Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: florida panthers
The Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson's main Hockey World column is a good read, discussing the post-firing life of coaches who rebounded in their own ways in Tom Renney and Rick Bowness, but his "Short Shifts" are probably more pertinent:
- St. Louis Blues phenom Vladimir Tarasenko, who just turned 23, has 20 goals on the year, but he might have scored 30 if he had shot more. He’s got 113 shots but that only puts him seventh behind Ovechkin, Karlsson, Seguin, Giroux, Pavelski and Pacioretty. “He could be more selfish,” said an NHL pro scout, marvelling at the Russian youngster’s release. Tarasenko, who may get to the $5-million to $6-million per season range in a new contract this summer, has 16 even-strength goals, second only to Tyler Seguin’s 17. “Twenty goals before Christmas? That’s special,” said teammate Steve Ott.
- If Vincent Lecavalier is playing right wing with Zac Rinaldo and French rookie Pierre-Edouard Bellemare in Philly, this is the end of the line for him, no?
- It should be noted that Roberto Luongo has a much better (2.35) goals-against average and way higher (.925) save percentage than Ryan Miller (.267) and .900 in Vancouver right now, but Miller has 16 wins. His team gives him way more run support than Luongo’s (11 wins) in Florida. Miller’s numbers are five-alarm stuff, but he is in the first year of a three-year, $18-million deal and he’s 34, not, say, 28.
This is probably true of more general managers (and coaches) than not, too:
-New Jersey Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello is almost always around his team, home and away, but he knows exactly what’s going on with his farm team and their prospects. “He gets tapes of the games and the practices,” said former Devils defenceman Mark Fayne.
Matheson continues, and while we're doing short quips and quotes, Yahoo Sports' Nicholas J. Cotsonika penned a superb "Three Periods" column discussing the Blue Jackets' resurgence and Patrik Elias' pluck, but the "Third Period" sticks:
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Tags: bill+daly, bob+hartley, buffalo+sabres, calgary+flames, dallas+eakins, edmonton+oilers, florida+panthers, las+vegas, lou+lamoriello, new+jersey+devils, philadelphia+flyers, roberto+luongo, ryan+miller, st.+louis+blues, toronto+maple+leafs, vincent+lecavalier, vladimir+tarasenko
The Florida Panthers defeated the Washington Capitals 2-1 on Tuesday night, and they did so by taking a 20-round shootout, with Nick Bjugstad scoring the game-winning, 6-shooters-to-5-shooters-scoring goal:
Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman summarized his "mini Hotstove" set of news items shared with Hockey Night in Canada viewers--because Sportsnet geo-blocks videos to Canadian IP's only--on Twitter:
1) SAT night newz...@DamoSpin reports Josh Harding returning in AHL this weekend, will be interesting to see if ends up in MIN or elsewhere
2) Several reports from FLA this week about potential UFAs being available, but hearing there is interest in [Brad] Boyes. Wonder if a fit in PIT.
3) VAN guarded on [Dan] Hamhuis injury (groin?), but hearing he will be re-evaluated in two weeks and he may hold off on surgery.
4) Other teams saying that EDM/PHI being careful, not make a move that hurts them long-term.
Sportsnet's Luke Fox expanded upon Friedman's report that the Florida Panthers might want to send their unrestricted free agents elsewhere:
Damien Cox and Elliotte Friedman had about 70 seconds' worth of time to issue their version of the Satellite Hotstove on Saturday's Hockey Night in Canada broadcast, but they sped-talked their way through the following topics:
1. Cox says questions were surrounding Kaberle-Rangers participation in Kaberle's skate in Toronto today as the New Jersey Devils have had Scott Gomez around for over a month, but he can't travel with them on the road as he's not under contract/can't be paid;
Kaberle is allowed to travel with the team, per an NHL memo, for about 10 days before the team has to sign him or let him go, so the Rangers have to make their decision in another 7 days.
2. Friedman reports that while Taylor Hall remains on the IR with a sprained knee, Hall can at least skate early next week, though his timeline has not changed;
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Tags: alex+ovechkin, chicago+blackhawks, colorado+avalanche, dmitry+kulikov, edmonton+oilers, florida+panthers, luke+schenn, nathan+mackinnon, new+york+rangers, niklas+hjalmarsson, philadelphia+flyers, taylor+hall, tomas+kaberle, washington+capitals
This time the Hockey Night in Canada segment in which Elliotte Friedman and Damien Cox dish news and notes has been geo-blocked to Canada only (Paul sent me an email informing me of the "stuff we already know" in that Red Wings prospect Anthony Mantha is skating with the Grand Rapids Griffins, hopefully making his pro debut in about two weeks, but Daniel Alfredsson is not and may retire), but Friedman did offer some Twitter quips from his exchange, beginning with Ryan McDonagh's separated shoulder yielding interest in Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Andrej Sekera (who is "on the block"):
Ekblad scored his first goal, a game-winning marker in Florida's 2-1 win over Philadelphia on Saturday evening...
