Kukla's Korner Hockey
from George Richards of the Miami Herald,
By bringing back two original member of their franchise Tuesday, the Panthers dipped into their past in hopes for a brighter future.
General manager Dale Tallon and coach Pete DeBoer announced the hiring of Gord Murphy and Brian Skrudland, original members of the Panthers. Murphy, a defenseman who played six seasons in Florida, will be an assistant coach under DeBoer, joining Jim Hulton and Robb Tallas. Skrudland, the first Panthers captain, will become the team’s director of player development and will be involved in helping mold the team’s prospects on and off the ice.
Tallon added that it was important for the Panthers to realize things always haven’t been bleak hockey-wise in South Florida.
via Pierre LeBrun tweet,
Higgins not signed yet in Florida but he’s agreed to a one-year deal worth $1.6 million. Paperwork still being finalized
from George Richards of On Frozen Pond,
“I don’t know how aggressive we’re going to be, but we’re going to try to get better and find players who make sense for us at this time,’’ said general manager Dale Tallon, whose team has 17 NHL regulars under contract for next season.
“I don’t think we’re going after the top guys, but good guys that can help us and not affect our future.’‘
The Panthers were about $7 million under the salary cap last season and are currently about $12 million under this year’s cap of $59.4 million. Florida still needs to sign a couple of its restricted free agents, but are said to have a budget under what was spent last season.
So, even thought the Panthers are flush with cash under the cap, that doesn’t mean they are going to spend it.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
A few random thoughts from Day 2 of the sleepiest NHL entry drafts of all time:
Short term, you’d have to concede that the Boston Bruins are the most improved team since the end of the season, given that they landed arguably the best or second-best prospect in the draft - Tyler Seguin - Friday night; and added a potential point-per-game player in Nathan Horton earlier in the week….
Long-term though, the big winners over the weekend was unquestionably the Panthers, a team in need of a major overhaul. GM Dale Tallon, in his first month on the job, began the process by moving out Horton earlier in the week and then traded defenceman Keith Ballard to the Vancouver Canucks Friday night.
I am back safely from Las Vegas and I am sure I will feel some jet-lag tomorrow, so may as well post some stories while I am still on Vegas time…
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
New GM Dale Tallon continued his overhaul of the Florida Panthers, and for the second time in a week, I really like the trade he’s pulled off.
For starters, just getting Keith Ballard’s five-year, $21 million deal off the books is a major coup.
A GM from one of the several Western Conference teams that spoke with Florida about Ballard on Friday couldn’t look past the contract. “That’s just too much money for my liking,” said the GM.
Tallon has now divested himself of two big contracts in Ballard and Nathan Horton.
Friday’s deal, which still wasn’t officially announced pending league approval, will see prospect Victor Oreskovich also go to Vancouver for winger Steve Bernier, forward Michael Grabner and a first-round pick.
From the Miami Herald’s George Richards:
With the type of season the Florida Panthers went through last year, coach Pete DeBoer said one would have to expect plenty of changes.
Since finishing 14th in the Eastern Conference and last in the Southeast Division for the first time in franchise history, the Panthers brought in a general manager not afraid to shake things up.
You want change? Dale Tallon is ready to bring it.
According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie’s tweet, the rumored deal of the Panthers’ Nathan Horton to the Bruins is a “done deal”.
UPDATE: Per Bob, the deal is Horton and Gregory Campbell for Dennis Wideman, 15th overall pick and another draft pick.
From NESN.com’s James Murphy:
Well, it appears Chiarelli could already have a trade in place that would bring a current NHLer to Boston.
While the parameters of the trade are unclear at this point, a very reliable source told NESN.com on Friday that the Bruins are closing in on a trade with the Florida Panthers that would see them acquire winger Nathan Horton, who was drafted third overall by the Panthers in 2003, but in six NHL seasons, has cracked the 30-goal plateau only once and—in the eyes of fans and media—failed to reach his potential and use his 6-foot-2, 229-pound frame properly.
There were no specifics on what else may come to Boston in the deal or what the return would be to Florida, but it has been well documented that Chiarelli would love to move into the top 5-7 picks overall to get one of the top defensive prospects available, so this could be a package deal involving roster players and picks.
from Steve Gorten of the Sun-Sentinel,
Here’s why I think Horton will in fact be traded: His no-trade clause kicks in July 1. If he’s kept, it would make it much harder to trade Horton because then your options are limited. If it’s to a team he doesn’t want to go to, regardless of how great the offer is, you can’t pull the trigger.
I know some of you do, but I personally don’t think Horton is a bad guy — his attitude this past season and effort on the ice were not problems in my opinion — or a bad player. But he’s a valuable commodity, and if the Panthers can get a quality center for him, I think that has to be their priority right now.
I know there’s some speculation out there that the Panthers are dangling Stephen Weiss. But my sources tell me they’re not looking to trade him. Frankly, it makes no sense for the Panthers to move him.
from Steve Gorten of the Sun-Sentinel,
Nathan Horton’s agent said Wednesday he believes “there’s a very good chance” the Panthers right winger will be traded before or at the draft next weekend in Los Angeles.
“It would not surprise me at all if he’s dealt by the draft,” Horton’s agent Paul Krepelka said, adding that Horton’s aware of the possibility. “If it happens, it happens.”
Krepelka said he spoke with Panthers General Manager Dale Tallon after Tallon’s hiring and noted, “he likes Nathan as a player, but no one’s untouchable.”
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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