Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Florida Panthers Blog at the Sun Sentinel,
General Manager Jacques Martin spoke today about the Panthers’ 4-6-1 start and noted that he’s considering moving some veteran players who aren’t producing.
“When I look at our performance so far, I don’t think it’s good enough,” Martin said. “We made some moves in the offseason and some of our players have to be better. Some of our veterans have to give us a better performance.”
Martin said he was troubled by the team’s defense as a whole—forwards included—and the number of goals allowed (35).
from George Richards of On Frozen Pond,
The Panthers put at least 10 of their loyal employees on waivers today, folks who stood up for this organization over the years. People in sales, charity, PR….
The team is no longer matching employee money in their 401(k)
Those who have tickets to the ‘specialty’ clubs will not be allowed in 30 minutes early as has been the case. This is said to save quite a bit of money.
According to George Richards at On Frozen Pond:
Cory Murphy is going to be out for a while with a strained shoulder, so JM signed Jassen Cullimore to a one year deal. Immigration issues could slow Cullimore. If he isn’t here for Thursday’s game, Wade Belak could take the sixth D spot.*
*I took the liberty of cleaning up a few typos
from the Florida Panthers (reader submitted questions),
Beside yourself, who are some of the toughest fighters in the league?
Belak: “Probably (Derek) Boogaard, (Georges) Laraque, and (Donald) Brashear. Top three.”
Since you fight on skates, does it really help hockey players to take boxing lessons?
Belak: “I think so. It teaches you to take a punch and protect yourself. For balance you have to turn your skates sideways. You don’t want to come in straight on because they’ll easily knock you off balance…In the past guys would go in toe to toe, blow for blow. But guys are bigger and stronger.
from Steve Gorten of the Sun-Sentinel,
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman told a local radio station Tuesday the Panthers “absolutely” will remain in South Florida long term.
“I don’t worry about this team into the future,” Bettman said during an interview with ESPN Radio 760. “And I think this team is now at a stage where people can get really excited about it.”
a little more...
from James Mirtle,
We’ve seen all sorts of wacky promotions in the NHL, especially from teams that have traditionally had trouble selling tickets, but this season in Florida, they’re literally giving them away.
The promotion advises that: “It may be your first game, but it won’t be your last.” The small print goes onto say that the invitation is “good one time only” and that the program “will remain in effect until everybody in Florida experiences the excitement of a Panthers game at least once.”
We’ll just call it “indefinitely.”
What appeared to be an awkward fall could turn out to be a serious injury for Florida Panthers’ defenceman Bryan McCabe.
Early indications suggest McCabe may have broken his back after colliding with Boston Bruins’ defenceman Dennis Seidenberg into the boards. McCabe will have an MRI on Saturday to determine the full extent of the injury.
added 2:38pm, from George Richards of On Frozen Pond,
TSN is reporting that Bryan McCabe’s back injury is very serious, with X-rays showing he has at least one broken vertebrea.
According to the Panthers, that’s just not true and is “absolute speculation” on their part.
added 5:26pm, TSN has now updated the same link as above with this…
The Florida Panthers breathed a huge sigh of relief Saturday as an MRI revealed that defenceman Bryan McCabe did not suffer a fractured vertebrae in his back as was originally feared.
Although the veteran defenceman was in significant pain following the injury, it is believed that his condition has been upgraded significantly to day-to-day.
from Dave Hyde of the Sun-Sentinel,
Watch Jay Bouwmeester. He’ll tell the whole story of this Panthers season. Everyone wonders if keeping a failed coach as general manager makes sense, if trading the top scorer was smart, if there’s finally a blueprint to the playoffs and not another skate through the wilderness.
He’ll answer your questions.
We talk a lot these days about how pro athletes don’t care enough, how they put money before winning or get long-term contracts and quit working. Bouwmeester did exactly what fans want star athletes to do.
from Greg Stoda of the Palm Beach Post,
The Florida Panthers epitomize the old saying that the more things change, the more they remain the same.
And as their new season dawns - Florida opens Friday night at Carolina, and begins its home schedule Saturday night against Atlanta in BankAtlantic Center - the outlook for the Panthers looks numbingly familiar.
hey’ve changed coaches yet again, but there’s no reason to assume the Panthers will be appreciably different under Peter DeBoer than they were for three years under Jacques Martin, now solely the team’s general manager.
from Dave Joseph at FloridaPanthers.com,
Vokoun, who has always worn his heart on his sleeve, enters the season more comfortable. He’s settled with his family in Florida, he feels optimistic about the team’s direction, and, more importantly, he returns for his second season with the Panthers looking at a new and improved blue line.
In fact, some consider the Panthers’ blue line to now be one of the elite in the league. Start with Jay Bouwmeester and Bryan Allen, a healthy Noah Welch and Cory Murphy, iron man Karlis Skrastins, and add veterans Keith Ballard, Bryan McCabe and Nick Boynton.
“We’ve definitely improved,” Vokoun said.
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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