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Category: Florida-Panthers

The Bolts Beat, 09/27/10: The Gang Talks Preseason Games, Cuts, Suspensions, Fantasy Hockey & More

In the latest episode of The Bolts Beat, JJ and co-host Mike Corcoran cover the Lightning’s recent preseason road trip, roster moves made thereafter, NHL discipline issues (including the recent Nick Boynton/Blair Jones incident), predictions for how Tampa Bay’s final roster may end up, fantasy hockey strategy and Jon (of course) continues his New York Jets elation, much to the dismay of Mike and fellow contributor, Tampa Bay Lightning.com’s Mark Pukalo.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Florida Panthers, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: adam+hall, alexander+ovechkin, blair+jones, cedrick+desjardins, chris+durno, dana+tyrell, dennis+wideman, derek+boogaard, eric+perrin, fantasy+hockey, james+wright, johan+harju, john+tavares, marek+malik, mark+streit, nick+boynton, niklas+persson, rick+dipietro, roster+cuts, sidney+crosby, simon+gagne, simon+gagne, steven+stamkos, suspensions, tomas+vokoun, training+camp, vincent+lecavalier, wade+redden, zenon+konopka

Vokoun Wants Results This Season

from the CP at The Hockey News,

The buzz around the Florida Panthers is all about the future and the sharp young prospects in camp, but veteran goaltender Tomas Vokoun only wants to talk about now.

The 34-year-old has had three strong seasons as a Panther, but has yet to perform for them in the post-season. That’s because Florida, which labours to score goals, has missed the playoffs the last nine years in a row.

‘‘We have a lot of good young players, but no player goes into the season thinking about how we’ll be good in three years—you worry about the season you’re playing,’’ Vokoun said Monday as he prepared to face the Montreal Canadiens, the team that drafted him 226th overall in 1994.

‘‘For me, it’s more about what we do today and tomorrow, not how it’s going to look five years from now. We had some good players on this team in the past, high draft picks, and the results didn’t come. Nothing’s guaranteed. Obviously for us it’s time to show it, not to talk.’‘

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Florida Panthers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: thomas+vokoun

Lightning Roster Cuts Narrow Down Battles at Forward and on Defense

With 21 cuts announced on Sunday, the Tampa Bay Lightning are left with 28 players in training camp. While nothing is certain, it appears there are six players vying for three roster spots at forward and three in the mix for the seventh and eighth slots on the defensive depth chart, with goaltender Cedrick Desjardins remaining with the big club, while Mike Smith recovers from an injury to his right ring finger.

Barring anything drastic, which would be a major surprise at this point, it looks like ten forwards can be penciled in to remain with the Bolts come opening night. In that group, I have Sean Bergenheim, Steve Downie, Simon Gagne, Vincent Lecavalier, Ryan Malone, Dominic Moore, Teddy Purcell, Martin St. Louis, Steven Stamkos and Nate Thompson. On defense, six men appear to have a spot on the Lightning blueline out of the gate: Brett Clark, Victor Hedman, Randy Jones, Pavel Kubina, Mike Lundin and Mattias Ohlund.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: roster+cuts, southeast+division, training+camp

Pieces In Place For Panthers

from Dale Tallon at Panthers.com,

We know it can be done here. Talk to Director of Player Development Brian Skrudland or Assistant Coach Gord Murphy – both original Panthers – and they’ll tell you about the mid-90s when the Panthers won, and subsequently owned the town.

We want to bring that feeling back, as quickly as possible, and this Training Camp is just another step toward that goal. The puck has dropped and the evaluation process has truly begun.

During the offseason, it’s easy to envision where everyone will fit. It’s during the offseason when every piece fits neatly together, and forms a team that plays well, plays hard, and accomplishes our goals of making the playoffs and contending for the Stanley Cup this year, and into the future. But once the puck drops, that’s when you see what people are made of, what their true colors are, and how the pieces really fall in to place.

