Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News,
So I’m not surprised that Florida Panthers prospect Aaron Ekblad wanted to play at Canada’s world junior exhibition camp in Quebec. But why would the Panthers allow the No. 1 overall pick to play in the mini-tournament against the Czechs and Russians?
In speaking with execs from other teams (attempts to reach the Panthers were unsuccessful), they always like having their top prospects put in situations where they can develop, so it’s not crazy that Florida would want their most prominent draft pick to take on a leadership role in the summer and get some reps as he prepares for his first NHL training camp. Unfortunately, injuries are an unpredictable part of the game.
And after seeing their prized prospect get hurt Tuesday night on a hit from Czech defenseman Lukas Klok, the Panthers must be feeling like they rolled snake eyes.
For me, the question is this: What are the odds Ekblad actually plays for Canada at the world juniors this year? Florida may have some nice young defensemen in the pipeline, but there’s no reason to believe Ekblad can’t find a place in the team’s top six this fall. He has already played three years in the Ontario League with Barrie and his pedigree practically dictates that he will jump straight to the NHL.
more including a gif of the hit...
SUNRISE, Fla. – As announced earlier today by Team Canada, D Aaron Ekblad suffered a concussion during an exhibition game last night. We have been in communication with Team Canada and have mutually agreed to hold Aaron out for the remainder of the summer development camp, as a precautionary measure. We will closely monitor Aaron’s health for the remainder of the off-season and expect him to be ready for our rookie camp in mid-September.
from Alain Poupart at NHL.com,
Shawn Thornton first got to know Dale Tallon more than a decade ago. Now that the two have been reunited with the Florida Panthers, the veteran forward knows exactly what his new general manager expects from him.
"At this point, I know my role and the job fairly well," Thornton told South Florida media members Thursday. "Dale didn't need to stress it too much to me. We've known each other for a long time and I think he knows how self-aware I am, if I'm self-aware at all, and what he needs to tell me. So there wasn't too much being said, except that he was excited that I was excited to come there. I was very pleased that they were as interested."
Thornton, who turned 37 on July 23, joined the Panthers as an unrestricted free agent on July 1 after the Boston Bruins decided against bringing him back for an eighth season. He was a popular player in Boston, in part because of his outgoing personality and also because of his role as the Bruins' enforcer.
"It's no different than anything in life," Thornton said. "You spend seven and a half years somewhere, you're going to have a lot of ties, you're going to have a lot of memories. I was fortunate to be on a pretty good team the last five years that I was here, so it was a lot of fond memories. But I'm excited for the next chapter.
from Jim Day of The Guardian,
Gerard “Turk’’ Gallant is guzzling a can of Zero Coke mid-morning moments after entering his home on the outskirts of Summerside.
He will likely have tossed back four sodas by day’s end, well down from the 10 or so daily pops he would drink during his playing days in the National Hockey League.
He has never been one for tea or coffee.
Gallant, 50, washed down a breakfast of steak and eggs with chocolate milk while speaking with The Guardian about his long career in hockey that now sees him readying for the 2014-15 NHL season as the Florida Panthers new head coach.
His tasteful personal hockey shrine in the room he describes as the “one we are never in’’ offers a snapshot of an impressive run in professional hockey that spans three decades and counting.
The Florida Panthers have re-signed defenceman Dmitry Kulikov to a three-year deal worth a total of $13 million.
Kulikov's new deal carries an average annual value of $4.33 million.
The 23-year old Russian scored eight goals and added 11 assists in 81 games with the Panthers in 2013-14.
The Florida Panthers have placed defenceman Ed Jovanovski on waivers.
The 38-year-old Panthers captain scored one goal and four assists in 37 games with the Panthers in 2013-14.
Jovanovski has one year remaining on a four-year deal he signed with the Panthers prior to the 2011-12 season. The deal is worth an average annual value of $4.125 million.
Aaron Ekblad was mic'd up on draft day including hearing his name called as the #1 pick by the Florida Panthers.
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