Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,
Here we are, still two weeks away from American Thanksgiving, and the Florida Panthers are done like dinner.
Every game from here on in will be spent in the role of spoiler. That seven-year streak of missing the playoffs will stretch to eight.
These clawless Cats aren’t playing with the string. They’re playing it out.
You think the housing market is tanking? Imagine the demand for Panthers tickets the rest of the way.
from George Richards of On Frozen Pond,
Put in HOFer Denis Potvin (TV guy since Day 1), Bill Torrey too. I say the Panthers also honor Bobby Clarke and Roger Neilson.
And, if and when Dino Ciccarelli (1998-99) finally goes into the Hall, honor him as well.
Put in Pavel Bure now. When Olli Jokinen says goodbye to the game, he goes in too. That’s a no-brainer. Joe Nieuwendyk? In. Roberto Luongo? Done.
This franchise needs to be more about hockey and less about putting ads on anything bolted down. More about honoring the game and less about inflatable cows, dancing girls and dancing bananas.
If the Panthers put hockey first, they might get more respect around the league, might turn on people in this market to their product.
from A.J. Perez of USA TODAY,
Q: Florida is currently at the bottom of the Southeast Division. Is there any reason for concern?
Martin: “I don’t think so. When you look at our team, there was a lot of enthusiasm and passion early in the season. We have to get back to playing that way.”
Q: The league has tweaked some of the rules this season, including preventing TV timeouts following an icing and placing every face-off after a penalty in the offending team’s zone. What’s your favorite?
Martin: “The one I like the most is the face-off in the offensive zone on a power play. We’re always looking to add more offense to the game. I think that’s a really good rule change.”
from George Richards at On Frozen Pond,
This team, for lack of a better term, is a mess. You can see it in their faces when they come into the rink. They are a beaten bunch. You can’t help but feel bad for their rookie coach, a guy who has to deal with this and try and figure a way out. This team almost has to play perfect hockey for 60 minutes—and even then they may not win.
So, instead of moping around Southern California on Sunday, they should all go to Disneyland. Check out the rides, have some cotton candy. Relax. Get some sun, take some goofy photos. Make the rookie (Michael Frolik) walk around in a goofy hat. Take more photos of that.
Then come in and see what happens against a Ducks team that was handled on Friday by Dallas and probably isn’t going to be in a real good mood.
from Steve Gorten of the Sun-Sentinel,
Q: Do you feel you were under appreciated while with the Panthers?
A: “Yeah, but it is part of the business. They had to do everything possible to sell their season tickets. I was there to take the blame. I have no regrets.
“I knew after the year I was gone, but probably the most disappointing thing was I didn’t really get a clear answer. I just heard everything, what was going on, behind the scenes. But I knew I was gone. I just didn’t know where….
Q: Have you been able to get past the incident involving your skate and Richard Zednik’s skate?
A: “I’m just happy to see him playing again. It’s behind now. It’s past. I still wish all the best for the Panthers. I had a good seven years over there. I heard finally they have a good coach there, too, so that’s good.”
from George Richards of the Miami Herald,
The season may only be 12 games old, but a frustrated Panthers team has already run out of words to describe its crummy play.
‘‘What do you say? It’s the same old story,’’ coach Pete DeBoer lamented.
‘‘We were just brutal, that was basically it,’’ added Stephen Weiss.
Make no mistake: The Panthers are a bad hockey team right now.
The Panthers are tied with the fewest points of any team in the NHL after losing their fifth straight 3-2 to the Kings at Staples Center on Thursday night.
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.
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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