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Caps are Still the Caps, Which is Bad News for Everyone Else

Of all five Southeast Division clubs, the Washington Capitals of 2010-11 will look the most like themselves from a year ago, having added only a spattering of depth to the lineup that captured the President’s Trophy last season. Alas, as the reigning division champ and still the clear-cut class of the division, if it ain’t broke, well, you know… But a first-round playoff exit thanks to Jaroslav Halak and the Montreal Canadiens left an awful taste in the mouths of Bruce Boudreau’s squad, meaning improvements are in order this year for sure. (Or else?)

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, d, Buffalo Sabres, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Florida Panthers, Montreal Canadiens, St. Louis Blues, Tampa Bay Lightning, Vancouver Canucks, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alex+ovechkin, alex+semin, braden+holtby, brendan+morrison, brian+fahey, brian+willsie, brooks+laich, bruce+boudreau, calder+cup, calder+trophy, d.j.+king, eric+belanger, eric+fehr, george+mcphee, hershey+bears, jaroslav+halak, jeff+schultz, joe+corvo, john+carlson, jose+theodore, karl+alzner, kyle+greentree, marcus+johansson, mathieu+perreault, michael+neuvirth, mike+green, mike+knuble, milan+jurcian, nhl+previews, nicklas+backstrom, scott+walker, semyon+varlamov, shaone+morrison, southeast+division, stefan+della+rovere, tomas+fleischmann

Turnaround in Tampa Starts at the Top

Before a single tweak to the roster, the Tampa Bay Lightning were already poised for improvement in 2010-11. With the tumultuous era of previous ownership already behind them when the sale of the team to Jeff Vinik was completed late last season, gone in an instant were any and all off-ice concerns and the circus went back to being an annual visitor to the St. Pete Times Forum rather than a permanent resident. With the appointment of Steve Yzerman as general manager, credibility returned to the franchise and new head coach Guy Boucher was widely regarded as the hottest commodity on the off-season coaching market.

Without a solitary player move, hockey life in Tampa was good again.

But far be it from Yzerman to rest on the comfort that fans surely feel by him simply not being one of those other guys. The addition of former Flyers forward Simon Gagne headlines a list of shrewd off-season maneuvers for the rookie GM and the revamped roster could very well translate to the sort of on-ice success that will make Lightning followers quickly forgot about three non-playoff seasons gone by.

 

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  Tags: alex+tanguay, andrej+meszaros, antero+niittymaki, antti+niemi, blair+jones, brad+richards, brett+clark, brett+connolly, carter+ashton, cedrick+desjardins, chris+durno, dan+ellis, dana+tyrell, dominic+moore, dustin+tokarski, eric+perrin, guy+boucher, james+wright, jaroslav+janus, jeff+vinik, johan+harju, kevin+quick, khl, kurtis+foster, lady+byng+trophy, marc+pouliot, mark+barberio, mark+parrish, martin+st.+louis, matt+lashoff, matt+walker, mattias+ohlund, mike+smith, mitch+fadden, nate+thompson, nhl+awards, nhl+previews, niklas+persson, paul+szczechura, pavel+kubina, radko+gudas, randy+jones, richard+panik, riku+helenius, rocket+richard+trophy, ryan+craig, ryan+malone, sean+bergenheim, sidney+crosby, simon+gagne, simon+gagne, stephane+veilleux, steve+downie, steve+yzerman, teddy+purcell, training+camp, traverse+city+prospects+tournament, ty+wishart, victor+hedman, vincent+lecavalier, vladimir+mihalik, zenon+konopka

Facing a Decade Without the Playoffs, Florida’s Rebuild Goes On and On

Futility in Sunrise has persisted for far too long, with the Florida Panthers on the brink of a dubious record after nine consecutive non-playoff seasons. Incoming general manager Dale Tallon has moved quickly in putting his stamp on the team with several transactions since taking over, but nothing to this point appears bold enough to turn his club from last season’s Southeast Division cellar dwellers into a postseason participant.

Sadly, more patience may be in order for long-suffering Panthers fans.