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Tags: aaron+ekblad, andrej+sekera, boston+bruins, carolina+hurricanes, claude+julien, daniel+alfredsson, detroit+red+wings, florida+panthers, new+york+rangers, ryan+mcdonagh
As the Hockey News's Adam Proteau pointed out, the Florida Panthers' relatively new owners are well aware of the fact that they're skating uphill in terms of increasing their team's attendance...
But when you see pictures like this from the Panthers's home-opening 1-0 loss to Ottawa, whose announced attendance was 7,311, you think, "Woah"--before remembering that this is kind of normal when the Panthers aren't playing a team that draws the snowbirds in:
Roberto Luongo shrugged it off while speaking to the Miami Herald's George Richards...
The announced crowd of 7,311 was lowest in franchise history, beating the 10,063 from a Halloween game against Carolina in 2007. Capacity at the building, which opened in 1998, is 19,250.
“I don’t pay attention to that stuff when I’m playing, I just focus on my job,’’ goalie Roberto Luongo, who made 22 saves, said afterward. “If we want to get some people in the stands, we need to start winning some games.’’
But the Sun-Sentinel's Harvey Filakov reported that Panthers fans are embarrased about their team's attendance woes, too:
Oilers TV's Tom Gazzola caught the Florida Panthers' #1 overall pick meeting the press after exiting stage right:
Gary Bettman isn't kidding when he shakes the hand of every kid who shows up to the draft and takes the stage in the first round and says, "Welcome to the NHL."
In the 2nd through 7th rounds, picks are made at teams' draft tables, but the Globe and Mail's James Mirtle noted that Calgary Flames prospects will see something that might stick out a weeeeee little bit, as posted by the Score's Thomas Drance:
Welcome to the Flames, where truculence is mandatory and flow is optional.
TSN's posting double doses of Insider Trading videos due to the massive amount of pre-draft trade talk, and I should've known better than to simply post the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch's update on Jason Spezza's situation without looking for a rumor-related column on other Sun newspaper sites (the Ottawa Sun doesn't always post articles on his columnist page in a timely manner).
The Toronto Sun posted Garrioch's wining-and-dining update, and I need to say this out loud: while this summer's class of unrestricted free agents-to-be is particularly thin, I have the sinking feeling that we're going to see more classes like these--where second-line players and second-pair defensemen are the ones who hit the market and make top-player money, serving as the main source of player-value inflation (as yahoo Sports' Nicholas J. Cotsonika suggested).
The wining-and-dining period is great in terms of allowing teams to explain their expectations for players, and vice versa, but the number of offers these players are receiving over the course of consecutive days are driving up their asking prices considerably (of course, there are no numbers being exchanged ), and I really get the feeling that we're going to see Paul Stastny and Matt Niskanen become $7 million players come July 1st.
Anyway, here are Garrioch's updates regarding Stastny...
The free agent "wining and dining period" has been a bit of a pain in the rear to keep up with, but it's at least intriguing to witness player agents just cut out the middleman and tell actual reputable sources, "Oh yeah, we met with team X, team Y and team Z" instead of having to read someone's column about "league sources" (who are almost always agents or hopeful GM's).
But the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch has arrived in Philadelphia, and it wouldn't be the draft or five days till free agency if Garrioch didn't provide us with both an update on Jason Spezza's status...
It's believed as many as five teams -- including St. Louis, Anaheim, Phoenix, Nashville and Florida -- have made calls on the Ottawa captain. The club is mulling over what route to take.
With Spezza requesting a trade, the Senators would like to have a deal in place by Friday, but the club would like to get a No. 1 pick to replace the one Ottawa gave up in the deal for Bobby Ryan with Anaheim last summer.
Murray along with assistant GM's Pierre Dorion and Randy Lee were expected to sit down Wednesday to discuss the different scenarios because this is a deal that has a chance to be a game-changer.
Updated with LeBrun stuff at 6:57 PM:
TSN's Darren Dreger and Bob McKenzie discussed pre-draft trade and free agent discussions in an edition of Insider Trading that lasts for nearly four minutes. TSN usually posts a summation thereof, but if you don't want to wait until 7:30 or 8...
