Kukla's Korner Hockey
from George Richards of On Frozen Pond,
As expected, the local buzz surrounded Jay Bouwmeester and his contract. The general consensus around here is that Jay won’t be with the Panthers (big shock), and that Edmonton could offer some serious jingle to get their hometown boy back. I don’t think Jay will sign here to play under a microscope, and two people I talked to up here agree with that assessment. The Oilers are going to try to get him, though.
Pete (DeBoer) on Jay: ‘‘He’s been outstanding. I didn’t have a real appreciation for how good he is. He has that unique combination of speed and range where he can shut down the best players on every team. He’s also found his offensive game, something that started last year when he put up 15 goals.
more on Bouwmeester and the Panthers as the prepare to face the Oilers tonight in Edmonton…
from John Grigg of the Hockey News,
He’s a top-10 goalie having a down season on a bad team. Over the past three seasons, he’s averaged 31 wins, a 2.60 GAA, .919 save percentage and four shutouts. No goalie averaging 50-plus games played over that period has a better save percentage than Vokoun. To put it simply, he’s good and a number of teams will likely fall all over themselves for a shot at acquiring him.
The Panthers have little to play for over the next few years. Their future is not now and once other goalies begin to be traded, Vokoun loses value as an asset. So as Denis Lemieux might say, “Trade heem right #$@*~!& now!”
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
Florida GM Jacques Martin hasn’t given up hope of signing Bouwmeester long-term and indicated he’ll hold contract talks next month when discussions are allowed to resume.
“I don’t think it has changed with (Bouwmeester),” said Martin, the former Senators coach and Rockland native.
Sources say Martin is taking one more stab at locking up Bouwmeester before sending him packing.
The Panthers hoped the hiring of coveted junior coach Peter DeBoer would send the message that the franchise is serious about getting back on track and into the playoffs.
more on Bouwmeester…
from Steve Gorten of the Sun-Sentinel,
As long as the Panthers keep winning with Craig Anderson in goal, he’ll remain the starter.
Coach Pete DeBoer said after Thursday’s 2-1 win against the Sabres at BankAtlantic Center that Anderson will make his fifth consecutive start Saturday against the Bruins.
Anderson began the season clearly the team’s No. 2 netminder behind Tomas Vokoun, but has emerged as a co-starter the past nine days.
Anderson made 45 saves Thursday while facing 46 shots both season highs. The Panthers finished with 25 shots.
continued with more on Anderson…
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Major Le-Brownie points for those of you who can guess off the top of your head which goaltender leads the NHL in save percentage with a sparkling .948 and is second in goals-against average at 1.87.
Tick-tock, tick- tock ...
That would be Craig Anderson, who tonight is making his third consecutive start for Florida as the Panthers play host Washington.
“You just have to seize the moment when it comes and be ready for it,” Anderson told ESPN.com last night, explaining his recent success. “If you’re not ready when you get your opportunity, you’ll look foolish.”
from the Miami Herald via the Palm Beach Post,
The Panthers’ anemic offense took another hit when center Nathan Horton was lost for an indefinite amount of time after sustaining a deep leg cut in the third period of Wednesday’s 3-2 shootout loss to the New Jersey Devils.
Horton got tangled up with a Panthers player and New Jersey defenseman Colin White against the boards and had his leg stepped on; the skate blade cut through Horton’s boot and left a deep gash….
“He’s out through the weekend, then we’ll go from there,” DeBoer said. “It’s tough to see on the video how it happened.”
The Panthers already are missing two of their top forwards in Richard Zednik and Cory Stillman.
read on for more on the Panthers…
From George Richards at the Miami Herald:
Wade Belak was back on the ice for the Panthers on Wednesday night, two days after clearing waivers.
His return was short lived.
The Panthers sent Belak to Nashville on Thursday afternoon, bringing back center Nick Tarnasky. Belak, 32, signed a two-year deal with the Panthers during the offseason and makes $650,000 per year. The 24-year-old Tarnasky is also signed through the 2009-10 season, but the Panthers will see a savings as Tarnasky makes $525,000.
from George Richards of On Frozen Pond,
• Wade Belak’s days with the Florida Panthers aren’t over.
Belak cleared waivers today and is free to report back to the Panthers.
• Nick Boynton is out today; he also has a concussion. Likely suffered in his fight Friday in Boston.
from Dave Joseph of FloridaPanthers.com,
The message has been sent.
“I think everyone here should be on notice,” said Panthers’ coach Peter DeBoer early Sunday afternoon. “The status quo isn’t good enough… It’s not good enough where we’re sitting and there’s going to be consequences throughout the lineup because of that.”
It’s no secret that something has to be done and soon. The Panthers have the worst record in the NHL and have scored the fewest goals. And DeBoer and GM Jacques Martin said Sunday they will do whatever they need to “get this team to the level we think they should be competing at,” DeBoer said.
via George Richard of On Frozen Pond,
...just got word that enforcer Wade Belak was placed on waivers today.
Belak signed a two-year deal with the Panthers during the offseason but hasn’t seen much playing time this season.
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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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