Kukla's Korner Hockey
from George Richards at On Frozen Pond,
Just got off the phone with Joe Nieuwendyk who resigned from his post with the Panthers on Wednesday….
Today, Joe was nothing but complimentary about the Panthers. Here are some of the things Joe told me today. As always, more tomorrow in The Herald…
“It’s true I have decided not to return next season. I’m going to step back and decide what me and the wife are going to do. There are some personal reasons involved. I’m not going to comment about a blog that says I’m not happy with Jacques. These guys gave me an opportunity to stay in hockey. I’ll always appreciate that….”
via Bob McKenzie of TSN,
Amid rampant speculation in the media and around the NHL that Panthers General Manager and head coach Jacques Martin could be fired, sources say Florida owner Alan Cohen has already confirmed to Martin during a postseason meeting that Martin will back with the club next season. What remains to be seen is whether Martin will remain in the dual capacity of General Manager-head coach.
Update 2:13am April 11: From George Richards at the Miami Herald,
Jacques Martin will not return as coach of the Florida Panthers next season, although it appears he will continue in his role as general manager of the team, The Miami Herald has learned.
On Thursday night, team owner Alan Cohen told a group of season ticket-holders meeting at BankAtlantic Center that Florida would not have a dual coach/general manager setup, as it has for the past two seasons.
When reached outside the arena, Cohen confirmed those remarks and added that he and Martin have spoken and determined the roles needed to be separate.
‘‘More than anything, we needed a change as coach,’’ Cohen said. ``Jacques has done a good job as GM. That’s the bottom line.’‘
from the Palm Beach Post
, If the views of several NHL observers are on target, then the season-ending critique of the Panthers is as brutal as a blindside check:
Florida is a dysfunctional franchise in need of a major overhaul.
Gary Green of the NHL Network and longtime analyst Bill Clement believe the Panthers, who missed the playoffs for the seventh straight season, need changes everywhere from the coaching staff to management to the roster.
How about this scenario- Caps and Panthers tied with about one minute to go in regulation. Panthers coach Jaques Martin knows if the Caps get a point, they are in the playoffs.
Does he pull his goalie to try to get a regulation win which would prevent a playoff spot for the Caps?
from the Sun-Sentinel,
And now with the Panthers guaranteed to miss the playoffs for the seventh straight season, Jokinen knows that when he does make it, if ever, he will have waited longer than anyone in NHL history.
Panthers assistant coach Guy Charron, who played for four franchises during his 12 NHL seasons (1969-1981), is No. 1 all-time in most NHL games played (734) without a playoff game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau….
“It’s definitely not a record you want to hold,” Jokinen said. “The last few years at the deadline, I had a chance to go somewhere if I had opened my mouth and said, ‘I want to move.’ But nothing has changed. I want to win here.”
from the Florida Panthers Blog at the Sun-Sentinel,
It has become quite clear in recent days that Jacques Martin and Olli Jokinen can’t co-exist beyond this season. One of them will be gone this summer, so now owner Alan Cohen has a tough decision to make.
—- He can’t have Martin step down has coach and remain as GM because the GM picks his coach and he’d likely pick someone with a personality similar to his, one that players both in Ottawa and Florida contend doesn’t relate well to them.
—- He either has to keep Martin in both positions or in neither.
via the Miami Herald,
Questions about Jokinen’s leadership have surfaced, with coach and general manager Jacques Martin deflecting comment about that Thursday, saying it was something best addressed after the season.
‘‘I look back over the past 19 games and he hasn’t scored even strength,’’ Martin said.
“He’s a minus player right now. I think he has to be better and he knows that. If you want to win, your best players have to be your best players. We go a lot of nights with the Stephen Weiss line as the top line.”
from the Miami Herald,
Olli Jokinen, the captain, the leading scorer, the name most associated with Panthers hockey, understands the stakes for his team because he agrees this is the ‘‘biggest game,’’ of the season.
But he also has to have a clear understanding of what this means to him. Personally.
And that is this: He must keep the Panthers winning and pointed toward the playoffs, because if he doesn’t his reputation as a guy who can’t get his team in the postseason will only mushroom.
‘‘Every year you feel like a failure if the team doesn’t make the playoffs,’’ Jokinen said Wednesday. ``All the goals and points—that’s all stuff you want to put away. If the team doesn’t make the playoffs, it’s a failure.
From Chuck Gormley at the Sporting News,
Break out the sun screen and beach chairs. The Florida Panthers are in hot pursuit of a playoff spot.
With a franchise-record seven-game win streak, the Panthers are biting at the heels of the eighth-place Philadelphia Flyers. And with two games coming up against the Washington Capitals and Carolina Hurricanes, they’re even flirting with what was unthinkable two weeks ago: a South-least Division title.
“There’s a good energy going around,” Panthers defenseman Steve Montador said. “There’s a little bit of a buzz.”
Update 4:28pm ET: Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail wonders if this is the Year of the Panther.
Update 5:33pm ET: Apparently Florida is the story of the day. Pierre LeBrun at Sportsnet.ca also checks in with some thoughts.
from On Frozen Pond,
The Panthers have officially suspended Chad Kilger without pay, word is retroactive to March 1. That’s probably a nice chunk of change. Figure he makes $800,000 per season, so during a 28-week season, that’s $28,571 per week on that scale; $15,384 over a 52-game pay period minus taxes, etc.
I now expect Mr. Kilger to clear up those personal issues rather promptly and find an Air Canada flight direct to Fort Lauderdale..
a little more on the Panthers…
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.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org