Played my last round of golf in South Florida for a bit Wednesday morning, leaving for my annual road trip tomorrow morning. Just letting those loyal readers know posts may be more infrequent over the coming weeks, although thanks to my laptop and my Treo, I'll keep things updated as I can.
So don't stop visiting.
-- Big news out of Pantherland today is the shocking news that Jozef Stumpel was placed on waivers. If he clears waivers, which is expected, Stumpel will have the final year of his contract bought out by the Panthers.
The Stumpie South Florida Era is a strange one. He really struggled in his first year with the Panthers before picking up the pace and ending with 15 goals and 37 assists in 2005-06. In the following season, he also started slow, but had a good finish and was one of Florida's top players in the final half of the season, ending with 57 goals. His four game-winners, as much as being a mentor to Rostislav Olesz, earned him a nice two-year deal from the Panthers.
Stumpel had trouble matching what he did in 2006-07 last season, two shoulder injuries holding him to 52 games. The Panthers still like Stumpel, but not at the salary he would have made last season. Plus, they figure his speed is a liability as he goes into 2008-09 as a 36-year-old. By buying Stumpel out (at two-thirds his $2.25 salary), Florida doesn't get too bad a cap-hit (the payout stretches out over the next two seasons).
-- Spoke to Peter DeBoer today, says the coaching staff situation is all but finalized. Says he was going to meet with JM later in the day. He says there won't be much change, but there will be some. There are only three assistants currently on staff, so a little change would be 33.3 percent.
-- When asked about the long shot of long shots (Mats Sundin eschewing a Canadien -- err, Canadian -- team or the Rangers for the Panthers), DeBoer just laughed.
"Who wouldn't want Mats Sundin?,'' he said. "He's one of the all-time greats. But all that is up to Jacques. He handles all that.''
-- Speaking of Mats, the City of Sunrise has agreed to change its name to "Sundin, Florida" if Mats decides to sign with the Panthers. "No one knows where we're at anyway,'' one Sunrise official lamented. "Some people like to call us 'North Weston' or 'South Tamarac.' It doesn't matter.''