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48 posts from September 2008

September 30, 2008

Captain Lou

LuongoThe Vancouver Canucks are going away from tradition and have named goalie Roberto Luongo its captain for the 2008-09 season.

Luongo will be assisted by alternates captains Willie Mitchell, Matthias Ohlund and Ryan Kesler.

According to TSN.ca, Luongo -- by league rule -- cannot wear the 'C', but can be named captain. Mitchell will deal with officials on a nightly basis.

According to the Vancouver Province, the last goalie to be captain of an NHL team was Montreal's Bill Durnan in 1947-48.

So, what are your thoughts on this? Should the Panthers -- looking for someone to replace Olli Jokinen -- perhaps consider doing something similar and naming Tomas Vokoun captain? Sure, it would be copy-catty, but there is no doubt Tomas is a strong leader in that room who leads not only with his words but with his action and strong work ethic.

It's definitely something Peter DeBoer should consider. And I think Luongo may be the first goalie captain in 60 years, but he won't be the last. Other teams will follow suit. Perhaps Florida, New Jersey too.

Comments, as always, welcomed below.

-- Didn't have anything in the paper today, but will have a story on the revamped Rochester Americans tomorrow. The Amerks kicked off training camp today, with Benoit Groulx putting the boys through their paces. Should be a good camp, considering all of these guys have been working together with the Panthers the past few weeks. For more Amerks coverage, definitely check out the Rochester Democrat-Chronicle.

-- Rochester's Steve MacIntyre was claimed off waivers by Edmonton. If he doesn't make the Oilers, the Panthers could get him back (they have right of first refusal if he's cut by the Oil). He must have made quite the impression on the Oilers last week.

DAILY LYNX

-- Jeff O'Neill gives up his comeback bid with the WhalerCanes says Chip Alexander...

-- Lot of stuff going on with the Lightning. Damien Cristodero  and Erik Erlendsson report from Prague.

-- The Canadian Press figures the Eastern Conference is up for grabs this year. I concur.

-- Puck Daddy checks out your Washington Capitals.

-- The NHL going back to ESPN? One can only hope. More games = more fun. Oh, and go Twins.

-- Penguins news: Sergei Gonchar out four to six months.

--- Nikolai Khabibulin clears waivers and could be headed to the minors.

-- Mike Brophy says the Leafs should think long and hard about bringing in Stevie Y to be their new GM.

FROM THE PANTHERS

COUNTDOWN TO PANTHERS OPENING NIGHT

10 Days: Pavel Bure

10 – Pavel Bure

RW Pavel Bure played on the Florida Panthers from 2001-2004. Bure twice won the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy with the Panthers as the NHL’s top goal scorer. He scored 58 goals in the 1999-2000 season and 59 goals in the 2000-01 season.

PANTHERS PRESEASON (2-2-2)

Florida has one remaining preseason game on Monday, Oct. 6 at 7:30 p.m. against the New York Islanders at the BankAtlantic Center.

PANTHERS ON THE AIR

  • Thursday, Oct. 2 – Bill Lindsay on MY33’s Jim and Jade in the Morning at 7:00 a.m. 

  • Thursday, Oct. 2 – Head Coach Peter DeBoer on 790 The Ticket live with Sid Rosenberg at 7:15 a.m.

September 29, 2008

Philadelphia Layover

RockyPHILADELPHIA -- Got redirected to the City of Brotherly Shove, which means I probably won't see my luggage until sometime next week. Perhaps they can just forward it to Raleigh and save me the trouble of repacking for Trip No. 2.

Hard to gather much regarding your Florida Panthers from this preseason, other than the young kids made the most of their extended playing time. Thanks to nagging injuries to a good portion of the regular lineup, guys like Shawn Matthias, Michael Frolik, Michal Repik, Keaton Ellerby, Mike Duco, Tanner Glass and Anthony Stewart got plenty of time to show their worth.

For the most part, the kids made it time well spent.

Sunnyphilly Sure, we knew there are only a few spots, although JM has said Florida will carry the 23-man max to start the season. If some of these injuries linger -- although with quite a bit of time between now and the Oct. 10 opener in Carolina -- more spots could open up at least in the short term. There are a total of 27 guys on the roster right now, so the fight is on.

I'm sure JM has been working the phones, seeing what interest in some of his veteran guys are. The Panthers want to give their youngsters a chance, and it appears at least a few of them are close to being ready for prime time.

