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Bob - Gorten seems to be MIA, as we haven't seen any blog posts from him in quite a while. Zherdev is not worth the money he is asking for. The Rangers don't even want to pay him the $3.9 million he was awarded in arbitration, let alone the $4.75 million he asked for. As for him scoring 20+ goals with little or no effort, that is exactly the problem - he often gives little or no effort, especially when called upon to play two-way hockey. That's why Columbus tired of him and now the Rangers too. A selfish, self-absorbed and lazy player is the last thing a talent-challenged team like the Panthers needs. If you think watching Horton's proclivity for lazy play over the past few seasons was maddening, Zherdev takes that to a whole new level. Besides, the Panthers won't pay someone like him nearly $4 million, and that is probably what it would take to get him to stay and not go over to the KHL.
Great story on the potential sale of the Panthers over at As to the question of Zherdev, it would be a huge mistake to pay this guy anywhere near what he was awarded in arbitration - $3.9 million. It's been reported that unless he gets something on that level or even higher (as he asked for $4.75 million in the arbitration hearing), he will head off to Russia and play in the KHL. The well deserved knock on Zherdev is that he's not a team guy, doesn't show up every night, is lazy defensively and isn't one to buy into a coach's system. Not exactly a recipe for success, especially on a team like the Panthers who need to rely on everyone buying into DeBoer's system.
Truth is indeed stranger than fiction! Saw an story at the Miami Herald site that says: " So what's this about the Panthers allowing fans to sit in the radio booth with Randy Moller this season? Fans who pay $2,500 will get to sit with Moller, appear on air for one minute during an intermission, give Moller a favorite movie line or catch phrase to use on broadcasts (790 listeners can do this for free); get four lower-bowl tickets, a jersey, compact disc of the broadcast, VIP parking, a pre-game dinner and autographs from a favorite Panthers player. But no, they will not be allowed to interject commentary." ________________________ Amazing. They actually figured out a way to make money from firing Potvin - don't hire a new person and charge fans a crazy fee just to sit next to Moller in the booth keep their mouths shut! Wouldn't it have been more interesting to have a fan promotion where they give that opportunity away to some sort of fan contest winnner - and do on a regular basis? Clearly not too interesting for likes of Mikey Yormack!
Hey George - what's the latest on the Evgeny Dadonov situation? It's being reported on various blogs that his Russian (KHL) club is suing the Panthers for his return or for compensation. Also curious if this will have any effect on them getting Kulikov signed to a contract. Dadonov is considered to be a really good prospect who has been largely under the radar. Can you get an update on the Panthers Russian kids?
Toggle Commented Jul 24, 2009 on Summer Daze at On Frozen Pond
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"we tried to argue that ovechkin was draft eligible by age due to leap years and attempted to draft him a year early....." Nothing more than yet another marketing/PR ploy. Everyone and their mother knew it was a BS argument. The Panthers never had a chance of winning it. And it still doesn't have anything to do with Tanner Glass who is way back in the 9th round. If Ovechkin was going to be eligible he was going to be the #1 pick, as he was already on every team's radar.
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Why can't the Panthers beat out the likes of Tampa or Phoenix? Commitment – a commitment to winning – a commitment to becoming an elite team with a real shot at the Cup. That is what it is all about. The Panthers still don’t exhibit that commitment. Chicago fires Talon, promotes Stan Bowman (Scotty’s son) and the first words out of his mouth are: “We will not rest until we reach our goal of winning the Stanley Cup.” That is the very definition of such commitment. The Panthers don’t have it. They’re only committed to developing new marketing schemes. Players know it and so do their agents. The culture of this organization is not about a commitment to winning.
Ovechkin with the Tanner Glass pick? How is that possible? Glass was a 9th round pick in 2003 (265th overall pick) and Ovechkin was the 1st pick in the 2004 draft. In the 2003 draft the Panthers took Horton 3rd after trading spots with Pittsburgh, so the best you can say is that they should have taken Staal (and not traded spots with the Pens). In the 2004 draft the Panthers picked 7th (and took Olesz) long after the Caps picked Ovechkin and the Pens took Malkin. Frankly, after Ovechkin and Malkin the 2004 first round wasn't all that special. So I don't see any possible connection between Tanner Glass and Alex Ovechkin.
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Sexton to be the GM? No surprise. He's available at a reasonable price (or should we say cheap price), he's proven that he knows how to take orders from Cohen and Yormack, he's on-board with DeBoer having total job security, he understands that the organization plans to spend little to no money on higher end free agents, and he did do a fairly good job with the draft. Actually, those first three points are about all the job qualification necessary for the Panthers' GM position. Also quite noticable that there has been no Tanguay signing yet. Either Tanguay simply doesn't plan to rush into anything or there is a major snag in the Panthers getting him to sign with them.
