Kukla's Korner Hockey
from George Richards at On Frozen Pond,
I think Martin can afford to gamble and make a few moves to shake things up right now if only because the Southeast Division isn’t getting any better.
The five teams within the division stink. The winner gets the third seed in the playoffs, and a fate very much like the Thrashers last year. Only the Panthers need the playoff money, so two home losses—and the gates they’ll bring—is better than none….
This ship is sinking and there aren’t enough guys bailing water. The ones that are doing the heavy lifting are getting ticked watching others not do anything. It’s time to make some changes before Washington and Tampa overtakes this bunch. I know the fans understand, but do the players here understand the opportunity these Panthers are squandering?
via the Chicago Blackhawks,
Blackhawks General Manager Dale Tallon announced today that the Blackhawks have obtained a late round draft choice in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft from the Florida Panthers in exchange for defenseman Magnus Johansson.
Johansson, 34, has played in 18 games for the Blackhawks this season, picking up four assists and four penalty minutes. Johansson was originally acquired by the Blackhawks when he was signed as a free agent on June 4, 2007
from the AP via the Florida Times-Union,
A loss Tuesday at home against Pittsburgh was the Panthers’ fifth in sixth games. They’ve lost four in a row at home. They look - and sound - like a team headed in the wrong direction.
“I don’t think there’s any spark around here right now,” said captain Olli Jokinen, the Panthers’ all-time scoring leader. “I’m running out of answers. Maybe you should go ask somebody you haven’t asked yet, because I don’t know what to say, seriously. It’s embarrassing.”
A few Panthers had some fun today at practice…
from On Frozen Pond,
In net: Jozef Stumpel. On offense: Tomas Vokoun.
While Vokoun and Stumpel traded equipment and assignments, Rostislav Olesz kept feeding the puck and trying to get shots past Stumpel. Vokoun also tried defending Olesz on a breakaway, one time flipping on Olesz’s first move. Fun stuff after a pretty hard practice.
Watch the video…
via On Frozen Pond,
Rumors have it that Montreal is shopping Michael Ryder, and I would think the Panthers have an interest with Ville Peltonen out a substantial—six/eight weeks—bit of time with his broken foot. Ryder has scored 30 goals the past two seasons, but is struggling so much this season he’s been a healthy scratch. Ryder has three goals and seven assists this season.
He hasn’t scored a goal since Nov. 16 at Buffalo and hasn’t so much as recorded a point since getting two helpers against Boston on Nov. 17. Change of scenery—and some sunshine—might be what Ryder needs.
from the Miami Herald,
‘‘We played so flat, there was no energy or work ethic whatsoever,’’ Jokinen said moments after the players finished a postgame meeting. ``When the game was 4-2, I think some of our guys stopped playing. That shouldn’t happen in this league. That’s a first-place team, but it’s not a lot to ask to work your back off every single shift. Play hard. I didn’t see that tonight, and that’s the scary part.’‘
Said Vokoun: ``If you don’t want to play in games like this, you’re in the wrong business. . . . If [players quit], we have a big problem here.’‘
more on the loss to the Wings…
from the Calgary Sun,
“There was a lot of scrutiny in terms of budgets and financial perameters that may or may not be there (now). I think the budget went up 10-million bucks the year I was fired as a manager,” said Keenan, who planned on building around centre Olli Jokinen and star goaltender Roberto Luongo but dealt the latter when financial negotiations failed.
“Hopefully they’re confident enough that the marketplace will turn around and support the budget they’re working ... At the time, coming out of the lockout, it was tough for an ownership group because they didn’t get the fanbase they had anticipated. I respect what they were doing but it’s difficult in those circumstances to put a team on the ice that maybe you’d like.”
I think The Sailor took a wrong turn with his boat.
from the Sun-Sentinel,
While his teammates left for Washington on Tuesday, Panthers defenseman Mike Van Ryn went to receive a cortisone injection in his right wrist.
It’s likely the last resort for Van Ryn before he’s forced to have surgery on that wrist for the third time in a year and a half — surgery that would end the 28-year-old’s season and possibly his seven-year NHL career.
from the Sun-Sentinel,
At any time inside both the Panthers’ and Rangers’ dressing rooms this season, you can hear Czech spoken.
Both rosters have six players from the former Czechoslovakia, now split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia….
“It’s not something I can’t be without, but it definitely helps, no question,” Vokoun said. “You’re always close to people who grew up the same way and have gone through the same things. It’s very good for family life.”
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