Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
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.”
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