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Gratton's a Goner

GrattonTried to post this yesterday while driving to Georgia, but lost my signal on the wireless card before it went through. So that's why it's a day late. OK? OK!

The Panthers swung a deal tonight and traded veteran center Chris Gratton to Tampa Bay. While I hate to see Chris go, I sure am not surprised. JM confirmed he tried swinging a deal with the Lightning at last season's trade deadline, only decided he didn't want to disrupt the team's dynamic too much as he felt the team still had a chance to make the post season.

Chris spent a good part of last season in Jim's doghouse, but despite that, I thought he would be back this year because at $1.5 million, he still does a lot of good things. Obviously the Lightning agree with me as Chris returns there for a third go-round. "This is good for Chris,'' JM told me. "He's going somewhere where he's wanted.''

Obviously he wasn't wanted here. JM also indicated that Jozef Stumpel will most likely return although he seemed to hedge on Martin Gelinas (JM thinks Marty is going to play next season, he's just not sure it's going to be in SoFla).

I'm going to miss Chris because he was a cool guy with a personality. He spoke his mind, perhaps one reason why he got into trouble with JM sometimes. Chris has always had to live up to the potential folks saw in him when he was drafted third overall in 1993 by the Bolts, and while he hasn't done so, that doesn't mean he hasn't had a career to be proud of -- and one many players in the league would love to have had.

Feel free to leave any comments on this deal, one that seems to have worked out in Florida's favor. The Panthers not only shed $1.5 million in salary, but they get a second round pick in return. Not bad.

As Chris would always say, thanks guys.


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Not a big loss for the Cats. Gratton didn't seem to fit in anywhere on this team except on faceoffs last year. His production dropped and his comments to the media irritated JM. This gives the Cats potentially three 2nd round picks this year or two this year and two next year. I'm thinking JM is trying to position himself for trades, either up in the draft or for a player to fill out our roster (goalie anyone???) Plus we have guys like Kamil Kreps and Janis Sprukts that can fill Gratton's role at a much cheaper salary, giving JM more financial flexibility come July 1st and free agency.

Great post panther fan. Getting a second round pick for Gratton is a great deal for the Panthers going on the fact that Bertuzzi went for realatively the same thing and Valerie Bure went for a 2nd round pick twice. Sad to see Gratton go as he was a class act and as you said George was great to the media.

I'll miss Grats. He actually is a good playmaker but guys just couldn't finish as much as they should have last season. He didn't fight as much as I wanted him to but this team will still miss his toughness & grit (hopefully we sign Asham because of this). Maybe JM has his sights set on Todd White now.

Good luck Chris. Don't put up big numbers against us and make us remember why you don't trade within your own division. ;)


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