1. McKenzie says that there are 3 teams in the Western Conference (Anaheim, St. Louis +?) and 1 "mystery team" in the Eastern Conference who are talking to the Ottawa Senators about Jason Spezza (who has a no-trade list of 10 teams, incl. Florida, Carolina, Columbus and the Islanders). McKenzie says the Senators want a 1st-round draft pick as part of the compensation package.
2. Dreger says that David Bolland wants "maximum value," and he wants an 8-year deal at $4.9 million to remain with the Leafs. Toronto probably won't give him the term he wants, but Bolland believes he'll be healthy by training camp;
3. Dreger says that the Oilers are looking for a center and a defenseman, and they're willing to trade the 3rd overall pick and/or Sam Gagner in their efforts to improve the team, which may include trading for the Panthers' 1st overall pick;
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Tags: anaheim+ducks, chicago+blackhawks, dale+tallon, dan+boyle, edmonton+oilers, florida+panthers, jason+spezza, joe+thornton, paul+stastny, ryan+kesler, sam+gagner, san+jose+sharks, st.+louis+blues, toronto+maple+leafs, vancouver+canucks
ESPN's Scott Burnside penned a fascinating article about the NHL draft as witnessed through the eyes of general managers and assistant general managers, including Toronto Maple Leafs assistant GM Claude Loiselle, Columbus Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen, Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon, Pittsburgh Penguins assistant GM Tom Fitzgerald and Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill.
Nill suggests that, at some point, the management staff has to relinquish control to the amateur scouting staff and hope for the best:
Nill was at the Detroit draft tables when the Wings repeatedly came up with the proverbial diamonds in the rough: Datsyuk with the 171st pick in 1998; Zetterberg at 210 in 1999; Tomas Holmstrom at 257 in 1994. The Red Wings rarely drafted anywhere near the top of the first round thanks to their winning ways during that time, but the mandate was still the same, Nill said: Find good players who could help the team, no matter where the Wings were drafting.
"Those were special players. But at the time we didn't know that. You don't know it until three or four years down the road," Nill said.
This year's draft will be Nill's second as the GM of the Dallas Stars. It has been a period of evolution for someone who used to be one of the guys who put eyes on hundreds of youngsters at hundreds of games every season. Living in Detroit, he could see junior, college, AHL and NHL games all within a few hours' drive. Not so in Dallas, and his job description precludes those kinds of trips anyway.
Just as longtime Detroit GM Ken Holland had to trust Nill and his scouting staff to identify the right players for the Red Wings, Nill now has to step back and convey that trust to the Stars' staff.
"I had to hand over the reins," Nill said. "If you're going to be a manager, you're going to have to let it go."
Updated 2x at 9:19 PM: Paul did a helluva job of covering the "gist" of the GM's meetings, but here are some items that I noticed on Twitter and feel merit mentioning, starting with Craig Custance's chat with Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman...
In Penguins and Maple Leafs news, from Sportsnet's Chris Johnston...
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Tags: brooks+orpik, bryan+murray, buffalo+sabres, chicago+blackhawks, dale+tallon, dan+bylsma, dave+nonis, david+poile, florida+panthers, gerard+gallant, james+neal, jason+spezza, jim+rutherford, jonathan+toews, marc+crawford, matt+niskanen, nashville+predators, ottawa+senators, patrick+kane, pittsburgh+penguins, ron+wilson, shea+weber, stan+bowman, tim+murray, tom+renney, toronto+maple+leafs
The Florida Sun-Sentinel's Harvey Filakov reports two important items regarding the Florida Panthers' coaching and draft plans.
First, Filakov reports that the Panthers will interview former Penguins coach Dan Bylsma before circling back to a set of coaches who will speak with the Panthers' new ownership regarding their coaching philosophies...
The Panthers coaching search will pick up steam this week as six front-runners for the vacancy, including fired Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma, will meet with the team's brain-trust in New York City, according to a team source.
Other than Bylsma, the other five leading candidates have all met or spoke to General Manager Dale Tallon, but now will also sit down with the team's co-owners, Vinnie Viola and Doug Cifu, as well as CEO/President Rory Babich.
Those repeaters are believed to be Ron Wilson, Canadiens' assistant Gerard Gallant, former Stanley Cup — winning coach Marc Crawford, and Red Wings' assistants Tom Renney and Bill Peters.