We shall see.

DAILY LYNX

-- ESPN's Scott Burnside says as many as eight teams could open in Europe next year. Terrific.

-- Erik Johnson says he was NOT goofing around on a golf cart when he hurt his knee.

-- Puck Daddy visits Toronto. Say hello to Mike for us....

-- Exciting stuff from Minnesota: Wild visit Sabres.

September 28, 2008

Six More to Rochester

MONTREAL -- Six more players have been sent to Rochester camp, bringing the main Florida roster total to 27.

No big surprises; Anthony Stewart and Tanner Glass make the grade and stick, as do Shawn Matthias and Michael Frolik.

The cuts: Michal Repik, Chris Beckford-Tseu, Janis Sprukts, Mike Duco, Kenndal McArdel and David Brine.

The players who were cut earlier today: D Peter Aston, D Luke Beaverson, RW Brady Calla, D Michael Caruso, RW Dan Collins, D James DeLory, D Keaton Ellerby, D Rory Fitzpatrick, D Jason Garrison, D Jordan Henry, C Drew Larman, D Frankin MacDonald, F Steve MacIntyre, C Stefan Meyer, G Tyler Plante, G David Shantz and F Andrew Sweetland.


LIVE! Montreal 3, Florida 2 (SO)

CanadiensMONTREAL -- Greetings from old Montreal, one of my favorite cities in all of North America.

Looking forward to conversing with you all tonight.

First off, Panthers made some moves today, 17 players going to Rochester. Will get the names once I speak with JM. Also, the usual suspects are out tonight: Bryan Allen (knee), Wade Belak (shoulder), Bryan McCabe (hip flexor) and Nick Boynton (oblique strain). Also, reason Stephen Weiss hasn't been playing is he's been slowed with a groin problem.

Peter DeBoer says nothing is serious and that he is looking forward to getting home.

Schedule update: No real practice on Tuesday at Incredible Ice. Says the team is getting a mental health day after flying home on Monday. Guys who haven't been playing (list above) will be at II.

-- Today's lineup: Campbell-Horton-Frolik; Peltonen-Matthias-Olesz; Duco-Sprukts-Dvorak; McArdle-Brine-Stewart; Cullimore-Bouwmeester; Ballard-Welch; Skarastins-Murphy; Vokoun/Beckford-Tseu.

Be back in a bit...

-- No television tonight, but radio is up and running. Thanks for the link Steve..

-- Also, edit on the lineup. Dvorak is out, Tanner Glass is in. Dvorak is one of many banged up Panthers. Others on that list (all groin-type issues): Zednik, Booth, Stillman. JM says he's looking at perhaps changing Florida's training camp schedule, meaning more practice, less games. After six games in six nights, I'm cool with that...

-- The cuts (more coming after game): D Peter Aston, D Luke Beaverson, RW Brady Calla, D Michael Caruso, RW Dan Collins, D James DeLory, D Keaton Ellerby, D Rory Fitzpatrick, D Jason Garrison, D Jordan Henry, C Drew Larman, D Frankin MacDonald, F Steve MacIntyre, C Stefan Meyer, G Tyler Plante, G David Shantz and F Andrew Sweetland.

Fitzpatrick, Larman, MacIntyre and Meyer have to clear waivers first.

JM had a lot of praise for Ellerby ("he's a much different player than he was last year"), Caruso (who played last night in PEI) and Garrison. Rochester training camp begins Tuesday.

Uecker --Congrats to CC and the Milwaukee Brewers for clinching the NL Wild Card after the Marlins ended the Mets' season once more. Glad I get to hear old Harry Doyle call some postseason radio action.

-- Good crowd filing in here in Montreal, great place to watch hockey. Even in the preseason.

GAME ON

ANTHONY STEWART PUTS FLORIDA AHEAD, CHARGING IN ON CAREY PRICE, A SWEET SLAPPER THAT BEAT CAREY GLOVESIDE..FLA 1, MON 0

--Panthers about to go on the power play, 0-for-25 so far this preseason...Alex Kovalev in for hooking @ 4:14...

--Stewart now leading goal scorer for FLA this preseason. No one else has more than one. Stewie has two...

--Now FLA's turn to penalty kill @ 6:57...Tanner Glass in the bin...

--Penalty over, Vokoun just makes a terrific save on loose puck...then Jay and Tanner take on a couple of guys...fun stuff...still 1-0...

