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Final Tally

Cowgirls So, what happened today?

Panthers give up on Ruslan Salei and send him to Colorado; Florida acquires Wade Belak and Chad Kilger from Toronto and get Karlis Skrastins for Salei.

What are your thoughts on the deadline wheeling and deadling by JM? Too little, too much, too late?

I have no problems with these moves. As I've said before, he doesn't have many bullets in that gun after giving up a first for Tomas Vokoun and correctly making players like Olli, Matthias and Frolik off limits. I don't think Atlanta was going to give up Hossa for Mezei; Tampa Bay wasn't swapping Brad Richards for an injured Jozef Stumpel.

I think the team is tougher, if not more talented. I like Ruslan, so I don't like to see him go but I understand why. So did he, adding JM didn't explain himself. "There was nothing to say,'' he said.

Some players were very verbal in that a player like Belak should have been picked up long before, and I asked JM if he had changed his mind on having an enforcer type player. He said he's wanted one all season, just couldn't find the right guy. So there's that.

As always, comments welcomed....

-- Belak is on his way to BAC as I type (it's almost 6 p.m.); stuck in traffic on 595. Welcome to South Florida.

-- Also, according to Lance Hornsby of the Toronto Sun, everyone's favorite ex-Panther has already called him and said he can use his place in Broward County. That friendly fella? Ed Belfour....

-- Then this: "It will be a bit of a culture shock going from 30 TV cameras in the dressing room to one." Funny guy, this Belak.

And that one camera is only if the Panthers' online guy is in there taping interviews...Well, FSN is there a few times too....

-- Just spoke to Wade, very friendly chatty fellow. When asked about immigration, he joked "well, I hear they are really cracking down on that...''


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Not the worst trades in the world, but unnecessary. We pick up two Leafs, a team that is actually worse than us. The moves may have been alright if made earlier in the year, but with half our roster on the I.R., not many scoring threats to even protect. Being 6 back and with the moves Washington and Carolina made, we blew draft picks we could use this summer. Belak can move after the season, Kilger's numbers at wing are similar to Montador's, someone more versatile, and Skrastins will be lucky to crack our top 6 next year health permitting. If we resign Montador or Cullimore this off season then he definitely won't. Bottom line is if we were currently in the playoffs the moves would be good, but where we are we didn't need to do it. The best move was keeping Jokinen which means we may be Martin moved from behind the bench this offseason.

Keeping Jokinen means Martin will maybe go upstairs and leave the coaching to someone else. Drunk roommate talking to me leads to incoherent sentences like in the last post.

No doubt we are no better than we were before today except that 2 teams in our division improved greatly Carolina and Washington.

Hope this means good by to coach Martin, but I really don't understand the idea of giving up draft picks for players that the Cliff Fletcher says are marginal players.

The draft is deep next year and we don't have many picks to improve this team.

There still needs to be more changes in the locker room and behind the bench before this team battles for a playoff spot (we have played more games than everyone except Carolina who we have played the same) Nashville is looking at a lottery pick with the chance of being 1st overall which would be the third time we traded the first overall pick.

This team is still a mess in year 3 of Martin and has been a mess since Trevor Kidd was injured in practice for a skills contest for the All Star Game.

You look at Washington who has struggled with us the last few years and look at us and ask which roster would you rather have.

Picking up Huet for a 2nd is a steal something the Panthers only have had happen once (Luongo and Jokinen from the Islanders),

Let's hope next year is better

We lost late picks for players who can play now, so that's good. If Belak doesn't love it here then he's gone. He was quoted today saying he would love to go back to the Leafs. So, we'll have him for 17 games and he's gone.

The 3rd pick from COL was never ours, so losing that menas nothing.

Salei was a liability and it's good to see him gone. Too bad he didn't take Mezei with him.

In the end Salei was paid excactly what Skrastins and Belak make together. So, no loss of $ this year.

Kilger is a very good 3rd line winger, and he has more years on his contract.

Of course we all wanted a scoring winger for Olli, but we had nothing to trade.