While Filakov continues at significant length regarding the coaching search and the Panthers' hopes that they can land one of Brooks Orpik or Matt Niskanen if Bylsma joins the Panthers, this tidbit about the Panthers' draft plans is a wee bit more newsworthy:
Those of us who've worked several jobs know that the term "Under New Management!" can mean very, very bad news for one's job security, especially in sales or service professions, because "new management" tends to want to bring in its "own people." Oftentimes the "new boss" also likes to make a sacrificial firing or three to prove that they "mean business," too, but the story that came out of South Florida today had me shaking my head.
The boss just Tweeted this one out, but I've got a serious case of "What the *#$%@&?!??!-itis," so I'd like to post it. The Miami Herald's George Richards reports that the Panthers' new ownership made some massive cuts today...
The Panthers laid off approximately 30 employees today with most of the damage coming within the team's sales department.
I was told at least one Vice President was fired as well as a long-time employee within the team's public relations staff. Other positions from throughout the organization were closed. I've been told many won't be replaced, at least not anytime soon.
According to someone who spoke with me this afternoon, the team called a meeting in a conference room at the arena and told those employees there they were being let go.
The message: The team is losing money and needs to save some.
And the Sun-Sentinel's Harvey Filkaov notes that the firings were particularly ironic given the team's new ownership's purported financial commitment to putting a winning product on the ice (and his number's at 25...I read a Tweet that suggested 35 people were fired, so the official number of employees "let go" is sketchy):
This is one of those incidents where you watch a player do something stupid and wonder, "What the hell are you thinking?" and then you listen to the announcers and go, "Oh, so that's a player's thought process...Dear Gord, they're lunkheads."
Cue all of the above from this clip of Florida Panthers defenseman Ed Jovanovski going after Columbus Blue Jackets forward Corey Tropp-who was out of his mind in trying to charge Jovanovski's face--with a dim retaliatory cheap shot (he received 5 and a game for his endeavors), then explained in equally dim fashion by the Blue Jackets' announcers, per Pro Hockey Talk's James O'Brien:
Florida actually scored a shorthanded goal whlie killing off the 5-minute major, but they lost 3-1 to Columbus.
Per the Chicago Sun-Times' Mark Lazerus, the Florida Panthers made a move that makes no sense cap-wise given that Capgeek estimates that the Chicago Blackhawks are now $282,628 over the cap...Wait, wait, here we go...
Versteeg's signed through 2015-2016 at a cap hit of $4.4 million per season, but Capgeek pegs his real-world salary for the this and the next two seasons at a total of $14 million real-world dollars, so the Panthers are paying $7 million to make Versteeg go away.
The Panthers and Blackhawks confirm:
Via Puck Daddy's Harrison Mooney, Florida Panthers scrapper Krys Barch lost a tooth during the course of the Panthers' 3-2 shootout loss to Washington, and when he was being "chirped at" by a few unruly Capitals fans, Barch chose to mockingly offer a pulled-out tooth to the gents jabbering at him:
Per NHL.com's Alain Poupart, Tim Thomas seems to be suffering from Dominik Hasek syndrome (goalie returns after semi-retirement, deals with chronic injuries as he gets back into game shape):
Florida Panthers goalie Tim Thomas left Tuesday's game against the Chicago Blackhawks with an apparent lower-body injury and did not return.
Thomas left the ice with 2:59 remaining in the third period and the score tied 2-2. He was replaced by Jacob Markstrom, who was beaten twice in the shootout as the Blackhawks won 3-2.
Thomas went down to make a save and lay on his stomach in obvious discomfort. After the next whistle, he skated to the Florida bench, moved his leg to test it and showed obvious pain, at which time Markstrom replaced him.
Thomas was making his third start after missing four games with a groin injury he sustained during a 2-1 loss against the Philadelphia Flyers on Oct. 8. Florida coach Kevin Dineen said after the game he had no update on Thomas' condition but that the injury Thomas sustained on Tuesday was not the same as the one he suffered in Philadelphia.
Here's NHL.com's video of the injury:
The Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch suggests that the Florida Panthers' new owners plan on shaking up the team, with just about everyone who's not a top prospect up for grabs:
Three weeks into the season — and less than a month since Vincent Viola and Douglas Cifu took over the franchise — sources say the Panthers are prepared to move any of their veteran players.
Forwards Tomas Fleischmann, Kris Versteeg, Scottie Upshall, Shawn Matthias, Brad Boyes and Marcel Goc are among those available along with Tom Gilbert and Dmitry Kulikov, just to name a few.
