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7 posts from September 2006

September 29, 2006

Panthers to stand pat

Carnival_clown1 Jacques Martin had his GM hat on after practice today (Friday, Sept. 29) and told the gathered throng not to expect any roster moves before the season starts. He says he scans the waiver list every day, but doesn't think someone is going to jump out at him. "There's not as many moves nowadays because of the cap,'' he said. (By the way, this is exclusive blog-only content. Don't you feel special?)

"To acquire a player, you have to move a player. The game has changed. I'm new as a GM, but what I've gotten out of conversations with other general managers is that they used to talk every two weeks just to touch base. Now some GMs don't talk to another for a whole season.

"Even going back to Ottawa, we weren't a team that made a lot of trades. We drafted well and developed our players. We did our work in the offseason. We spend a lot of time evaluating and seeing where we need to be better.''

Also, Martin said he hasn't decided on alternate captains for the season. Last year, the A guys were Joe Niuewendyk, Gary Roberts, Chris Gratton and Sean Hill. Well, Hill is with the Islanders now so one can assume there is one opening. The even-money bets to fill one of those spots are Martin Gelinas and Jay Bouwmeester.

And, again, more bonus stuff for you the dedicated reader of "On Frozen Pond": Martin said it's likely Ville Peltonnen will start the season on IR just in case something happens (like an injury) and Florida needs to make a callup or grab someone off waivers.

Plan on heading to the carnival at the arena tonight. Going to play some of those midway games, hopefully win a stuffed animal of some sort. Will let you know how it goes. I'll be dressed like this guy/girl. Good day, eh.

September 28, 2006

Off to Rochester

Rochester Barring any sudden trades, the Panthers roster pretty much became set on Thursday. The team cut Dennis Shvidki loose and sent five guys (Anthony Stewart, David Booth, Janis Sprukts, Alexei Semenov and Ari Vallin) to their minor league affiliate in Rochester. The Americans will also be getting Florida goalie Craig Anderson any minute now. I always hate to see guys leave, but for selfish reasons. I like talking to those guys. But they're going to get more playing time in Rochester, so good for them. And a couple of them, at least, will be back at some point this season.

Cheap and Shameless Plug

Promised my radio buds Randy Moller and Steve Goldstein that I would schill some stuff for them, so here goes:

The Panthers Game On carnival is scheduled for Friday at the BAC. Admission is $10, and that gets you in for games and autographs and all kinds of other fun stuff. This is a big deal for the Panthers Foundation, the team's charity. It's one of the bUkplug iggest fundraisers of the year. It's so big, all the players and coaches are required to be there. If a player isn't there, he's in the hospital. The Panthers take raising money seriously.

On to Goldie. Our buddy is hosting a hockey preview show on Tuesday night on 560 WQAM. It goes from 8-10. Goldie promises to talk all things hockey, and he'll have on some national guests. I can't wait to listen. I'll be on sometime after 8:30, so you might want to skip that part of it (I think Laverne and Shirley is on Nick at Night right about then).

Don't want to leave the TV  guys out. Denis Potvin and Dave Strader are both back from their  summer vacations up north and look ready to start calling another season. Haven't seen Craig Minervini, probably because he's still doing the Marlins. Frank Forte has been  around in Craig's absence, however, and it's always good to talk Hurricanes football with Frank. Except for right now, that is.

Big Night For Cats!

Stanleycpanther OK, it was only an exhibition game, but the Panthers finally looked like the kind of team a lot of people hope they're going to be on Wednesday night. Florida came out sharp and fired the puck all over Kari Lehtonen of Atlanta; dude made some sweet saves to stone the Panthers in the first. I like the new defensive pairings, and think we may see Jay Bouwmeester just go off the charts now that he's lined up with Bryan Allen. Bo doesn't have to worry about everything on the ice like he's prone to do. Seeing him crash the net Wednesday (which accounted for one of Florida's two goals) was something I would like to see more of. And I do expect to see more of the same.

Must say it was wierd to see the dasher boards almost devoid of advertising signs. But don't fret there Mr./Ms. Capatalist. This is a franchise that prides itself on how much stuff it can come up with to be sponsored (the back of my laptop is now being offered for bid). The ads are coming back. In fact, the NHL's board of governors agreed that teams could boost up the total of board signage from 40 to 44. So, actually you can expect more ads on the ice in the near future.

If any of you ever get to go to Atlanta for a game, check it out. The Thrashers do a very nice job of doing in-house entertainment while taking care of their many sponsors at the same time. Timeouts in Atlanta are actually quite fun because they come up with some great bits.

September 27, 2006

First game tonight -- sort of

The Panthers return home tonight -- Wednesday -- for their first home game of the season. Sure, it's a preseason game, but  the players seem real happy to be home. Florida has begun working on lines and getting things ready for the regular season, although there will be some key players missing tonight. Aside from injuries (Peltonen and Bertuzzi), Joe Niuwendyk and Gary Roberts will not play tonight. They play tomorrow against Chicago.

September 26, 2006

Sweet Home, Sunrise

The Panthers hold their first practice at the Broward County (insert corporate name here) Arena in Sunrise this morning after a rough seven city trip (training camp opened in Vail). The guys seemed OK about the travel -- especially Stephen Weiss, a guy who gets it, more on that later -- but it's hard to believe all the flying didn't take a toll. Miami Heat charter jet or not. The team has two weeks at home now so they have plenty of time to put things together. OK, on Weiss. When asked about the travel, he basically said it's a joy to be a professional hockey player and he feels lucky and blessed to be able to fly around the country and play hockey. To paraphrase, he said it was better than having a real job. Yeah, he gets it.Arenafront

September 24, 2006

Greetings from San Juan

Welcome to my newest little corner on the world wide web. Even though I'm not very computer saavy (as Homer Simpson once said, "The internet is on computers now?"), I'm going to try and bring you -- the Herald's dedicated hockey fans -- even better coverage than before. So G, what does that mean? Well, extra stuff we don't have room to run in the paper will go here; my thoughts and musings (go ahead and groan) about life, hockey and the American way; and just general junk.  Good stuff, I know.  We're kicking off this blog from the beautiful city of San Juan, Puerto Rico, just hours after the Rangers beat the Panthers 3-2 in the first pro hockey game in the Caribbean (still looking for those yo-ho-hoeing pirates). The Panthers are in Detroit today, but I'm not. A shame, I know. The end of this 10-day preseason roadie is just about apon me, but not just yet. I have more sightseeing to do. Buenas Dias, Fanaticos del Hockey (that means good morning hockey fans! I think.)