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Category: Florida-Panthers

Spencer Knight Signs His ELC

SUNRISE, Fla. - Florida Panthers General Manager Bill Zito announced today that the club has agreed to terms with goaltender Spencer Knight on a three-year, entry-level contract.

"We are thrilled to have agreed to terms on a contract with Spencer," said Zito. "He is an immensely talented and dynamic young goaltender who has been an elite player at every level that he has played. From the collegiate ranks to international tournaments, Spencer has consistently elevated his game, a testament to his work ethic, compete and character. We are excited for him to take the next step in his career with the Panthers and look forward to his future with our club."

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Video- Aaron Ekblad Injury

Watch the injury below.

added 7:42pm, longer version of the injury is belo...

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Video- Nikita Zadorov With The Hit Of The Night

Heads up Patric Hornqvist.

 

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The Florida Panthers Are “A Really Good Team”

from David Hyde of the Sun-Sentinel,

As they left the ice Saturday afternoon — another win for their season, more heroics for Aleksander Barkov — the Florida Panthers reached a new and exotic destination.

First place.

Not just first place in their division. Not just first place in their conference.

First place in all hockey.

It didn’t matter if it lasted only a few hours as Tampa Bay won later Saturday and leapt two points ahead. Let’s not get bogged down in details. Let’s realize the Panthers had never been in first place this deep in a season. Listen to the voice of a changed team that’s begun resurrecting this wrecked franchise.

“We competed, we were on the right side of the puck, won all the 50-50 [battles] — if you do that over and over, it shows in the standings,’' veteran Patric Hornqvist said after the Panthers’ 2-0 win against Nashville. “You know what? We’re a really good team.”

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The Florida Panthers Continue To Impress

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

The Panthers woke up Tuesday in first place overall, for the first time since Dec. 28, 1996. The span of 24-plus years (8,844 days, to be exact) between stints atop the NHL, after a minimum of three games, is the longest in league history. Only Detroit, playing as the Motown Dead Wings from 1974-95, went 20 years or more without reaching No. 1 on the charts.

Entering the weekend, Florida hadn’t lost two in a row all season. Captain Aleksander Barkov is a Hart Trophy candidate. Aaron Ekblad is finally living up to his draft billing. Tampa Bay castoff Carter Verhaeghe and backup netminder Chris Driedger have been pleasant surprises.

Vatrano, meanwhile, was one one of six Panthers to hit the 10-goal mark by the midway point of the season. Both of his linemates — rookie Owen Tippett, 22, and Eetu Luostarinen, 22 — were born after the Year of the Rat, but this isn’t a rookie party. Keith Yandle, 34, still has offensive game. Barkov, Ekblad, and Jonathan Huberdeau are each about halfway to 1,000 career games. Hard-to-play-against factor comes from veterans Patric Hornqvist (scoring at a 67-point pace and annoying opponents nightly), Radko Gudas, and Noel Acciari.

If the club’s newly formed department of goaltending excellence, headed by Francois Allaire and Roberto Luongo, can get something out of Sergei Bobrovsky, so much the better. He’s currently a league-average netminder making $10 million. Then again, Bobrovsky might wind up being someone else’s issue. The Panthers have one of the brightest prospects around in Boston College’s Spencer Knight.

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The Florida Panthers Continue To Play Well In Win Over The Tampa Bay Lightning

from Erik Erlendsson at NBC Miami,

Jonathan Huberdeau scored and led a balanced attack that included goals from six players, and the Florida Panthers gained on Central Division-leading Tampa Bay with a 6-4 victory over the Lightning on Monday night.

Florida won two of the three games between the teams in a five-day span and pulled within a point of the Lightning in the standings.

Aleksander Barkov, Anton Stralman, Owen Tipppett, Anthony Duclair and Frank Vatrano also scored for Florida, which recorded its first win in Tampa Bay since March 26. 2016, a span of eight games....

“They didn’t do anything, really, to us,’’ Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said. “It was all self-inflicted. Like the first one, self-inflicted. The second one, self-inflicted. We had full control of the puck and we just hand it over to them. The third and fourth one, we turned it over at the blue line, self-inflicted. Terrible.’’

