Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Miami Herald,
‘‘I thought we made progress every season, but I can’t say that about this season. It’s been a major disappointment to date,’’ Panthers majority owner Alan Cohen told us—and that was before Friday’s defeat left Florida one of only three teams with more regulation home losses than wins. ``Not making the playoffs this year is simply unacceptable to management, to our fans, and it should be to our players.’‘
I have been discerning owner-speak for a few decades now, all the way back to Dolphins patriarch Joe Robbie, and I can testify that when an owner publicly calls his team’s season a ‘‘major disappointment’’ and states that not making the playoffs is ‘‘simply unacceptable,’’ that owner might have a beheading in mind.
Chad Kilger, acquired by Florida in a trade with Toronto, was granted a leave of absence by the Panthers on Wednesday due to personal reasons.
Just one day after Kilger was sent to the Panthers by the Maple Leafs, the forward sat out when Florida faced his former team at home.
Kilger flew back to Toronto after meeting with Jacques Martin, the Panthers coach and general manager, and team officials said it wasn’t known when he would return.
from George Richards of the Miami Herald,
Olli Jokinen, favorite son of Canadian rumor mills, remained with the Panthers—as he fully expected.
He was so worried about being traded, he said Tuesday would be pretty routine. ‘‘I’m going to go home,’’ he said, ``eat some lunch, pick up my kids and go to the park like always. Nothing’s going to change.’‘
Florida coach and general manager Jacques Martin said teams asked about Jokinen, but ``from Day One, as I’ve said, you always try to improve our club and I wouldn’t make a deal that wasn’t good for the organization.’‘
‘‘Olli’s here, he should have piece of mind that the trade deadline is over,’’ Martin said. ``But the mandate hasn’t changed. We expect him to get us into the playoffs.’‘
more on the Panthers…
From TSN, Toronto Maple Leafs trade Chad Kilger to the Florida Panthers for a 3rd round pick.
According to TSN, Florida Panthers have sent Ruslan Salei to the Colorado Avalanche for Karlis Skrastins and a third round pick.
No link available yet. More soon.
Updated 12:28pm ET: TSN link
TSN reporting Toronto’s Wade Belak to the Florida Panthers for a 5th Round pick, 2008 draft.
Update 11:19am ET: TSN link
from Russo’s Rants,
Could this team unearth a top player from another team, whether it be a center or a defenseman – maybe a gritty, high-scoring center like Florida’s Olli Jokinen?
After all, a fourth Florida scout watched the Wild play tonight for the fifth time in six games. Like I said a few days ago, I know the Panthers and Wild play this week, but wouldn’t you agree that’s a little excessive pre-scouting?
Of course, I can promise you the Panthers wouldn’t just give Jokinen away. It would have to be a deal that knocks their socks off. They’re under no pressure to trade him — he’s under contract for the next two years at a reasonable price.
more on the Wild…
from the Miami Herald,
With his team reeling, Panthers coach Jacques Martin indicated Friday he wants leading scorer Olli Jokinen to raise his game.
‘‘We need more out of people like Olli,’’ Martin said. ``We need more away from the puck. Other people have been contributing.’‘...
‘‘If it were your skate, you can imagine what you would go through,’’ he said. ``It has definitely been tough. Maybe I haven’t gotten enough rest….”
more on the Panthers…
from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,
Gainey is also believed not to be adverse to trading team captain Saku Koivu, who has only 12 goals this season, is a minus player and could probably use a change of scenery. But Koivu is four years older than Jokinen and far less productive, so Gainey would have to enhance the offer.
Perhaps a package of Koivu, Jaroslav Halak, a first-round pick and a prospect would be enough. Gainey could also include Alexander Perezhogin, who is having a fine season in Russia this year, but whose contract rights are still owned by the Canadiens.
more and some Richards talk too…
via the Florida Panthers blog at the Sun-Sentinel,
The Minnesota Wild hasn’t tried to hide its interest in Jokinen. And it appears the Panthers are at the very least exploring the idea of trading him there by Tuesday’s 3 p.m. deadline.
Panthers director of pro scouting Bill O’Flaherty was at the Wild’s game in Chicago last night. He’s the third different Panthers’ representative to attend a Wild game recently—pro scout Jack Birch and director of player development Duane Sutter are the others—and combined, the trio as attended four of the last six Wild games overall. Perhaps the Panthers want to be very prepared for their Feb. 29 home game against the Wild. Or…....they’re checking out their options for Jokinen.
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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