Even so, all is not lost for the NHL’s southernmost franchise, with several key pieces already in place for the future (and others right around the corner) and it isn’t as though the current roster is without talent as is. Still, a couple of major stumbling points remain for the Panthers. The 24 games they will play versus fellow Southeast clubs, three of whom look to be vastly improved and the fourth being the stalwart Washington Capitals, certainly won’t help and the expiring contracts for defenseman Bryan McCabe and goaltender Tomas Vokoun will have to be dealt with (and quite possibly dealt altogether), without either situation becoming a distraction.

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  Tags: andrew+peters, bryan+allen, bryan+mccabe, chris+higgins, dale+tallon, david+booth, dennis+wideman, dmitry+kulikov, erik+gudbranson, gregory+campbell, jacob+markstrom, jason+garrison, kamil+kreps, keith+ballard, marty+reasoner, michael+grabner, michael+repik, nathan+horton, nathan+paetsch, scott+clemmensen, shawn+matthias, stephen+weiss, steve+bernier, tomas+vokoun

Carolina’s Push Toward Youth is Both Promising and Perilous

The future is now in Carolina, where the old guard is out, an influx of youth is taking over and everyone is looking to put the injury-plagued woes that ruined things a season ago far, far behind them.

With the retirement of former captain Rod Brind’Amour symbolizing the changing of the guard in Raleigh, which started with Eric Staal succeeding Brind’Amour as team captain in January last season, the process of remolding the club is well underway. The 25-year-old Staal will have some veteran support in his first full year wearing the ‘C’ but Carolina’s heavy reliance on several key youngsters is a make-or-break formula for success this season. If the kids collectively respond to the challenge, the ‘Canes have enough going for them to cause trouble in the Southeast and surprise a lot of people. Some growing pains are sure to be felt, however, in such a transitional year for the franchise and immediate success probably takes a back seat to more long-term achievements.

Avoiding the injury bug has to be high on the list of priorities for a club that holds the unfortunate distinction of hitting the 300 man-games lost to injury milestone a year ago.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, d, Buffalo Sabres, Carolina Hurricanes, Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: anton+babchuk, bobby+sanguinetti, brandon+sutter, brett+carson, bryan+pothier, cam+ward, chad+larose, drayson+bowman, eric+staal, erik+cole, jared+staal, jay+harrison, jeff+skinner, jerome+samson, jim+rutherford, jiri+tlusty, joe+corvo, jonathan+matsumoto, jussi+jokinen, justin+peters, nhl+entry+draft, nhl+previews, oskar+osala, patrick+o'sullivan, ray+whitney, riley+nash, rod+brind'amour, southeast+division, tim+conboy, tim+gleason, tuomo+ruutu, zach+boychuk

Post-Kovalchuk Thrashers Deep on ‘D’, Look to New Faces and Young Guns for Offense

For the Atlanta Thrashers, a team with just one playoff appearance in ten National Hockey League seasons (and not a single post-season victory to their credit), the time for a fresh start was clearly at hand.

By first turning a negative into a positive in moving on from superstar sniper Ilya Kovalchuk late last season and then raiding the cabinet of the cap-crunched Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks, Atlanta begins their new era, under both a new general manager and head coach in Rick Dudley and Craig Ramsay, with a wealth of promising youth and several veterans with recent championship experience.

They may no longer boast an individual showstopper but that formula wasn’t producing a consistent winner in Blueland anyway (and that alone rarely does as much anywhere). The post-Kovalchuk Thrashers appear to be headed for greener pastures, though there will be that little issue of replacing his 45+ goals, of course.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Florida Panthers, New Jersey Devils, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
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Training Camp Just Around The Corner

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

Training camps open around the NHL later this week and some burning questions come to mind.

Among them has to be David Booth, the Florida Panthers star winger who was limited to 28 games last season after suffering a pair of concussions. How is he faring now?

“He’s healthy as a horse,” Panthers GM Dale Tallon told ESPN.com on Monday morning. “We’ll keep our fingers crossed. We need him to be healthy. It’s exciting, tough. He’s good to go.”

continued plus more hockey topics…

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  Tags: david+booth

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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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