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Summer in the City

Miami_2Summer is officially here in South Florida, and if you haven't noticed, your air conditioning is really working overtime. That, and you don't get out much.

Not a whole lot going on in PantherLand, and with every muggy passing day, it appears more likely Jay Bouwmeester and the Cats are going to arbitration up in Toronto come Tuesday.

Have spoken to a number of folks within the organization (none of whom own the initials J.M.) and even a couple of players. Not one thinks Jay signs a long-term deal here before his hearing, and only one said he expects Jay to be here come the start of the 2009-10 season. It appears to me that there isn't just one reason why Jay isn't a big fan of the Panthers; there are quite a few issues here.

Jay's agent told our Barry Jackson that he rejected the Panthers most recent offer (I have heard almost $6 million per for six years but cannot get that confirmed by the agent nor JM) and they are preparing for arbitration. Which is their right. And, I've been told, the Panthers will give Jay whatever the arbiter rules he's worth for the coming season and roll the dice hoping to keep him.

We'll see. As I've written before, both sides are keeping this thing on the down-low, so we'll just have to wait to see how things play out.

-- Old pal Scott Burnside has his summer power rankings out on ESPN.com. 

No surprise here, but he's got the Pens atop the East and Detroit atop the West. Some surprises:  Edmonton up to No. 5 in the West,  with Vancouver down to 12.  Florida is ranked No. 12 in the East (about where it finished the season), ranked above only Toronto, the Isles and Atlanta. He has the Lightning up to No. 8.

-- Glen Murray has cleared waivers after being released in a salary cap move by the Bruins. He's going to be bought out and on the market. Have been told the Panthers have very little interest, although, my bet is Murray can still play. He's been hampered by injuries over the past few years, but has still put up some numbers. He'll go to a challenger for a low-money deal and we'll find out if he's still a player or not. Just don't count on it happening here.

-- Randy Cunneyworth will not be returning as coach of the Rochester Americans, instead, is getting his big break. Cunneyworth, a finalist to be an assistant on JM's staff last summer, is a new assistant in Atlanta. John Anderson, the new coach of the Thrash, saw plenty of Cunneyworth's Amerks while coach of Atlanta's AHL affiliate in Chicago.

Harry -- On a sad note, Charlie Weis singing Take Me Out to the Ballgame on Saturday at Wrigley. Good golly.  I'm certain Harry Caray just spun around and asked "who?"

Let's hope Gerry Faust gets his chance to sing.


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goerge, what are the reasons you're hearing for his not wanting to re-sign?

if they can't get him locked up, martin needs to trade him. and now. if they wait until after the arbitration hearing it will diminish his value as any team acquiring him will not be able to negotiate a long-term deal until january.

martin needs to get over his grudge with ottawa and take advantage of the fact that they are beyond desperate for a #1 defensman. a package of vermette, meszaros and other prospects/picks/depth players would not only be a great package, i think it could actually make the team BETTER as soon as this year. meszaros is a hell of a defensman in his own right and vermette is one of the most underrated two-way forwards around.

deal him...NOW!

Why is Martin being so stubborn? If Jay isn't signing now, he's not going to sign next year either. He's gone, period. He's finishing out his contract and he's moving on.

Trade him!

Bob's post is just plain retarded..You never know when he will change his mind, he's not sure if he wants to be a panther RIGHT NOW. And he's one of the best up-and-coming defenseman....YEAH LETS TRADE HIM!!!!... (Think Luongo)

Anyways yeah why doesn't JM just offer Bouw 5-6 years of 6.5m...He's worth the extra 500k..

Yeah retarded that you are risking losing the guy for nothing when he's already turned down in excess of 6 million and has "issues" with the Panthers beyond the money.

It's not over 500K genius, he doesn't want to be here anymore and his value drops at the deadline as a playoff rental so you have to trade him now before he walks away for nothing. IF you keep him you are banking on 1 season changing his mind after 4 years of constant change in players & management and losing.

I think it's pretty narrow minded to say offer him an extre 500K and that's the difference maker. Obviously you didn't read what George wrote above. I love Jay and would obviously want him resigned regardless of money, but it is apparently very clear that he no longer wants to play in south Florida. Wake up and smell the coffee, retard-police.

I also cannot believe the Panthers won't take a 1 year shot at Murray to see if he can regain his touch. He was hurt last season and I believe, like GR, that he can score 20 goals. But JM apparently thinks our forwards are fine and that they will have break out years. I've been a fan of Martin's but I am really starting to worry about his short-sightedness.

Damn bob you almost lost it there...haha realize a joke when you see it. I was saying the 500k thing sarcastically...my post was just telling you how the only reason he doesn't want to be here right now is probobly because he's not sure we're winners, but once the season starts and we get to January I think he will re-sign. All the friend's he's been with for the last couple years are still here (Horton, Weiss, Booth, etc.). I think he just wants to make sure we are successful.

I like J-Bo as a he is a talented player, but I think he is a solid #2 dman, not among the elite...He will be paid well at some point, as there are always teams willing to overspend. I would trade him for that Ottawa package(Meszaros, Vermette, and a pick), but I don't think that deal is out there. If that deal or some other solid deal was out there, I say trade him too, but I doubt it. Therefore, try to keep him and convince him to stay by winning. Certainly no guarantee with this team, but it was it is--the last year of his contract. If we are out of it at the deadline, try to take advantage of other teams that have injuries or need him for their playoff push....Deals are always out there, and I think a lot of you overrate any of the deals that may be there for him now....
As far as other free agents, I understand that we can't have them all, but I don't get why we wouldn't be at least interested in pursuing a guy like Glen Murray. Offer him $2 million with some bonuses if he does hit 20 or 25 or more....I understand that you don't want to chase all the free agents, but it seems worthy to take a chance on guys if you can get them cheap and offer bonuses for above-average play...Also guys like Andrew Brunette or Yanic Perrault, who at the very least is a top face-off man, seems to also fit that bill, but for whatever reason, we never take our chances there....We'd rather give $2 million plus to guys like Stumpel, Zednik, etc.....Not to get negative, but that's too many retreads that don't offer any other value to the team, unless they score. That hasn't worked too well for this club, so hopefully they are leaning from this and changing their ways soon...

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