--Whale: It should be a little concern, although they have been getting a lot more chances...wait and see what happens when the true PP units get together next week against the Islanders...

Shawn: My bad; I typed in Anderson by mistake. He played last night. Talked to Chris B-T on way in tonight, he's expecting Vokoun to get the whole brunt of things.

-- Killing another...Matthias into the box at 11:55

--Another penalty; this one on Ballard...have liked his game tonight though...

--Cats off hook...Gregory Stewart takes holding stick penalty at 17:25; Panthers will have a shortened PP chance to follow.

--Well, well...Panthers up 4-on-3 next five seconds, then 5-n-3 for 1:20...

-- Take back what I said about PP getting chances...that 5-on-3 was putrid...terrible passing, awful execution...only shot taken was by short-handed Montreal...have to be better in situations like that...just fundamentals....it's 5-on-3, you have to create something...they didn't there though...

Anyway, END OF ONE IN MONTREAL....FLA 1, EXPOS 0

-- And I swore I wouldn't make any Expos references today. Oh well.

-- Players are back on the ice, I finished my famous Canadiens hot dog so we're ready to start Period No. 2

-- 0-for-3 on PP tonight....

--Add Brett McLean to the list of injured...omitted him earlier...

-- Shots even @ 11. Pretty good game. Panthers are playing in the Montreal zone a lot, not too many big scoring chances for the Habs.

-- Although there was one @ 2:33

--Panthers get a chance to go 0-for-4 on PP...Ryan O'Byrne in @ 3:02

-- Soup almost ended the streak; nice save on a rebound by Price...

NATE HORTON DOES IT! NICE SHOT FROM THE LEFT SIDE ON A REBOUND....4:23 INTO THE SECOND..THE PP STREAK IS OVER...

-- Nate to the box @ 6:53...

-- David Brine is doing another nice job of clearing the puck..good determination...

-- Great job by Matthias (actually might have been Sprukts), finds Horton coming out of the box...Horton 1-on-1, draws the penalty shot @ 9:03...Horton blocked by Price, place erupts...you would have thought the Habs just won the Cup...

--Another Panther to the box; this time it's Cullimore @ 10:33

MONTREAL MAKES IT 2-1; ANDREI KOSTITSYN KNOCKS IN LOOSE PUCK WITH VOKOUN DOWN ON ICE...ITS 2-1 WITH 9 MINUTES LEFT IN SECOND...

-- Stewart sticks up for Duco, takes on Francis Bouillon...Settle down, Francis...

-- Habs on the PP, looks like Stewart is out, gets an instigator and a misconduct...

SCORE TIED, YANNICK WEBER TIES IT UP ON THE PP @ 14:22...IT'S 2-2

-- They just played 'American Woman' when showing replay of Repik getting checked into the boards...classy...

-- Nate mixes it up in the final seconds of the second; 'Kung-Fu Fighting' the music of choice...

END OF TWO IN MONTREAL, PANTHERS-CANADIENS TIED AT 2...

--Keith Ballard now getting into the fighting...

-- Update: 14 minutes left, still tied at 2...

-- Anthony Stewart back...

-- Cats on the PP with 5:41 left...it's for four minutes, so Cats have a nice chance right here...

-- FYI: Official score sheet has Horton's goal as even strength, so if you see that in paper tomorrow, it's wrong...it was on the PP..

--That's that...with 48 seconds left in PP, Campbell goes in for high sticking...so even for 48, Habs then on PP...2:27 left..

-- Going into OT, I'm going downstairs to watch...be back in a while..

-- OK, Panthers survive a Noah Welch penalty in OT, we're now going to a shootout...third SO for the Panthers in six preseason game...they are 1-1...

--Horton, Frolik and Peltonen all stopped; on third Montreal shot, Alex Kovalev wins it...so, Panthers end up winning two of their six preseason game, getting points in four of them.

Anywho, next post here will probably be from Charlotte International. Will be home soon, and I cannot wait.

So, from beautiful Montreal, good night everyone!

An Anniversary Comes and Goes

BirthdayaMONTREAL -- For the second straight year I forgot my good pal's birthday.

Yes, On Frozen Pond celebrated the start of its third season in silence last week, too bogged down with LIVE! gamers and pertinent news regarding the Florida Panthers to do much partying.

And as is my tradition, here is that original post from San Juan, Puerto Rico, way back on Sept. 24, 2006. I feel it reads as true today as it did back then.