Bo said: "Trading Horton would be a huge mistake. His goals were down because Martin couldn't or wouldn't get a center and that put Horton at center to compensate for Martin not doing the GM job. On wing Horton gets 30 plus goals. Horton is a keeper." But the problem, Bo, is that they still don't have a strong #1 line center. I love Weiss, but face facts, on a top team he's an excellent #2 center, not a #1 guy. Reinprecht is nothing more than a 2 or 3 line center. So if all Horton needs is a top flight center (which I am not convinced is the entire root of his problems), he still doesn't have that guy to play alongside. Getting Reinprecht was a good move in order to add someone who is better than McLean or anyone else they have (outside of Weiss), but the team has failed to address its biggest need, which they acknowledged openly once the offseason began. I don't have a problem with them trading Horton for a real #1 center, and then add in someone like Tanguay to play with that new center. But this organization is more likely to trade away a Horton for almost nothing and then still not go out and get a scoring winger in free agency.
Zherdev is not a well rounded player. Lots of natural talent, but his work ethic isn't very good. Some games he shows up and some games he doesn't. Even happens shift to shift. He is now wearing out his welcome on his second team. Zherdev is not the answer the Panthers are seeking.
One more thing - BRING BACK THE TOPIX COMMENT FORUM! The current comment forum for regular stories stinks and this blog comment forum is woefully inadequate.
The Other Side - I like Booth's game and he has far surpassed all expectations for him. If he can post 30-30 numbers on a consistent basis, that would be great. It would also nice to see him get more PP time. The big question, however, is whether this is it. Does he plateau here or not. Frolik has great skills and at a young age he appears to have a ton of potential. He could be a star in the making.
Horton back at center, RIP? Wasn't the team's stated objective to get him back to wing if only because he's not cut out to play center in the NHL. Last season proved it.
Not to throw cold water on the supposed pending Tanguay parade, but if he is signed by the Panthers, who becomes a third line wing? Right now the top four wings are Frolik, Horton, Stillman & Booth. Who plays on the third line? Even better question is who gets stuck with a center that on most teams would struggle to be a fourth line center? They are certainly not going to pay Tanguay serious money to be a third line guy, and that more likely leaves Frolik or Stillman as the odd man out. I don't have a problem dropping Stillman down, but that means he has to play a checking/defensive role more than that of a scorer. At his age and diminishing foot speed, is that even a role he can play? And here's the real rub - the Panthers ignored their real need - that being a true first line center. So instead you have Weiss and Reinprecht as the #1 & #2 guys, and then Campbell and Kreps as the 3 & 4 line centers. And if Matthias makes the roster, where does he fit in and does that mean Campbell goes back to playing wing? Signing Reinprecht as the third line center would have been great if they went out and got a strong first line guy and then added in Tanguay. So, while I'm not saying they shouldn't bring in Tanguay, the truth is that they really aren't solving their bigger problem at forward
Steve (the poster, not Gorten) - I would disagree aobut the propriety of the $10 million investment in the new training facility. The setup before was Micky Mouse, at best. Even their c-list players suffer, and the development of their better players/young players suffers even more. BUT, that doesn't mean they can't do both - have a first class facility AND bring in world class players, even if only one or two to compliment players like Frolik, Booth, Weiss, Horton, Stillman and the up and coming kids who hopefully will more quickly and fully realize their potential by playing alongside high level guys.
Has anyone else seen Bill Lindsay's video tour of the new training facility? He's not even close to being in Denis Potvin's league as a TV guy. You could find high school kids who would do a better job. Pitiful.
There is no doubt that having a first rate training facility is a positive step. The previous set up at Incredible Ice was equal to what many minor league teams use, and perhaps even less than some. It had to have hampered the development of some players, especially in the areas of strength and fitness. But it is a waste if the team continues to stock the roster with mid and lower level guys that would be hard pressed to win a fourth line spot (or third D pairing) on many other teams. Even the addition of one quality scorer would make a difference in the upcoming season. Tanguay wasn't my first choice, but right now he's about as good an option as anyone still available.
Yep, Yormack's comments are a perfect window into everything that is wrong with this organization. Instead of fielding a truly competitive team in order to draw fans and fill the building, they are focused instead on the timing of when out of town fans will be here so they can watch their hometeams play. Even DeBoer isn't operating under any pretense that the Panthers will be an upper level team with the roster he's being given. Read his comment that "Not many teams have a spot solidified prior to the last two weeks of the season. Now our job is to set the table to make sure those games matter." Yes, there are teams that have solidified a spot in the playoffs prior to the last two weeks. Those are the higher level teams. In the last two weeks of the season those teams are simply jockeying for home ice advantage in as many rounds as possible. And right at 12 noon on July 1st those teams started their drive to lock up a playoff spot before the final two weeks by going after key free agents that could impact their results. Implicit in his comment is that it remains no better than a crap shoot as to whether the Panthers end the 8 season drought without a playoff berth. But hey, who cares, since Yormack has it worked out so that out of town fans will help fill the building as much as possible. Oh yeah, and don't forget that they have Bruce Springsteen and the Jonas Brothers coming to the BAC. Who needs a forward who can pot 40 goals when you have a lineup like that!
