. It’s also determination, mentality and attention to detail....

“Coming up with a system — which [Quenneville] will do — and nailing it down takes time, effort and buy-in from everyone.

“We want to be a team that’s great in all three zones. But it has to start from the goalie on out. It can’t start from [offense first].”

The trick, Stralman said, will be focusing on defense while not losing the offensive flow that allowed the Panthers to rank fifth in the Eastern Conference in goals last season. 

more

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The Florida Panthers Messed Up

from Patrick Johnston of the Vancouver Province,

In trying to create maximum cap space so that he could sign both Sergei Bobrovsky and Artemi Panarin, did Florida Panthers general manager Dale Tallon suddenly find himself in a game of Russian Roulette?

If so, given he was prepared to go all out for Panarin’s services, it would seem lost.

You may recall that days ahead of the opening of free agency, Roberto Luongo did something that nearly no other player signed to a so-called back-diving contract has done. He retired, officially.

It has been suggested in these pages that Luongo’s retirement being official was a team-driven preference. There was a need to create as much cap room as possible and while the Panthers would still incur a cap-recapture penalty if Luongo were to officially retire instead of doing what others have been doing for years — failing their training camp physical and being paid out the remainder of their salary, while living out life on long-term injury reserve — that penalty would be much less than the cap hit his contract was costing the Panthers.

Due to the math of the collective bargaining agreement’s cap recapture formula, designed to dissuade teams from signing long contracts with low-wage years at the end to gain a cap advantage, Luongo’s retirement created a US$3 million cap penalty for the Vancouver Canucks.

That penalty, though, is where things appear to have gone off the rails for the Panthers.

read on

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The Time Is Now For The Florida Panthers

from Greg Cote of the Miami Herald,

A franchise off the national radar and struggling for scraps of attention in its own market. A franchise with five playoff appearances in 25 seasons and none back to back since 1996-97. A franchise whose fans have never known sustained winning.


This franchise, the Florida Panthers, has won the NHL offseason, a title whose only trophy is hope. This is an organization that has made its move, declared itself ready, and now -- with no excuses left -- must prove it can compete for the Stanley Cup. Not someday. Not maybe. Now.

In sports, first you must earn the burden of expectations, then you must prove you are worthy of them.

The Panthers have put themselves right in the middle of that. In a league that just saw the interloping, underdog St. Louis Blues unexpectedly raise the Cup, the Cats must got from no playoffs to a deep run in them, nothing less, when the games commence Oct. 3....

Win now and keep winning. Think championships...

read on

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The New Look Florida Panthers

from Walter Villa of the Miami Herald,

There were times this past season when it looked like the Florida Panthers couldn’t stop a beach ball.

The Panthers could score, but they missed the playoffs for the third consecutive year because they had the second-worst save percentage in the NHL.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Panthers introduced four free agents who are expected to help on defense, including two forwards.

Three of the signees are rated among NHL Network’s top 20 free agents in the league this year: ex-Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky (ranked second), former Washington Capitals winger Brett Connolly (No. 14) and ex-Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman (No. 16).

The Panthers also signed Noel Acciari, a defensive-minded winger who is likely to anchor Florida’s fourth line after helping the Boston Bruins reach the 2019 Stanley Cup Finals.

But Bobrovsky was the big-ticket signing as he was given a seven-year, $70-million contract.

continued

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

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