Happy Birthday, Herald Hockey Extra!

Greetings from San Juan

Welcome to my newest little corner on the world wide web.

Even though I'm not very computer saavy (as Homer Simpson once said, "The internet is on computers now?"), I'm going to try and bring you -- the Herald's dedicated hockey fans -- even better coverage than before.

So G, what does that mean? Well, extra stuff we don't have room to run in the paper will go here; my thoughts and musings (go ahead and groan) about life, hockey and the American way; and just general junk. 

Good stuff, I know. 

We're kicking off this blog from the beautiful city of San Juan, Puerto Rico, just hours after the Rangers beat the Panthers 3-2 in the first pro hockey game in the Caribbean (still looking for those yo-ho-hoeing pirates).

The Panthers are in Detroit today, but I'm not. A shame, I know. The end of this 10-day preseason roadie is just about upon me, but not just yet. I have more sightseeing to do. Buenas Dias, Fanaticos del Hockey (that means good morning hockey fans! I think.)

September 27, 2008

Heading East

MuppetsCALGARY -- Well, it's been one interesting trip to western Canada, but as they say, all good things must come to an end.

Been here since Monday, so it's time to start heading in the right direction. The Panthers charter has already left for Montreal; half of the team is in Prince Edward Island for tonight's game against the Islanders. The other half will stay in Montreal tonight and play the Canadiens tomorrow.

We're done with this leg of the trip as everyone heads home -- or to Rochester -- on Monday.

Because of travel and financial constraints, I will not be in PEI tonight so there will be no LIVE! updates from the Islanders game. I will be missing the action same as everyone else. But, I will return Sunday with a special Montreal edition.

-- Peter DeBoer's first comment on Friday's 8-2 loss at Calgary: "Burn the tape.'' Can't do much evaluation when the team quits like they did, but hey, it's been a long trip. Pete DeB said he never thought about pulling Tomas Vokoun because he knew Tomas wanted to stay in there. It was ugly though. Florida should be a little more competitive in Montreal as Pete is putting together mostly veterans for this one.

-- Todd Bertuzzi named last night's first star of the game.

September 26, 2008

LIVE! From Calgary, V2

 

CALGARY -- Good evening hockey fans, George Richards here to share another evening with you, the Florida Panthers, the Calgary Flames, and the Empire Carpet bobblehead.

Long day of travel, but it did bring another stop in Red Deer. If you've never been there, make plans to go. Now. It is a true garden spot. Actually, I kid. I enjoy Red Deer and their fine eating establishments. Always a good stop.

Now, on to hockey.

As I posted here earlier, Bryan McCabe was held out of practice today and will not play against the Flames because of a hip flexor. Pete DeB says he's just "erring on the side of caution" and that Bryan McC is day-to-day and could play laster on this trip. Nick Boynton also out with an oblique strain.

Lot of regulars in the lineup tonight, with Tomas Vokoun scheduled to start and go the whole 60.

More as we go. Less than an hour before the puck drops.

-- FYI: Edmonton leading Winnipeg 7-0 on CFL Friday Night Football. Go Eskimos!

-- GAME ON, and game on the radio too....check out the fellas at 970 AM in Calgary...

CALGARY SCORES AT 2:13 OF THE FIRST, CURTIS GLENCROSS KNOCKING IN A LOOSE PUCK PAST TOMAS VOKOUN...ITS FLAMES 1-0...

--Vokun getting a workout...has already faced five shots, just got runover by Dustin Boyd. Vokie did knock off Boyd's lid, though...

--It's Vokoun...

-- Alternate caps tonight: Weiss, Horton, Bouwmeester...

-- Shots: CAL 8-1

FLAMES SCORE AGAIN, RENE BOURQUE DEFLECTS A HARD SHOT FROM ANDERS ERIKKSON AT 12:19...IT'S 2-0..

PANTHERS CUT INTO IT, VILLE PELTONEN SCORING AT 13:18 TO MAKE IT 2-1...

-- Jassen Cullimore to the box with 1:13 left in the period. First PP of the night...

--We're at the first break of the night, Calgary still leading 2-1.

--Panthers on the power play, if only for a minute...nine seconds into the PP, Branislav Mezei, err, Keith Ballard heads into the box..

MIKE DUCO TIES IT UP, CHARGES IN ON KIPPER AND DRIVES IT HOME...4:34 INTO THE SECOND, IT'S 2-2...

