Kukla's Korner Hockey
from On Frozen Pond,
The Panthers locked up another of their young stars Thursday, signing center Stephen Weiss to a six-year deal.
Terms were not immediately available, although winger Nathan Horton recently received $24 million over his six-year contract. Horton’s six-year contract was the longest awarded in franchise history.
from Tripp Mickle at Sports Business Journal (paid sub.),
Some teams struggle to get their players to meet sponsors at all, but this week Florida Panthers captain and center Olli Jokinen not only will meet with team sponsors, he’ll invite them into his home.
Jokinen and his wife, Katerina, will host close to 60 executives from the Panthers’ top corporate partners on Saturday at their Heron Bay home in Parkland, Fla. Ten to 12 other Panthers players are expected to attend, as well.
“We want to pull these partners in and have them feel like part of our family,” said Panthers Chief Operating Officer Michael Yormark. “What better way to do that than to invite them into our captain’s home?”
More than 95 percent of those getting invitations committed to attend, the club says.
On a side note… A make-up a rumor guy has mentioned Jokinen’s name in trade talk, which just doesn’t make sense now, does it?
from the Sun-Sentinel,
The 1995-96 Panthers team was back on the ice Saturday, and so were the rats that symbolized that group and their magical run to the Stanley Cup Finals.
The announced crowd of 11,817 fans, many of whom waited beforehand in long lines that snaked through the arena’s concourse for autographs and pictures with the players, tossed the rodents with glee onto the ice — the first time they’ve been able to at a game since the league banned it after the 1995-96 season.
“I was amazed at the amount of people in the building and the excitement,” retired winger Dave Lowry said. “It was overwhelming.
At the event, the Panthers also displayed their new uniforms (video).
from Inside The Panthers,
News that Nathan Horton’s contract was used as a comparable by the Buffalo Sabres in working up a contract proposal for center Derek Roy borders on the amazing. Ultimately, Roy was given the same six-year, $24 million package Horton got.
Let’s see who turns out to have the better career. The betting here is it’s Horton.
via Russo’s Rants,
I know this doesn’t affect those in Minnesota, but Florida Panthers owner Alan Cohen asked me to put this on my blog regarding the Hockeybuzz.com report that he’s meeting today with a group looking to purchase the Panthers.
“I am in the front row at Saratoga today watching the races and I am not selling the Panthers now or ever.”
Geez Dwayne, what kind of spin will you put on this one?
from Spector at Fox Sports,
What re-ignited them was a report by TSN on July 1 suggesting the Calgary Flames might consider offering up Alex Tanguay to the Panthers for Jokinen.
Panthers GM Jacques Martin (who replaced Mike Keenan last year) and Flames GM Darryl Sutter both denied the report. Still, it was enough to spark internet chatter claiming Jokinen was available, based on the Panthers supposed desire to dump his salary in hopes of landing good young players for their “rebuilding project”.
But the Panthers are no longer rebuilding. This is a team that has made continual improvement since the 2001-02 season, and came oh-so-close to making the 2007 Stanley Cup playoffs. Indeed, had former GM Keenan not traded away Luongo to Vancouver in one of the worst deals in NHL history (a move that likely led to Keenan’s firing), the Panthers probably would’ve made the postseason.
from George Richards at the Miami Herald,
‘‘It’s a big loss for Nashville and a big loss for these kids and their families,’’ said Jennifer Miller, a director at the Vanderbilt hospital. ‘When they found out about the trade, it was like, `Are you serious?’ He loves these kids and the kids looked up to him so much. He had such a big heart.
``To them, he could do no wrong. He could walk on water to these kids here.’‘
It’s expected Vokoun—a father of two children—will continue his work once he takes up residence in South Florida. It’s unfortunate, but pain and suffering isn’t restricted to one community.
‘‘Life is not fair,’’ Vokoun said. ``You see kids who are sick, and they did nothing to deserve that. They are just innocent kids with their whole lives in front of them. Yet they’re sick. It’s not fair, that’s for sure.’‘
from the Palm Beach Post,
Mike Keenan offers his harshest criticism of the Panthers since his dismissal 10 months ago in a wide-ranging interview that serves as the cover story for the July issue of The Hockey News.
“We never made the playoffs and they still haven’t because, quite frankly, the team isn’t good enough,” he said. “Does that mean anything? No, it means you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time, but I understood those risks.
“Florida had five GMs and five coaches. You talk about my methodology and my coaching, but whatever it was, those four other guys don’t have the methodology then, either. The reality is the team isn’t good enough.”
From On Frozen Pond,
At least Radek Dvorak won’t have to go far for the Panthers’ 1996 reunion.
Sunday, the Panthers signed the former Panther to a two-year deal. Terms coming as soon as Dvorak’s agent tells TSN what they were.
Dvorak, 30, played with the Panthers from 1995-99.
*found with thanks to Spector
From George Richards at On Frozen Pond,
The Panthers made two moves this afternoon, signing center Brett McLean from Colorado to a three-year deal, and also signing former Cap Richard Zednick to a two-year contract.
continued… *more to come
Update 2:31pm EDT:
The Florida Panthers have dipped into the free agent market, signing winger Richard Zednik to a two-year deal ($1.5 million and $1.75 million), and forward Brett McLean to three-year deal worth $1.7 million per year.
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