After making the playoffs two years ago, the Panthers haven’t gotten off to the kind of start anybody expected, especially after signing veteran goalie Tim Thomas.
While Viola and Cifu are willing to commit cash to the organization, the belief is they don’t want to throw good money after bad. The only thing GM Dale Tallon doesn’t want to do is trade any of the club’s good young prospects.
Continued with many more rumors...
As Paul noted, Tim Thomas appeared to tweak his groin or some othe part of his "lower body" in the Florida Panthers' 2-1 loss to Philly on Tuesday, and while I was preparing to have my beard trimmed for the first time in six years, Pro Hockey Talk's Ryan Dadoun notes that Niklas Backstrom got dinged in the Wild's 3-2 loss to Nashville...
[T]he Minnesota Wild are reporting that netminder Niklas Backstrom is done for the night due to a similar problem.
Backstrom lasted just 11:14 minutes against the Nashville Predators and surrendered two goals on five shots. He sustained the injury when Nashville forward Eric Nystrom crashed into him and seemed to accidentally jam Backstrom’s leg against the post.
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Tags: brad+stuart, eric+nystrom, erik+gudbranson, florida+panthers, minnesota+wild, nashville+predators, new+york+rangers, niklas+backstrom, philadelphia+flyers, rick+nash, san+jose+sharks, scott+hartnell, tim+thomas
ESPN's Scott Burnside's relieving Pierre LeBrun in the "rumblings" department today, offering "ramblings" instead. Among them:
Like most people, we’re fascinated to see how the Daniel Alfredsson experiment turns out in Detroit. But the one thing that we still can’t get over is that the NHL decided not to act on Alfredsson’s blunt acknowledgement that his previous contract with the Ottawa Senators was, in fact, a blatant attempt to circumvent the salary cap under the previous collective bargaining agreement. Alfredsson told reporters before training camp that when the four-year deal was signed neither side expected Alfredsson would play in the contract’s final year -- worth only $1 million in real money even though the cap hit was $4.875 million annually. It was exactly that kind of wink, wink, nudge, nudge deal that the league had been warning teams about for years -- Alfredsson made $7 million in each of the first two years of the pact -- and which ultimately cost the New Jersey Devils mightily in their first attempt at a contract for the erstwhile Ilya Kovalchuk. The so-called cheat deals were, in theory, eliminated by new parameters put on contracts in the new collective bargaining agreement and the league’s position is that they are going to look forward instead of back. Good news for the Senators, but maybe in the spirit of CBA détente, the league should forgive the Devils the first round draft pick they must forfeit next spring for having done no worse than what Alfredsson admitted the Senators did in his case.
I'm curious as to why the Flames aren't being dinged for allowing Miikka Kiprusoff to retire early, too, but that's just me...
Via CBS Sports' Brian Stubits, the Florida Panthers seem to have no problem existing as the Island of Misfit Players, having signed Tim Thomas and now Ryan Whitney:
The Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons offers a scattershot slate of mostly Maple Leafs-related observations this morning, and the train of thought in this particular paragraph struck me as most intriguing:
Would love to know why Sergei Makarov, who was a top-10 player in the world from 1979-1989 is still not in the Hockey Hall of Fame....
Ran into Paul Coffey, Darryl Sittler, Marcel Dionne and a few more all-time greats at the Road Hockey To Conquer Cancer event at Ontario Place. If there’s a better charity event than this one, I haven’t seen it ...
Maybe it’s personal, but it makes me just a little uncomfortable to see Sheldon Keefe honoured this coming week for his time coaching in Pembroke. Maybe I’m too old to forget and or maybe I just know too much...
The best supporting actors in [Paul] Ranger’s return to the NHL: David Branch and Dallas Eakins...
If I was Dale Tallon, I would have given Tim Thomas the $3.75 million the Florida Panthers gave him but if I was paying him that much, I wouldn’t have given him a no-trade contract.
TSN's Bob McKenzie, Darren Dreger and Pierre LeBrun discussed David Clarkson's suspension, Paul Bissonnette's appealing of his suspension, the probability of the NHL and NHLPA adopting hybrid icing and even expansion to Seattle in an "Insider Trading" segment, but pre-season hockey games aren't exactly covered with the intense scrutiny of regular-season games, so the most intriguing part of their segment involves, well, assessing which players have played well and which ones have played poorly during the part of the season that theoretically doesn't count:
From the Miami Herald’s George Richards:
With the type of season the Florida Panthers went through last year, coach Pete DeBoer said one would have to expect plenty of changes.
