Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Harvey Fialkov of the Sun Sentinel,
In a bizarre, slightly uncomfortable scene at Saveology.com Iceplex Tuesday morning, current Panthers goalie tandem Scott Clemmensen and Jose Theodore were beginning an informal practice with several teammates just moments after estranged Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo had finished his own skate.
Luongo has made it clear that since Canucks General Manager Mike Gillis promoted goalie Cory Schneider to starter with a three-year, $12 million contract extension, that he wants to be traded to the Panthers, the franchise he established his All-Star credentials with from 2001-06 and where he still maintains an offseason residence with his wife and two young children.
So, Luongo, who practices here every offseason, literally, was about to sneak out the back door so he wouldn't create an awkward situation for Clemmensen and fellow Quebec native Theodore, whose job he covets. Luongo spoke to the Sun Sentinel before leaving.
"It's been a tough summer, not knowing what's going to happen,'' said Luongo, 33, while changing in the cramped visitor's locker room a few feet from where several Panthers, including goalie coach Robb Tallas, were skating in an unofficial practice.
from George Richards of On Frozen Pond,
There is some optimism a deal will get done especially after the league's latest proposal. Yet expectations are games will be missed. So what exactly are these players doing working out in August?
"Getting ready for November,'' joked one former Panthers player who asked not to be identified. "I hope we play in October. But I also hope we play in November. We're still getting ready.''...
The Florida Panthers are scheduled to open the 2012-13 season at home against Tampa Bay on Oct. 13.
"I'm optimistic we're going to get something done,'' Panthers defenseman Ed Jovanovski said. "You see a business side in every sport. Everyone wants a fair deal. As players, we're more than willing to make things fair. But there are 700 people in our union and everything has to be agreed upon. I just hope we don't miss any hockey.''...
"The last time around, I was 27 so I dealt with it as 'oh, I have a lot more years left','' Panthers goalie Jose Theodore said. "We had a good thing going last year and we really want to get back at it. I'm preparing as if nothing is going to happen, but you have it in the back of your mind. You worry this thing might drag out.''
from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,
Nick Bjugstad is not Patrick White.
While the centres are first-round NHL draft picks and products of the heavily scrutinized University of Minnesota program, the 6-foot-6, 220-pound Bjugstad is coming off a 25-goal sophomore season and it’s not surprising that the Vancouver Canucks have rumoured interest in the 20-year-old as a possible return from the Florida Panthers in a Roberto Luongo trade package.
The previous regime had that level of interest in the 2007 draft when White was a surprise 25th overall selection — one pick before the St. Louis Blues took David Perron — but he never played a game for the Canucks. White never had more than nine goals in his three college seasons, was traded to the San Jose Sharks in 2009 and spent last season in the third division of the German Oberliga. It was a clear draft-day miss.
However, as much as scouts will tell you that Bjugstad is a can’t-miss prospect whose career is on fast forward, he’s rightfully returning for another season with the Golden Gophers. He has yet to complete a full NCAA season, battled a pair of injuries last season and his production dropped in the second half after 16 goals in his first 20 games.
continued plus some Doan destination talk too…
from Nick Sortal of the Sun Sentinel,
A major Las Vegas casino company announced Tuesday that it will partner with the Florida Panthers’ parent company in an attempt to bring casino gambling to Sunrise.
Boyd Gaming, which owns 17 casinos, said it will work with Sunrise Sports Entertainment, the operator of the BankAtlantic Center and owner of the Panthers.
With Sawgrass Mills Mall across the street and the BankAtlantic Center itself drawing crowds to concerts and hockey games, the casino would have little problem drawing people to stop and take a spin at the slots, Boyd chief executive officer Keith Smith said.
“While additional Florida development is contingent on the state passing legislation, this agreement gives us an additional exciting option for Florida if and when it does,” he said.
thanks to a KK member for the pointer
SUNRISE – Florida Panthers Executive VP & General Manager Dale Tallon announced today that the club has agreed to a four-year contract with RW Kris Versteeg.
“Kris played an important role in our club’s success last season and we are pleased to have reached a long-term contract agreement with him,” said Tallon. “He is a skilled player who recorded career highs in goals and points last season, while playing on our top line alongside Stephen Weiss and Tomas Fleischman. We look forward to his continued offensive production, as well as his off-ice contributions in the South Florida community.”
from Harvey Fialkov of the Sun Sentinel,
NHL.com did the story I wanted to do during the recent development camp but I just missed connections with Michael Houser, the young goalie with club feet who the Panthers signed. I’ll catch up to him in September.
Here’s an excerpt of NHL.com’s story on this inspirational young man.
“I talked to my agent pretty quickly after the draft, and there were a couple of teams that wanted me to come to their development camp,” Houser said. “We sat down and figured out which team had the best situation for me, and we decided that Florida had the best opportunity. I wanted to go there and earn a contract, not just fill a net and take shots. They understood that, and so I went down there and played pretty well, and everything came together for me.”
Houser was born with bilateral club feet. With numerous doctors saying he would struggle to walk, much less play competitive sports, the native of Youngstown, Ohio, endured 15 surgeries on each foot in the first three years of his life, then two more when he was 12, to correct the issue.
from Harvey Fialkov of the SunSentinel,
Although not quite as bold as last summer’s free-agent haul Panthers GM Dale Tallon continues to tinker with the addition of former Avs center Peter Mueller. The Minnesota native has the size (6-2, 204) that Tallon covets in centers. He’s banking on his injury-prone days are over and he can pick up from a phenomenal rookie season in 2007-08 when the former first-round pick of the Coyotes (8th overall in ‘06-07) when he had 22 goals and 23 assists in 81 games.
from Mike Berardino of the Sun Sentinel,
If they can get Luongo for little more than future draft picks, it could be worth the Panthers’ while to roll the dice and assume his contract.
He does, after all, rank second among active NHL goalies in career regular-season victories (339). He’s No. 4 in active save percentage and third in appearances.
And despite his woes in the playoffs, where he’s 32-29, Luongo did produce enough nightly magic to help the Canucks earn the top seed in the West.
Theodore won’t be thrilled about a Luongo aquisition, but he’ll be 36 on Opening Night and had recurring knee problems last year.
Clemmensen, 35 later this month, would become another trade chip for Tallon. Or maybe Clem stays and Theo goes.
via Florida Panthers,
Florida Panthers Executive VP & General Manager Dale Tallon announced today that the club has agreed to terms on a two-year contract with RW George Parros.
“George is a physical player who adds toughness to our line-up,” said Tallon. “He is a high-character, hard-working player who is respected throughout the league. We look forward to George’s contributions to our club both on and off the ice.”
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.
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