Kukla's Korner Hockey
“Olli wants to play hockey, and if the Florida Panthers want him to play for them, that’s great. He’s more than willing to do that,’’ Gandler said. “It’s up to the Panthers. If they want to trade him away, that’s their business. There’s nothing we can do about it. Olli is going to play hard for someone next season, that’s all I can tell you.’‘
- Mark Gandler, agent for Olli Jokinen
more at On Frozen Pond…
From George Richards at On Frozen Pond in the Miami Herald,
Big news in Pantherland is that TSN is reporting that Olli Jokinen has “indicated” that he would like to be traded. If this is true, it’s a complete reversal from things I have heard from Camp Jokinen. If it’s true (and I don’t really doubt the validity of the report), I think Olli figured he was gone anyway, might as well make it look like he had some control over things.
It’s the old “you’re fired,” “you can’t fire me, I quit” scenario.
from Ethan J. Skolnick of the Sun-Sentinel,
Nearly every weakness can be sold as strength. Before Peter DeBoer could make his first line change from an NHL bench, the successful junior coach had to persuade a potential employer to overlook his relative inexperience.
Never played at this level. Never coached at this level.
“I tried to spin it that I’m undefeated,” DeBoer said Monday of his winning interview with Panthers General Manager Jacques Martin. “I guess he bought it.”
Soon we’ll learn whether DeBoer’s players buy in, too.
from On Frozen Pond,
For those who asked, both JM and DeBoer were asked if anything changed with Olli Jokinen’s situation. These are paraphrases…
JM: “I don’t think anything has changed. We don’t have many untouchables on our roster. If we see a chance to improve our team, we will.’‘
DeB: “Those are decisions that are best left up to Jacques. My plan is to come here in September and go to training camp with whatever team I’m given.’‘
more on the introduction of DeBoer as the Panthers head coach…
from James Duthie at the Ottawa Citizen,
Most people in hockey will tell you Hartsburg and DeBoer are both excellent choices to be NHL coaches. But the paths they’ve followed this spring read like some warped coaching version of The Tortoise and The Hare.
Bryan Murray interviewed Hartsburg very early in the process, and then Hartsburg went home and waited, with little apparent interest from other clubs.
DeBoer, meanwhile, has been the coaching version of Steven Stamkos the past few weeks: a junior star with a glowing résumé that had a bunch of teams pursuing him. He has been a candidate for almost every NHL job opening so far.
It may not be in Ottawa, but it appears Peter DeBoer will be coaching somewhere in the NHL next season.
On the same day Craig Hartsburg was named the head coach of the Senators, the Kitchener Rangers’ website says their head coach will be leaving the organization to accept a head coaching position in the National Hockey League, adding that details would not be released until Monday.
Earlier this week, DeBoer met with Eugene Melnyk regarding the Senators’ post but the two sides were unable to reach an agreement.
DeBoer is also among the candidates for the head coach position with the Florida Panthers and is expected to interview with the Los Angeles Kings this weekend.
added 3:22pm, via the Florida Panthers,
Florida Panthers General Manager Jacques Martin announced today that Peter DeBoer has been named the 10th head coach in the club’s history. As per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed. A formal press conference will be held on Monday, June 16 at 11 a.m. at the BankAtlantic Center when DeBoer will be officially introduced.
via Michael Russo at the Star-Tribune today:
The Panthers again are using Jokinen as trade bait. Reportedly, a dozen teams have inquired and the Panthers would want a first-round pick in any package.
“We haven’t made the playoffs here, so bottom line is we’re looking to improve our hockey club,” Panthers GM Jacques Martin told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “Is that with Olli back here or Olli not back here?”
Martin hasn’t been shy about criticizing Jokinen in the post-season. For more, the Sun-Sentinel provides this audio from an interview a few weeks ago, and George Richards wrote a feature piece on the captain’s trade value earlier this week in the Miami Herald.
From George Richards of On Frozen Pond at the Miami Herald,
That said, I do think the Panthers and Jokinen will probably part ways in the coming weeks. I don’t think Olli and [Jacques Martin] like each other very much, and if JM was still the coach, Olli would probably have found himself somewhere else.
But know this: JM is not going to trade Olli away out of spite, is not going to settle on a deal just to make the deal. Certain other GMs of this franchise may have made up their mind to trade a fella, then made sure that was done.
JM is not that kind of a GM. Jacques Martin is patient to a fault, and is not going to be rushed into making a major deal like this without doing due diligence.
From Brian Biggane at the Palm Beach Post,
The Panthers announced their pricing schedule for the 2008-09 season Monday and, although the price of season tickets will remain largely unchanged, single-game seats for so-called “high-demand” games will carry a $25 surcharge.
“We’re doing it mostly to protect our season seat holders,” Chief Operating Officer Michael Yormark said. “We did it last year and didn’t get a lot of push back.”
Last year was the first year the Panthers implemented any surcharge, which is becoming a staple in the industry after it was introduced by Major League Baseball and brought to the NHL by the Buffalo Sabres a few years ago. Last year’s surcharge for Panthers games was $10.
Is this a smart move? Panthers home attendance for 2007-08 was 30th in the NHL at 80.2% capacity. But that being said, Biggane’s article also notes that their ticket prices are currently among the lowest in the NHL.
From Brian Biggane at the Palm Beach Post,
Chicago Assistant General Manager Rick Dudley, who served as Panthers GM from 2002-04, said the rules changes adopted after the lockout have made it easier for young players to succeed in the NHL.
“They don’t have to learn how to deal with the clutching and grabbing, the things wily older players developed over the course of time,” Dudley said. “Today’s game is more about speed and skill as opposed to that.”
Dudley is familiar with the group of youngsters in the Florida system and feels they might also put up significant numbers if given the chance.
“Would I be surprised if Matthias and Frolik played significant roles this year in Florida?” he asked. “I would not. We almost made the playoffs with an incredibly young group. Look at what Pittsburgh did with young guys like (Sidney) Crosby, (Evgeni) Malkin and (Marc-Andre) Fleury. Had Pittsburgh run into a clutch-and-grab team they may have had more problems.”
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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