Since finishing 14th in the Eastern Conference and last in the Southeast Division for the first time in franchise history, the Panthers brought in a general manager not afraid to shake things up.
You want change? Dale Tallon is ready to bring it.
According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie’s tweet, the rumored deal of the Panthers’ Nathan Horton to the Bruins is a “done deal”.
UPDATE: Per Bob, the deal is Horton and Gregory Campbell for Dennis Wideman, 15th overall pick and another draft pick.
From NESN.com’s James Murphy:
Well, it appears Chiarelli could already have a trade in place that would bring a current NHLer to Boston.
While the parameters of the trade are unclear at this point, a very reliable source told NESN.com on Friday that the Bruins are closing in on a trade with the Florida Panthers that would see them acquire winger Nathan Horton, who was drafted third overall by the Panthers in 2003, but in six NHL seasons, has cracked the 30-goal plateau only once and—in the eyes of fans and media—failed to reach his potential and use his 6-foot-2, 229-pound frame properly.
There were no specifics on what else may come to Boston in the deal or what the return would be to Florida, but it has been well documented that Chiarelli would love to move into the top 5-7 picks overall to get one of the top defensive prospects available, so this could be a package deal involving roster players and picks.
Earlier today, Denis Potvin was on “Hockey This Morning” (NHL Home Ice XM 204) describing the scene last night in Buffalo regarding the horrific injury to Richard Zednik. Denis was doing color for FSN Florida last night.
Our thanks to Hockey This Morning on NHL Home Ice XM 204 for the providing the audio for KK readers.
Note: details of last night’s events were previously posted here on KK (including video).
Update 2:04pm ET: An update from the Panthers states that Zednik is still in stable condition, but remains in the intensive care unit.
Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, Florida Panthers, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: buffalo+sabres, denis+potvin, florida+panthers, media, neck+injury, nhl+today, olli+jokinen, richard+zednik, xm+radio
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.”
from On Frozen Pond,
JM got testy today when asked about the reported division in the room, telling us to name our sources. That, of course, is not going to happen. And it can’t happen. But none of this is new. JM hasn’t been a good communicator and I don’t think he thinks he needs to be.
JM is an old-school guy in the thought he feels these guys should be able to motivate themselves from within, that they make enough money they should play with pride and be up for every game. Yet this is the real world. That always isn’t the case.
Has Jacques lost the room? I don’t think he has.
from the Palm Beach Post,
Majority owner Alan Cohen denies it, but a well-placed NHL source said Tuesday that general manager and coach Jacques Martin and captain Olli Jokinen must get the Panthers to the playoffs this season or one or both are likely to be gone.
“Jokinen has got to pick up his productivity and leadership and get this team to the playoffs,” said the source, who deals with the Panthers on a regular basis. “And with an excellent draft next year, Jacques needs a playoff berth after giving Nashville his first- and second-round picks in the (Tomas) Vokoun trade.” Cohen was quick to issue denials when Jokinen trade rumors surfaced last weekend, insisting he would never trade the ninth-year center, and Tuesday he was just as quick to underscore his faith in Martin.
from George Richards at On Frozen Pond,
...That said, there is word few people on this team is real happy with how things are going and there has been word of a possible revolt. I’m not kidding about this.
My take: If JM is shopping Olli, not good. He’s the captain and face of this franchise—for better or worse. If this is true, JM needs to come out and say so. I haven’t had a chance to talk to him about it really, but I will in the near future. Probably tonight. Word of Olli being shopped has leaked to the players and it is not, NOT, sitting well in the room.
I don’t think it’s happening….
added 10:28pm, more from George Richards,
Spoke to JM, Olli and Alan Cohen. They say absolutely no truth to the rumors that Olli has been shopped.
from the Palm Beach-Post,
It’s not like these guys are a bunch of losers. Jokinen and linemate Ville Peltonen won silver medals with Finland at the 2006 Olympics. Mike Van Ryn won a national championship at the University of Michigan. Ruslan Salei, Radek Dvorak and Steve Montador have all come within one win of a Stanley Cup. Nathan Horton won gold with Canada in the World Under-18 championships.
But collectively, there’s some mental bridge that has been impossible to cross. Not that there’s any shortage of thoughts on the subject.
“We just have to have the mental preparation and focus, even if it needs to be 30 seconds at a time,” Peltonen said. “Create that as a habit, do it as well as you can every time out there, and the result will come.”
from the Sun-Sentinel,
Standing in the visitors’ dressing room inside RBC Center, goalie Tomas Vokoun pointed out all of this after Florida’s 4-2 loss at Carolina, and then said he couldn’t understand why the Panthers didn’t work hard.