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Game highlights are below.

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The Florida Panthers Met The Challenge

from Jordan McPherson of the Miami Herald,

The Florida Panthers were optimistic yet cautious. They had gotten off to one of the best starts in franchise history and had been steady throughout the first 10 games of the shortened 2021 season while primarily facing teams at the bottom half of the Central Division.

But the defending Stanley Cup champions were coming to town. Thursday, their first of three games in five days against the Tampa Bay Lightning, would serve as the litmus test for where this Panthers team really stands.

“They are doing everything right,” Panthers coach Joel Quenneville said of the Lightning leading into the game, “and we have to do more than everything right.”

On Thursday, the Panthers did more than everything right.

The offense was humming and got past one of the best goaltenders in the league. The defense stymied a high-potent offense. Sergei Bobrovsky followed up his best performance of the season with another solid game in net.

The end result at the BB&T Center: Panthers 5, Lightning 2.

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Game highlights are below.

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Anthony Duclair Signs With Florida

SUNRISE, Fla. - Florida Panthers General Manager Bill Zito announced today that the club has agreed to terms with forward Anthony Duclair on a one-year contract.

"Anthony is a dynamic and highly skilled player who is capable of being a dependable offensive contributor for our team" said Zito. "He possesses tremendous speed and goal scoring ability and earned an opportunity to be named an NHL All-Star last season. We're excited to welcome Anthony and look forward to what he can add to our team."

Duclair, 25, appeared in 66 games with the Ottawa Senators in 2019-20, producing 40 points (23-17-40). The 5-foot-11, 198-pound native of Pointe-Claire, Quebec, posted career-highs in goals (23), shorthanded goals (2) and shots on goal (184) and played in the 2020 National Hockey League All-Star Game. Duclair ranked second on the Senators in goals (23), third in even-strength goals (16) and tied for first in power-play goals (5).

Reports are $1.7M

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Weekly Hockey Notes

from Matt Porter of the Boston Globe,

Brett Peterson busted a barrier this past week when he became an assistant general manager with the Florida Panthers.

Peterson, who lives in Newton, is a 39-year-old former player agent who won a national title (2001) as a defenseman at Boston College. He also happens to be Black. If you don’t think that’s important, you aren’t seeing the bigger picture.

”It’s not like we always haven’t had diverse players,” said former Bruins winger Anson Carter, who is also Black. “It might not be at the numbers in other sports. They do exist. It’s great they’ve had those opportunities.

“But the problem I’ve always had with hockey: The sport would always recycle the same people over and over and over again. Maybe your first opportunity as a head coach, you learn from your mistakes and it makes you a better coach the second time around. When you see a guy getting hired and fired three, four, five times, there’s a reason. Why bring them back?

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Progress Being Made In The NHL

from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,

The relationship between Bill Zito and Brett Peterson goes back to when the two met for a cup of coffee in Chicago more than a decade ago. Zito was working as an agent for Acme Sports at the time and was running a summer camp for clients in the area. Zito clients Patrick and Ben Eaves asked Zito if Peterson, a defenseman who was bouncing around the minors at the time, could take part in the camp. The Eaves brothers then urged Zito to meet with Peterson to gauge his interest in becoming an agent.

“We’re having a coffee and all of a sudden he’s like, ‘Yeah, I was wondering if you’d represent me,’ ” Zito recalled. “And I’m thinking, “Aw, man, that’s all I need, another East Coast League guy.’ What am I going to say? No?”

Peterson went on to play one more unspectacular season in 2008-09, splitting his time among the American and International Leagues and the ECHL, but the bond he and Zito formed stuck. Zito went on to hire Peterson to work with him at the agency and then plucked him out of the agent ranks to be one of his two assistant GMs with the Florida Panthers. And in doing so, he made Peterson the first Black assistant GM in NHL history. Just days after Kim Ng became the first woman in history to be named GM of a Major League Baseball team, the front offices in sports leagues are opening up. In the next couple of days, it’s expected that former NHLer Joel Ward will be named an assistant coach with the Henderson Silver Knights of the AHL, the primary affiliate of the Vegas Golden Knights.

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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