-- The D: Bouw/Cullimore; Ballard/Jason Garrison; Henry/MacDonald

JUST LIKE THAT, FLAMES LEADS AGAIN....MIKE CAMMALLERI GOES GLOVE SIDE ON VOKUN AT 5 MINUTES...

--Nate in the box...Calgary on the PP...

--Panthers going 4-on-4, fight breaks out in front of Vokoun...

-- Now Ballard back in, Calgary on 4-on-3 PP chance...9:02 left in the second

--Good job by David Brine to get the puck out of the net...

-- Ballard out, picks up pass at center ice and drives in...nice stop by Kipper..EDIT: McElhinney is in...

--Jordan Henry wins his fight, but gets bloodied in the process...his dance partner: Craig Anderson's buddy Jamie Lundmark. He gets 4 minutes in the box, Florida on extended PP....still haven't scored a PP goal this preseason...

--Ballard almost changed that...off the post...JayBo with a nice slapshot...Weiss just misses hitting Ville in front of the net...

END OF TWO AT THE SADDLEDOME...CALGARY 3, FLORIDA 2...

-- Shots: CAL 31-17...1:16 left on penalty when we come back...

-- Marlins win, the Marlins win....

-- Edmonton leading Winnipeg 23-22 in the fourth quarter..

-- Another PP come and gone...good fight breaks out behind Calgary goal...Stefan Meyer and old pal Rhett Warrener...

CALGARY SCORES AGAIN, DAVID MOSS AT 3:03...IT'S CALGARY 4, FLA 2

GIVE IT UP FOR BERT...TODD WALKS IN ON VOKOUN AND SINKS IT....CALGARY 5, FLA 2...4:43 INTO THE THIRD...WHO'S READY FOR MONTREAL?

-- Panthers back for the PK...Ville in at 6:34...

-- Duco figures Ville is lonely, joins him...5-on-3 for 58 seconds...6-2?

YEPPERS...DAVID MOSS RIGHT BETWEEN VOKOUN'S SKATES....CALGARY RUNNING AWAY WITH THIS ONE...IT'S 6-2....STILL 11:26 LEFT....ZZZZZZ...

-- LIVE! is shutting down unless something interesting happens. There's 5:25 left, and it's been a long week. So if you don't hear back, 6-2 is your final.

Good night all, see you in the funny papers...

CALGARY TOUCHDOWN! WAYNE PRIMEAU GOT A GIFT, AN EMPTY NET AND A LONELY PUCK...ITS 7-2 WITH 4:32 LEFT...OY....

GOODNESS...CORY SARICH WITH A BIG SHOT...IT'S NOW 8-2...

--Yes, all eight goals on Vokoun...he's faced 40 shots (and stopped 32 of them)...

September 25, 2008

LIVE! From Edmonton, V2

EdmontonmallEDMONTON -- Travel tip for you. If you are ever in the Edmonton Metropolitan area, you have to check out the West Edmonton Mall.

You think Sawgrass Mills is big? This place not only has it's own miniature golf course, but a shooting range, a casino, a bingo palace and a huge water park complete with wave pools and a huge slide thingy. Impressed? They also have a place called "Hooters." Don't know what they serve there, perhaps owls?

Spent a couple of hours there today and didn't spend too much either.

Now, onto the countdown.

We're less than an hour away from Game 3 of this preseason, the second straight matchup with the Oilers. There's a chance some of last night's ugliness spills over since a good number of players who played last night are back for a second helping.

Here are tonight's line combos:

Dvorak-Matthias-Olesz; Meyer-Sprukts-Repik; Campbell-Kreps-Frolik; MacIntyre-Larman-Stewart; Welch-Fitzpatrick; Skarastins-Murphy; Ellerby-Aston; Vokoun, Anderson.

Pete DeB says the plan is to start Tomas Vokoun in net, then halfway through, let Craig Anderson back in. Anderson will be flying with most of this bunch to Prince Edward Island tomorrow, but Vokoun is headed back to Calgary and will start Sunday in Montreal.

More as we go. Remember to keep checking back.

-- Also, tonight's game is on TSN (CESPN) up here in Canader, so if anyone finds a streaming link, send it to me and I'll post here. Game is also on radio here.