“We’re not consistently doing that enough to be successful on an every-night basis,” Vokoun said. “We are whatever we feel like that day, and that’s just not winning hockey. If you want to be in the playoffs, you have to be a whole lot better than that.
“No team is going to give you an easy game and say, ‘We’ll just let you win tonight.’ Especially with our team, we need everybody pulling their weight. That’s the bottom line for us to win. If that’s not happening, we can’t blame anyone but ourselves. We’re on the ice.”
from George Richards at On Frozen Pond,
At first, I didn’t think much of seeing Joe talk to the team during the second intermission. Especially when Zednik was called for an early penalty giving the Canes a chance to break the game open. But then things started to go Florida’s way, and lo and behold, the Cats took advantage. Haven’t seen much of that.
A lot of the guys were praising Joe’s speech, the captain of the team saying it really inspired them.
Now, why would Joe’s voice hold more credence than that of coach/GM Jacques Martin? Or Olli himself?
From Sports Network via KETV,
The Florida Panthers signed defenseman Jassen Cullimore on a one year deal Friday and assigned him to their AHL affiliate in Rochester on a two week conditioning stint.
The 34-year-old Cullimore has played in 643 career games with Vancouver (1994-97), Montreal (1997-98), Tampa Bay (1998-2004) and Chicago (2005-06), registering 21 goals and 59 assists.
Last season, the 6-foot-5, 245-pound defenseman played in 65 games with the Blackhawks scoring one goal with six assists.
From Patrick Dorsey at the Miami Herald,
Any remaining doubters of his town’s passion might check [Stefan] Meyer’s calls-received log. After receiving word at practice that he had been called up [to the Florida Panthers], Meyer got excited.
Then, when the town itself got word, Fox Valley got excited. ‘‘My phone just about blew up [Monday],’’ Meyer said. ``It was smoking from my pocket.’‘
Meyer expects similar thrills back home Wednesday, although the locals again might need to hike to Medicine Hat for a TV that carries the game. Meanwhile, more than 2,600 miles away, Meyer expects to feel the same when he first touches NHL regular-season ice.
‘‘A lot of things will flash before my eyes—just growing up as a kid and skating and stuff like that,’’ Meyer said. ``It seems so far away. But I’m here right now, and I can hardly talk I’m so excited.’‘
From George Richards at On Frozen Pond,
Word out of One Panther Parkway is that all is well with the young Mr. Booth, and his scheduled MRI is now not needed.
According to spokesman Justin Copertino, Booth flew home with the team last night and met with team trainer Curtis Bell today. All seems fine. David is hurting a bit, understandable, and is wearing a precautionary neck brace.
Booth will not practice Monday at the Ice (10:30 a.m., open to public) and isn’t expected back until later in the week. So it’s good news: no permanent damage, just some soreness. “Kind of like he was in a car wreck,’’ Copertino said. Yep, that’s about what it looked like last night.
From The Sports Network,
Florida Panthers left wing David Booth was removed from the ice on a stretcher during the second period of a game against the Ottawa Senators Saturday night.
Booth was in the offensive left corner when he was checked from behind by Ottawa defenseman Anton Volchenkov with 15:12 left in the period. Booth’s head went flush into the boards and he remained on his back until medical personnel assisted him to the stretcher.
Volchenkov was given a five-minute major for boarding and a game misconduct.
Update 10:45pm ET - George Richards at On Frozen Pond
Booth has been taken to the Ottawa Civic Hospital, said to be alert and moving around. The Panthers are optimistic doctors at the hospital will release him and he’ll be able to make the charter flight home. [...]
The hit by Volchenkov may have been in retaliation for a similar hit just moments earlier. There, Florida defenseman Branislav Mezei sent Nick Foligno into the boards. Foligno had to be helped off the ice…
from Pierre LeBrun of the CP via Yahoo,
Cory Murphy muttered two words.
“Lyndon Slewidge,” said the Florida Panthers defenceman.
Murphy’s long hockey odyssey, which began two minutes from where Scotiabank Place was built and included six years in Europe, finally comes full circle Saturday night when the Ottawa native stands for the national anthem before a game against the Senators - performed as usual by the Ontario Provincial Police constable Lyndon Slewidge.
Michael Farber at Sports Illustrated,
When asked recently during a radio interview if the Roberto Luongo trade to Vancouver prior to the 2006-07 season was the worst in the history of the sport, Florida Panthers coach and general manager Jacques Martin answered “True.”
