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That's a Wrap! Now with Sound!

BaciceThere's no more ice in Sunrise, save for the stuff they mix up the drinks at Quarterdeck with.

As players cleaned out their lockers, signed various items and bundled up their sticks, workers carted out what was left of the BankAtlantic Center ice.

Yes, it's officially over.

Got a lot of work to do today, but do have a little bit of news some may find interesting.

-- JM spoke today, said a number of things including that he's going to analyze his dual roles with the team, leaving the door open, I guess, for a possible change one way or another. So we'll see what happens in the coming weeks.

Also, JM says there's no rift between him and Olli; Olli says while he and JM don't go to dinner or anything like that, but there is a mutual respect between the two. JM adds he won't ask players what they think of Olli as a leader or as captain because he doesn't want to put players in that kind of position.

-- Olli says his summer training starts Wednesday. He says he plans to play for Finland at the World Championships, and he's going to get the ice in Coral Springs sometime next week so guys who want to join him are more than welcome.

-- Richard Zednik spoke to everyone today, says he's started some bike work, but is out of shape and hasn't started skating (aside from his quick jaunt around the BAC last month). Says he hopes to start skating by August, is looking forward to next season.

-- Jay Bouwmeester says now is the time for he and the Panthers to start talking about a contract, but wouldn't go into much more detail. I asked him if he wanted to stay with the Panthers, and he basically said Florida is the only place he knows and he is comfortable here. Adds the Panthers gave him the opportunity to be a  big-time player, and he's appreciative of that. Jay adds he'll probably play at Worlds, although nothing is concrete. With the tournament in Canada, expect for a lot of NHLers to agree to play this summer.

-- Branislav Mezei was one of the last players to leave the locker room, just sitting at his stall taking things in. He hadn't talked to JM yet, but said he didn't have much hope of coming back. "I think I have to let this go,'' he said. Mez says he plans on playing at the Worlds too. He definitely needs a good showing. Perhaps a change of scenery will do him a world of good.

-- Forget about Kansas-Memphis, the big action tonight will be the draft lottery. According to the NHL, Tampa Bay has a 25 percent shot at getting the top pick and Steven Stamkos. The Kings follow at 18.8 percent, Atlanta at 14.2 percent. Nashville, with Florida's top pick in the upcoming draft, has only a 2.7 percent shot at the top pick.

But that's better than zero percent, no?

-- Say what you want about Versus, but when the playoffs kick off, this network shines. Look at their schedule the next two nights. Wednesday brings us Sens/Pens at 7, then Flames/Sharks at 10. Thursday, Preds/Wings (with old pal Dave Strader) and then Stars/Ducks.

Should be fun...

-- OK, here is the promised audio from this afternoon.

Download finaljacques.WMA

Download finalolli.WMA

Download finalzednik.WMA

-- May have more later...as always, check in one, two, three times a day! Could use the numbers....


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JM laying the groundwork for letting the coach position go....bring in Newie, sign Ralston, bring up Mathias, and lets go panthers!

what kind of a leader is JM that he does not want to put the players in a position to comment about what they think of their captain.

JM should know by now (4 years) who the leaders of the locker room are.

He is in charge of hockey decisions, yet he won't do his homework to make the decisions (see trade with Toronto where we gave up a 3rd round pick in a deep draft for nothing).

Go ahead JM sweep it under the rug so that next year we can watch a bunch of guys work part time and finish somewhere between 11 and 15 in the East with 80 something points.

JM is too conservative for both positions.

For years the experts have been saying the same thing about the Panthers and the response is the same, we are building for the future, you don't know what goes on in the inside.

Cohen needs to act fast before it is too late for next season.

JM has had more than a fair chance to prove his worth no improvement is not what we are looking for.

The flyers and Capitals both improve greatly in one year, why they have young players that are better than 2nd or 3rd line players and they supplement them with young players that are 1st line players and not 3rd line wingers or defenseman that were out of the league or riding the bench.

Not playing the young players against Atlanta is something that a good GM would not allow to happen,

Welch was more than ready to play and should have played

Thanks G for the insight and reaction from the players today (and always). Let get Jay's contract done before the draft like we did last year with Nate. Jay's comment makes it sound like he wants to stay, but only time will tell whether that was genuine or just politically correct.

Thanks for the audio links. Good stuff from the "Cats Digital Den."

any question about JM not being fired is answered in the audio where he says our number one priority is a puck moving defenseman...instead of a power foward like Rolston...Please Alan dont even wait till thursday....

a few things: GR, nashville actually had a 0% chance at getting the #1 pick. they had a 2.7 chance of winning the lottery, but since teams can only move up 4 slots, if they won the best they could do is move up to the 5th pick (instead of 9th)

secondly, i feel sorry for mezei. he was awful this year but the dude has had some tough luck with injuries in his career. he might be 27 but he has the experience of a 22 year old because of all the time he's missed. he actually was a pretty solid defensman in prior seasons and i always had some hope, but the injuries totally derailed his developement and now that he's healthy, he lacks confidence and experience. i hope he lands on his feet somewhere because, if he regains his confidence and stays healthy i think he can still be a servicable defensman in this league.

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