We should have packaged Stewart, Mezei and either Globke, Brine, or Larman, for a scoring prospect.

I thought Martin did a very good job with what he had. Belak, Skrastins, and Kilger for Salei and a 5th? Works for me. Guys that will contribute now, a couple depth guys, an enforcer, and a defenseman who'll take less PIM's.

Olli, Horton, Weiss, Booth, Bouw, Allen, Olesz, Campbell, Ellerby, Repik, Matthias, and Frolik are all still here. Obviously, Martin's making sure this team is good for some time, not just for a quick playoff run and then back to doldrums.

Good job to you GR for the coverage today.

The Belak trade sounds solid, only because the team seems to be high on it meaning it will at least boost morale. But Montador is almost the same type of player only 10 times better.

Chad Kilger deal just allows us to send Glass, or Globke down and have a veteran guy up...however...hes not afraid to bang the bodies in the corner...which we need.

Stinks to lose Salei and his offensive side...glad to lose the the bad and late penalties. Skrastins is completley pointly for our team. We are too deep in defenseman.

Martin should of traded Mezei for anything he could even a late pick. He's UFA at seasons end, and he has sever injury problems and is no longer worth the gamble as he was many years ago when we first got him from the Islanders. Cullimore has been a very solid and pleasant suprise..but we could of shipped him out too. Martin is an idiot for using Mezei over Johansson...I don't care what he brings. Johansson had a decent assist total his frst few games till he was benched in favor of Mezei.

I severley question Martins Judgment....I think he is an overatted coach..and holds the team back offensiveley.

just want to give kudos to GR for a great job on a difficult day.

I agree with Slapshot on Mezei and Cullimore. I checked out the Maple Leafs blog to see how they felt about the Belak trade. My take is that they don't like losing their tough guy and that the Leafs did not get enough out of the exchange. Florida has made a good trade here as the team is in desparate need for some toughness

JM needs to be canned at the end of this season. Since he's been here he's turned a top, offensive playmaking center prospect (Stephen Weiss) into a defensive forward who averages less then a point a game, hes turned a highly regarded goal-scoring prospect (Nathan Horton) into a passer, it seems with olesz that he plans on turning him into a defensive forward as well (JM puts him on the PK a bunch), hasn't gotten Olli any goal-scoring help, traded a ton for Tomas Vokoun (no shot at Vokoun here because he has done well this season) but apparently could of gotten Huet for a 2nd rounder, and he seems absolutely stubborn about changing his style to adapt to the new NHL (we don't have a single player averaging a point a game) by keeping this stupid defensive style (is it just me or do the Panthers seem to score 1st in just about every game except against the Rangers and then blow the lead? we have to lead the league in leads blown)...i wish we had JM pre-lockout and I wish this terribly-managed organization would have realized GM/Head Coach duties need to be split.

Hey GR. great talking with yyou a bit before practice and the beginning of "Lets Make a Deal!"

All in all a good day for the Cats. We get stronger and tougher than we were before and lose little in the process.

i think the panthers did fine - under the circumstances. they're 8 points back now (6 going into the day...) so mortgaging significant pieces to the future for a "rental" player doesn't make any sense. can we make the playoffs? yeah, but it isn't likely. it just doesn't make sense to trade a guy who can be a star in this league for 20 games of a hossa, or campbell, etc.

kilger should add some depth, at the very least, an nhl caliber player instead of guys who are borderline AHLers. belak adds the toughness and skrastins is a very similar player to salei. he won't put up as many points as salei will but he also likely wont be caught out of position as much as salei is, either. he also doesn't take nearly as many penalties. he's slow, but salei wasn't a speedster either.

all in all, we lost nothing, and gained something. the something is very marginal, but it's something....

I don't see us making the playoffs unless we get 25 -27 points with 17 games...which is as unlikely as being successful with the only coach - gm in the NHL

Ottawa has a GM/Head Coach as well.

When that comment was posted on Wednesday, Ottawa still had a coach. The Panthers are the only team in the league that has a Coach/GM intentionally, rather than because someone got fired mid-season. There's a reason no one else does it.

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