Maybe this is a stretch. After all, the Montreal Canadiens handed Colorado what amounted to three Stanley Cups when they traded goalie Patrick Roy to the Avalanche in December 1995.
continued… *a look at a few other “worst ever” trades around the NHL, plus a closer look at what’s happened in Florida
from the Palm Beach Post,
Former Panthers goaltender John Vanbiesbrouck and Terry Crisp, a former player and coach who’s now the Predators’ TV analyst, have noticed a slip in the enormous confidence that helped make Vokoun one of the league’s top 10 goalies.
“He’s had a lot of things happen the last couple years: the blood disorder, the thumb injury,” said Vanbiesbrouck, now a national broadcaster who worked Tuesday night’s Toronto-Carolina game for Versus. “Talking to him after all that, I thought everything was fine. Then I started focusing on him and saw he was a lot further back in the net than he had been.
“Before, he had been personified as a real rock - a guy who would challenge shooters and was hard to score on in the third period. Now he gives up four goals (to the Rangers) in the third his first game out.”
from Dan LeBatard of the Miami Herald,
Q | Philosophy to live by?
A | ``Fair and simple. Do right.’‘
Q | Most moved you’ve ever been by hockey?
A | ``Winning the gold medal in 2002 in Olympics with Canada. For 50 years, Canada hadn’t won. Coaching the best players in the game at the top of the sport and winning for your country. I didn’t cry, but it was very touching.’‘
From Steve Gorten at the Sun-Sentinel,
Jacques Martin has never publicly said, and probably never will, that trading Roberto Luongo was a mistake, despite how it shook the Panthers’ organization.
Martin ultimately gave his approval of the trade to then-General Manager Mike Keenan not because he wanted to — Luongo was the reason Martin chose to coach the Panthers instead of the Coyotes — but because he felt he had no other choice after contract negotiations with the star goalie grew too contentious.
So Martin, the coach, made do with Alex Auld and Ed Belfour in goal. In June, Martin, the general manager, made a major move to stabilize that position and this franchise: He traded three draft picks to the Nashville Predators for goalie Tomas Vokoun.
From George Richards at the Miami Herald,
Now that the Florida Panthers’ roster is complete, it’s time for them to grow a little closer.
To facilitate this, the team will spend the next three days training at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. While the team will do plenty of work at the Army hockey rink, what coach and general manager Jacques Martin hopes is the most beneficial is the stuff done off the ice.
From George Richards at the Miami Herald,
Martin has solidified his standing as the leader of the franchise after being handed the keys last summer when Mike Keenan was fired.
Serving as coach and general manager, Martin has complete say over every aspect of Florida’s hockey operations.
Some might say Martin doesn’t deserve such power, but it’s hard to argue with what he has done so far with the Panthers.
From the CP via Yahoo! Sports,
A trio of Eastern Conference teams feel they’ve made themselves better this off-season by acquiring goalies who couldn’t hold on to No. 1 jobs in the West.
Trades brought Tomas Vokoun to Florida, Manny Fernandez to Boston and Vesa Toskala to Toronto this summer and every one of those teams is hoping those guys can carry them to the playoffs.
Expectations might be a little high.
All three have shown some shaky form during the pre-season, although it would be foolish to put too much stock in the exhibition play.
Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Florida Panthers, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: boston+bruins, florida+panthers, goalies, manny+fernandez, tomas+vokoun, toronto+maple+leafs, vesa+toskala
from the Sun-Sentinel,
Jokinen was just 24 when then-coach Mike Keenan made him the Panthers’ captain in 2003. Some wondered whether the easygoing center from Finland was equipped to be a leader. Some still do. Teammates and former teammates say he’s a good one.
But there’s also a perception that he’s a poor — or perhaps incapable — captain. One of the most beloved players in franchise history, retired goalie John Vanbiesbrouck, criticized Jokinen’s leadership abilities on a radio show in July.
“He doesn’t know how to bring people together,” said Vanbiesbrouck, who insinuated Jokinen’s leadership suffers when he tries to be more vocal.
from the Miami Herald,
Olli Jokinen might have served as captain of the Florida Panthers the past three seasons, but today, it appears he truly gets what the ‘‘C’’ on his jersey represents.
‘‘He’s our leader and the guy everyone looks up to,’’ Nathan Horton said. ``He’s our guy. He leads the way and we follow.’‘
‘‘This is Olli’s team,’’ Mike Van Ryn said.
continued...And someone please tell my why Jokinen’s name kept popping up in outlandish trade talk this summer!