The Panthers tried to put a pretty face on Tuesday's deals, but after giving away Todd Bertuzzi for basically a conditional draft pick and a prospect, that was tough. (The Panthers got two conditionals for Bert on Tuesday, but if he doesn't resign with Detroit -- and as Ernie would say "that ain't likely homey'' -- the Cats only get the one.)
Whether or not Mike Keenan was told by ownership to trade Roberto Luongo or not, Iron Mike took the fall. It ended up costing him his job as GM (although he gets to keep the cash!) and led to some humorous jokes in his direction today on TSN. Of course, he wasn't laughing.
The Panthers weren't going to sign Bert for the money he was seeking, so now he's gone. Basically, the Panthers gave up Roberto Luongo for Bryan Allen and hope of something better out of Alex Auld, the prospect (Shawn Matthias) and the conditional picks.
Even kids on Sesame Street know that sucks with a capital S.
Not that the Panthers had much choice in the matter, not with Bert only playing in seven games this season. Keenan, for one, is excited for the Red Wings. "That's a great deal for Detroit,'' he said on TSN, where he serves as an analyst.
AA Florida did better on the Gary Roberts deal, getting a young defenseman (Noah Welch) who will not only help Rochester in its playoff push this year but will be looking for one of the starting 6 d-men jobs in training camp next year. Give JM credit for swinging this deal; everyone knew Gary's a goner after this season and the Panthers got something credible in return. Good move for Pittsburgh too, although it's a short-term deal.
Mark Recchi on Gary: "He does the right things every night and that’s going to make a difference for us.''
Sir Sidney: "For him to show us he wants to be here, we’ll that’s pretty special for us. He’s been in the playoffs, been in the league for a while. His experience is huge for us. I think he’s a great pickup for us.''
AA Joel Kwiatkowski was moved to Pittsburgh too, and good for him. He didn't factor into Florida's plans next year, so maybe he'll get a better shot in Pitt. The Pittsburgh Panthers? Heard that name's already taken.