Kukla's Korner Hockey
Dale Tallon, GM of the Florida Panthers was on Sportsnet's Prime Time Sports and sounded both frustrated and upset with the play of the Panthers this season.
Tallon answered questionsranging from the head coach to trades and mentioned a few times his top players are not performing like top players.
Well worth a listen/watch if you have 8 1/2 minutes.
The Florida Panthers are in Boston tonight, Tim Thomas will not play and is not talking.
from George Richards of On Frozen Pond,
Panthers management had a late night meeting following Tuesday's 4-3 overtime loss to Edmonton at the BB&T Center with GM Dale Tallon telling the Miami Herald the team would not be making a coaching change at this time.
"There will be changes though,'' Tallon said outside the arena. "I don't make rash decisions. None of us are happy. I have to fix this and I will. We're better than this.''...
The Panthers have been let down by a number of their highest paid players this year with Brian Campbell and Tomas Kopecky ($10.1 million between them) yet to score a goal. Tomas Fleischmann and Kris Versteeg ($8.9 million combined) have five goals between them. Upshall has eight goals in two seasons and makes $3.5 mil.
Florida's leading goal scorer is Brad Boyes -- who signed a $1 million deal after a tryout during training camp. Boyes was playing on Florida's fourth line on Tuesday and has five goals so far.
from George Richards of On Frozen Pond,
"Obviously I'm being used as an example,'' Versteeg continued. "Hopefully the guys rally around that and win. It's tough. I've never been put in this situation. It's not fun. It's a kick to the midsection.''
Dineen said his decision was based on Versteeg's play. Versteeg has two goals this season and played less than 11 minutes of Friday's 3-0 loss to the Blues.
"That's indicative of his play the past week,'' Dineen said of Versteeg's shrinking minutes. "He's looked pretty frustrated the past three games, and honestly, hasn't played well. When he's at his best, he'll be a big contributor to this team.''
Florida lost to Washington, 3-2 in SO
from George Richards of the Miami Herald,
On Friday night, the Panthers closed their season-long, six-game homestand with a deflating 4-0 loss to the Blues at BB&T Center, a lackluster performance in which Florida’s coach called out 16 of his 19 players who hit the ice.
Hey, things could have been worse. The Panthers lost 7-0 in St. Louis on Oct. 5. The Panthers have been shut out in three of their first 13 games this season.
“We probably had three competitive guys,’’ Dineen said, mentioning Shawn Matthias, Jesse Winchester and Mike Weaver. “That’s not enough to drag the whole group along.
“If we can’t get everyone to compete harder than we did [Friday], we’ll just stumble along and get our wins here and there. ... They have to understand they’re playing in the best league in the world. It’s an absolute privilege to play in this league. There is no entitlement.’’
from George Richards of On Frozen Pond,
The Florida Panthers being hockey's first team to host a night for the LGBT community on Saturday has been well publicized.
A secondary promotion held by the team has not been.
At best it seems like an odd pairing.
Aside from the 'You Can Play Equality Night,' fans can pay $25 for a ticket to Saturday's game against the Minnesota Wild at BB&T Center in Sunrise as well as a pregame 'meet-and-greet' with Amanda Zuckerman and McCrae Olson from the CBS/Viacom reality show Big Brother 15.
Zuckerman, who resides in South Florida, was one of the Big Brother houseguests who made headlines during last summer's show for making off-putting racial and homophobic comments.
from George Richards of On Froze Pond,
New Panthers goalie Tim Thomas said he approached Thursday's game like any other. His shaking body in the moments after a hard-fought 3-2 loss to his former teammates belied Thomas' words.
This one stung.
"It hurts the way ended up,'' Thomas said minutes after Reilly Smith -- one of the few Bruins on the ice Thomas hadn't shared a locker room with -- trickled a backhanded shot through for the game winner.
"I really wanted the guys who played in front of me to be rewarded.''
from Caryn Switaj of BostonBruins.com,
The Panthers announced via their Twitter feed on Wednesday, just as the B's finished up practice at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, that the former B's goaltender "will play against his previous club" on Thursday....
Though confirmation from Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien on his starting goaltender won't come until after morning skate on Thursday, we can expect to see Tuukka Rask starting in goal, making what years ago would have been an unlikely reunion at opposing ends all but inevitable.
"I never thought that we would play against each other," Rask said following Wednesday's practice. "But I’m glad that he made his comeback and proved people wrong again, and I hope he does well."
"All those years shooting on him in practice, I think it’ll be fun to finally shoot on him in a game and I’m sure he’s looking forward to it as well," said Milan Lucic. "I’m sure he’s happy to be back in the NHL playing and he’s found a new home here in Florida."
"I think, especially for this one, regardless of how it ended or not," added Lucic, when it was insinuated that Thomas might be bringing his best for this one.
"I think there’s still something special with this organization and him just because of the Stanley Cup and two Vezinas and a Conn Smythe. He was a competitor and that’s why you expect that level of play from him."
from Craig Davis of the Sun Sentinel,
Fans began pouring in an hour before faceoff, most decked out in the requisite red. Original season-ticket holder Bob Feinberg, of Plantation, wore a Rob Neidermayer jersey, his wife Robin in a Scott Mellanby jersey in tribute two prominent Panthers from the beginning of the franchise.
“As a hockey fan I come here to see hockey. I heard [team President Michael] Yormark say tonight on TV that it’s not necessarily the product on the ice, it’s the whole entertainment experience. It’s not,” Bob Feinberg said. “I come here to see good quality hockey, that’s what I pay for. Unfortunately, they’ve turned it into an entertainment palace.”
Feinberg is typical of the diehards in the fan base who continue to support the franchise despite little return on their emotional investment over the past decade. They do so out of a genuine love for the game but with a healthy measure of skepticism about every change of course the franchise undergoes.
Viola’s purchase of the team just before the beginning of the regular season and vow to provide the resources necessary to make it a winner has brought reason for optimism. But the 1-3 start on the road, including two blow-out losses, reinforced that it will be a tough climb over rocky terrain.
“Look, every time we have new ownership they all come in with grand ideas. We’ll see what he does. It’s all about the product they put on the ice, it’s that simple,” Feinberg said, but said Viola gets his benefit of the doubt. “He’s a Brooklyn boy, I’m a Brooklyn boy, so I’ve got to have a little confidence in him.”
from Craig Davis of the SunSentinel,
Viola, who will preside over his first home game Friday night, and wife Teresa are relocating as soon as they find a home. Travis Viola, 25, has already begun working as a Panthers executive and will be involved in the hockey and business sides. He recalls being inspired to learn to skate when he was 4 after seeing Wayne Gretzky play.
Doug Cifu, Vinnie Viola's longtime business partner and part owner of the Panthers, cited the New England Patriots (Krafts) and New York Giants (Maras) as models of family-run teams to emulate. John Viola spoke with admiration of the Rooneys in Pittsburgh, the Steinbrenners in New York.
"I think that's us," said John Viola, adding that his family will put their stamp on the Panthers, indicative of their Italian-American heritage.
"You'll be in our house, and it will be your house," he said of the BB&T Center. "That's how we treat everything. Everybody who wants to get to know us should try to get a ticket to Christmas Eve in our house. It's an all-day affair. We've got people from all over."
In other words, expect joyous gathering of extended family for a traditional feast of the seven fishes.
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.
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