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Free Agency Focus

BinocsJust got off the phone with JM, confirming that Jozef Stumpel has been waived. Says even if his salary was less, he still probably wouldn't be back, adding he's trying to "make sure we have people in the dressing room with the right attitude for Pete.''

Players the Panthers made qualifying offers to: Jay Bouwmeester, Gregory Campbell, Drew Larman, Martin Lojek (to keep his rights while he plays in Czech this season), Stefan Meyer, Rostislav Olesz and Anthony Stewart. Players not tendered: Garth Murray, Adam Taylor and Martin Tuma.

-- JM says the team is negotiating with Steve Montador and wants him back next season. At the right price, of course. JM says negotiations have been going on with Monty's agent for a while, but nothing yet. I think Monty tests the free agency waters before agreeing to anything. Still not sure he returns.

"We’re talking with Monty,'' JM said. "I've talked with all three (Montador, Cullimore, Johansson), but it depends if I can move some people. Monty is in a different category because he plays both position. We feel we’ve had good conversation with his agent. We’re progressing. I’d like to sign him. We’ve talked to his agent for quite a while now. We want to sign him, want to be fair with him. Depends on what his demands are.''

-- Nothing new to report on Bo.

-- From the tone in JM's voice, doesn't sound like the team is going to be very active in the FA market. He said the roster is full ("I would have to move some players") and he felt they were filling a need with speed and "character guys" last year when Richard Zednik, Brett McLean and Radek Dvorak were brought in. Sounds like Michael Frolik and Shawn Matthias are making this team out of training camp. JM says they have talented players ready to step up and fill a void. We shall see.

Of course, this could be another JM smokescreen. Time will tell.

"I don’t know at this point,'' JM said when asked about bringing in some help come July 1. "Look at the people that we have. In order to get people we want, we would have to trade. It always depends. It's not like last year where I felt we needed speed and character. That’s why we went free agency route and signed three players. Part of last year’s strategy was, we didn’t think we had too many people ready to step up. This year we do.''

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JM's World is quite different from the World I live in where you have to score a goal to win a game. In JM's World if you prevent the other team from scoring then your Fairy GodMother will wave her magic wand and suddenly Horton and Weiss will become consistent goal scorers and Matthias, Frolik and Repik will shed their diapers and produce like grizzled veterans. Yes, it must be fun to live in JM's World, where your delusions can come true and the Florida Panthers can make the Playoffs.

I think leaving the success up to JM and his fantasy world is a very bad,bad situation. He traded away our top scorer,for a pair of Dfense,and a draft pick and now thinks two minor-leaguers will fill that void?

I hope he goes after Hossa,Roloson,Huselius, or someone else big,if not two of them,or else this team is once again,in dyer straights with an idiot at the helm.

Don't worry JM, there are people who know you're doing a good job in Florida. These fair weather fans will come back when we start winning.

All those FAs mentioned will command salaries out of JM allowance-range. Rolston would be my go-to-guy; a new leader for the young forward to follow & a great 2-way forward. Not gonna happen though...$$$$$$$$$$$.

PANTHERFAN,

Fans have been waiting 8 years..How much longer shall they keep believing the horse-crap?

It's obvious our team is MUCH better than when JM got it.

Martin is incredible...there aren't a lot of guys in the nhl league that get it...he gets it

Martin is incredible...there aren't a lot of guys in the league that get it...he gets it

I am really trying to give Martin the benefit of the doubt, but it is hard. After letting the Oli trade sink in, I think the "fresh start" approach isn't neccesarily bad. I will say they never were able to find someone to play with him when he was here so he did have to do it all on his own. PANTHERFAN, we are not living in fantasy land, we just are asking for them to get a proven consistent goal scorer. I have been with the Panthers since day 1 and you just don't replace a 70 plus point player with who is on the roster. Adding a close equivalent or two more quality 40-50 point guys would go along way to restoring fan confidence.

We havent been in the playoffs for how many years??? We had to do something. So trading Oli is a start. Now, it looks like we are going to have to trade Bow. I hope this time we get something really good for him.

My curse

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