Here is a quote you would never see from an elite team: "We also want to provide a spot for some our younger players. So kids like [Shawn] Matthias and [Keaton] Ellerby and [Jason] Garrison and [Dmitry] Kulikov are going to have a chance and we don't to preclude them that opportunity if filling it in with a veteran at this stage." Great, leave spots for unproven rookies instead of going out and getting a proven scoring threat or a true first pair defenseman and then letting the kids fight it out for only a spot or two on the roster. But Sexton tips the Panthers real hand when he also said: "We want to be prudent. ...but there's dollars available if we need them. We just want to make sure we're spending wisely." Translation? What he really means is that even though the team promised spend money left over from what they would have paid Bouwmeester, they actually plan to reduce salary by going with cheaper players to fill up the roster. As for who these kids are competing with for open spots, that list includes "veterans" such as Taffe, Jamie Johnson, Graham Mink and Graham Mink. Shawn Matthias has done nothing so far as a pro to indicate he is ready for the NHL. He had a terrible year up at Rochester and clearly needs more development. So when the organization comes right out and says they want to keep a spot open for him in favor of going out and getting proven scoring threat, it tells you that what they really love about him is his $821,000 salary. Of course, they are probably already preparing the list of excuses they will let fly if this turns out to be the ninth straight season without a playoff berth. But hey, they've got lots of promising young kids, right?
Is Tanguay the best wing who could add serious scoring punch to the Panthers? No. But he's probably the best we can hope for the Panthers to sign (as they missed the boat on a few others). At just around 30, he's not too old and he has shown real brilliance offensively. Plus he is a solid veteran.
Yes, this is probably a player destined to stock Rochester, but it is a personnel move that most other teams don't even bother to make an announcement about. Having said that, if the Panthers have any thoughts of this guy making the roster, it's a sad statement indeed. Oh, and that "quote" from Sexton is something straight out of the Panthers' PR department. In case you didn't realize it, the PR guys report to none other than Yormack. Once again, another example of sizzle over substance - though in this case it's yet another fizzle not sizzle!
Steve - I don't know why you are at all surprised. The Panthers love to sign mid and lower level guy instead of going after higher level talent. They want roster fodder, not roster talent. They'd also rather try to attract fans with foolish marketing schemes like the Rosenhaus affair instead of bringing in marquee players like Koivu. Consider that if they brought in a few talented players with marquee value, people just might start coming to the games simply because some exciting hockey is being played. But hey, that would mean Yormack's hairbrained marketing schemes wouldn't be necessary and we all know that his ego is larger than the BAC itself. This is part and parcel of an organization run from the marketing end of the spectrum rather what's best for the hockey team. The purse strings are held by Yormack, in trust for Cohen, and as they say, he who holds the purse strings has the power.
First, BRING BACK THE OLD TOPIX FORUM! Second, there is no sizzle. The Panthers made a few decent middle level moves, but are essentially no better off than where they started. Even if Kulikov turns out to be an all star d-man, it's a wash due to the loss of Bouwmeester, their previous all star d-man. But right now he's a rookie and the defense is probably weaker than last year, especially with the loss of a guy like Bouwmeester who could play an average of 27 minutes a game. On offense they are marginally better, but that's not saying much. The only sizzle is the reduction in ticket prices, and that reflects the fact that they have to charge less considering that they have had a mediocre product to offer for 8 straight seasons without a playoff berth. Kind of like the restaurant that offers mediocre food, so instead of hiring a new (and much better) chef and buying better quality provisions, they lower prices in the hope that people will eat there. The problem is that when new customers come, they likely won't want to return, because even cheaper prices are no consolation for a bad meal. The Panthers better hope that Horton breaks out, Weiss continues to improve, Booth continues to surpass all expectations, Frolik doesn't suffer from the sophmore slump, Reinprecht can actually produce as a second line center and they get some decent production from their rookies. Otherwise the supposed sizzle will quickly become a flame-out fizzle.
If Vokoun goes to Philly, who is going to play goal? And if they do make that deal, it would really show how stupid they were to let Anderson walk away. Anderson and Clemmensen would have been a reasonable tandem until the day comes when Markstrom is ready to take over. All I can say is that I hope it's a bogus rumor.
This is more likely a move for restocking Rochester, particularly with older veteran type players. That was a missing ingredient last year with the Amerks - veteran type guys who can help the younger kids more quickly adapt to the pro game and life as a pro. I'd be very surprised if he was signed with the expectation that he's going to be on the Panthers' roster.