Kukla's Korner Hockey
from On Frozen Pond,
I hear Martin Gelinas is close to agreeing to a deal with the Panthers, following in the steps of Jozef Stumpel. Both are getting two-year deals, so it appears JM likes his team so much he’s tying everyone up for at least a couple years.
more on the Panthers…
added 7:44pm, from the Palm Beach Post,
Gelinas apparently will not be among that group. He moved his family back to Calgary over the summer and expressed doubts that he would return this year, preferring instead to sign with either Calgary or another Western Conference club.
“I haven’t heard from him, (so) I expect at this point he will pursue free agency,” Martin said. “All along, he indicated that’s the direction he may want to go. But I’m still optimistic, so we’ll see.”
Well, maybe not…
Jozef Stumpel has re-signed with the Florida Panthers.
Sources say he agreed to terms on a two-year contract for a total value of $4.5 million for an annual average salary against the cap of $2.25 million.
Stumpel was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
from the Miami Herald,
The Panthers are in the market for more offensive help, with Minnesota forward Todd White likely headed south.
Martin also has said Florida will look at free agents Slava Kozlov and former Panther Viktor Kozlov.
Both players would help Florida’s offensive needs. Other targets could also be searched out, including trying to re-sign forwards Jozef Stumpel and Martin Gelinas before July 1.
Last week, owner Alan Cohen said Florida’s payroll next season would near $45 million. It looks like it might be more than that once the dust settles.
‘‘We have to make sure we have the proper order by looking at what our needs are,’’ Martin said.
from the Sports Network via the Hockey News,
The Florida Panthers agreed to terms on a two-year deal with goaltender Craig Anderson.
“Craig played very well in his back-up role for our club during the later part of last season and we felt that he was most deserving of a NHL contract,” said Florida general manager and head coach Jacques Martin said. “He is a diligent, focused and high character player who works hard to stay prepared night in and night out. We are confident both Craig and Tomas Vokoun will work well together and bring success to the organization.”
The Panthers also tendered qualifying offers to forwards Rob Globke, Kamil Kreps, Janis Sprukts, Stephen Weiss and defensemen Steve Montador and Noah Welch. Florida chose not to extend offers to goaltender Alex Auld, forwards Juraj Kolnik, Greg Jacina, Dustin Johner and defensemen Alexei Semenov and Jeremy Swanson.
from the Palm Beach Post,
Tomas Vokoun said today his mission in Florida is to take the Panthers to a place Roberto Luongo could not in his five seasons there: the playoffs.
Acquired Friday in the biggest trade consummated at the two-day NHL entry draft that concluded today, Vokoun was reached on vacation with his family in Turkey, where he had learned he’d been traded by Nashville to Florida when a Predators teammate text-messaged him the news on his cell phone.
“I wasn’t expecting it,” Vokoun said, “so I think it would have shocked anyone.”
But, he quickly added, “If I knew I was getting traded, Florida would have been one of my top choices.”
From George Richards at the Miami Herald,
What a difference a year makes.
At last year’s NHL Draft, the Florida Panthers traded franchise goalie Roberto Luongo. On Friday afternoon, hours before the 2007 draft kicked off, the Panthers got another in return.
The Panthers, kings of draft-time blockbuster trades, pulled off another by sending three picks to the Nashville Predators for goalie Tomas Vokoun.
The Nashville Predators have traded goaltender Tomas Vokoun to the Florida Panthers for a first-round pick and two second-round picks.
Vokoun, 30, was 27-12-4 with a 2.40 goals against average and .920 save percentage in 44 games with the Predators last season. He missed time in the middle of the season with a thumb injury, and backup Chris Mason ended up putting up even better numbers (24-11-4, 2.38, .925).
Sources tell TSN that the Florida Panthers and Nathan Horton have agreed to terms on a six-year, $24-million contract.
The 22-year old Horton enjoyed a breakout season last year with 31 goals, 31 assists and a +15 rating while playing in all 82 games.
From Brian Biggane in the Palm Beach Post,
This weekend could go a long way toward determining the Panthers’ future, particularly in goal, where coach and GM Jacques Martin is expected to pursue a handful of options. One that hasn’t gotten on the radar as yet deserves mention.
Anaheim figures to be in excellent position to defend its first Stanley Cup next season, as long as it can retain its key players. But recent rumors have had Scott Niedermayer mulling retirement; if that happens, it would leave a significant hole in the Ducks’ defense.
Anaheim GM Brian Burke has likely asked Niedermayer for a decision by this weekend so he can address that potential need. And he may find a trading partner in Martin.
continued… (*Salei for Bryzgalov is considered…)
from the Sun-Sentinel,
Martin added that, “there’s probably a good possibility we’ll get Belfour back” for next season. Despite discussions with Belfour’s agent, the team has held off on re-signing the 42-year-old, who’s set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
By trading forward Chris Gratton on Thursday, the Panthers look like they intend to make a move soon. Not only did they clear $1.5 million in salary, but they also added a second-round pick to their other two second-rounders, one of which was acquired in the Todd Bertuzzi trade.
The Panthers’ most viable trade targets are San Jose’s Vesa Toskala and Anaheim’s Ilya Bryzgalov. Toskala, 30, was 26-10-1 with a 2.35 goals-against average and .908 save percentage last season. He makes $1.375 million, about four times less than the Sharks’ other starter, Evgeni Nabokov, who was 25-16-4 with a 2.29 GAA and .914 save percentage. Nabokov, 31, has a no-trade clause in his contract.
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