-- Something from the Panthers you all might be interested in:

Florida Panthers to Host “Opening Night Watch Party” at Billiard Club in Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on Oct. 10 as Panthers Open 2008-09 Season at Carolina

Billiard Club to Have Live FSN-Florida Game Broadcast on Big Screen TV’s


SUNRISE, FL –
The Florida Panthers and Sunrise Sports & Entertainment (SSE) announced today that they will hold an “Opening Night Watch Party” on Friday, Oct. 10 at the Billiard Club in the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino beginning at 6 p.m.
That evening the Panthers will open up the 2008-09 NHL season as they take on the Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh, NC at 7:30 p.m.

The evening will include drink specials from Bud Light, food specials and live music by “Nobody’s Fault” featuring lead singer Bill Murphy, the PA announcer at the BankAtlantic Center. Stanley C. Panther and the Panthers Ice Dancers will also be in attendance to meet with fans. In addition the Billiard Club is offering half-off pool during the FSN-Florida broadcast of the game.

“This is our Opening Night,” President/COO of SSE, Michael Yormark said. “And while our team is on the road we wanted to create a unique opportunity for our fans to come together and cheer on their Panthers, a night before our home opener against the Atlanta Thrashers.”

ALSO

SUNRISE, Fla. – Sunrise Sports & Entertainment announced today that the National Lacrosse League – North America's professional indoor lacrosse league and the top professional league in the sport of lacrosse – will host the first-ever professional lacrosse game in the state of Florida on January 3, 2009 at the BankAtlantic Center.

The New York Titans will face the Toronto Rock in a regular season game also to be known as the Florida Lacrosse Cup. Game time for the Saturday contest is scheduled for 8 p.m.T ickets for the historic game go on sale tomorrow, Sept. 26 at all Ticketmaster outlets, charge by phone (954-523-3309 in Broward County, 305-358-5885 in Dade County and 561-966-3309 in Palm Beach County) and at www.ticketmaster.com and the BankAtlantic Center box office. 

For more information, please visit www.FloridaLacrosseCup.com. For more information on the National Lacrosse League, please visit www.NLL.com.

"We're proud to deliver the state of Florida's first-ever professional lacrosse game, and to have it here at BankAtlantic Center", said NLL Commissioner Jim Jennings at a press conference held earlier today.  "We definitely view South Florida as a place for future expansion, and we are bringing the game here on January 3 to give fans a chance to experience the excitement of the NLL in person at this great venue."

-- Will be back with hockey momentarily while you digest all that good news....

GAME ON -- GAME ON -- GAME ON

Sorry about the delay, am doing a lot of things at once.

Florida gives up the first goal of the night, Tyler Spurgeon scoring at 7:57...kind of a softy, but it's Tomas' first time out here this preason.

-- For those who want to watch the game, check this out:

-- Everyone got the game on? I have a bunch of work to get done, so no play-by-play tonight (I don't think it's needed)...enjoy the TSN broadcast and keep checking back..I'll be posting here quite a bit -- just not as much as the past few nights...

-- Speaking of that, Michal Repik in the box for tripping at 14:45; Oilers 4 for 21 on the PP this preseason..

-- OK, we're in the second period and I've completed my work. It feels good, you know, that sense of accomplishment. That said, the Panthers aren't accomplishing anything on the power play. Finally had a scoring chance, one of the rare moments Florida has done anything while skating with the advantage. Florida is now 0-for-16 on the PP this preseason.

Yuck.

-- Vokoun is out of the game; Anderson now in net for the Panthers...we're midway through the second period, still 1-0 Edmonton

OILERS GOAL...SCORE OFF A 5-ON-3, ROBERT NILSSON SCORING AT 12:47 OF THE SECOND...IT'S EDM 2, FLA 0

--Don't forget, will be back live tomorrow night live from the Keenandome in beautiful downtown Calgary. Picked up a new Stampeders shirt but I won't be wearing that tomorrow. Saving that for SoFla. Can't find any Oil Kings gear, so I guess that'll have to do...

--First "fight" of the night...Michal Repik getting into a mini-tussle...

-- Anyone watching this USC-Oregon State game? Well, I ain't. College football  not big up here in Canada. Saturday is going to suck.

-- Panthers getting another PP chance....four minutes this time...maybe...

END OF 2 IN EDMONTON, FLORIDA TRAILS 2-0...PANTHERS WILL BE ON THE POWER PLAY WHEN THEY RETURN TO THE ICE IN THE THIRD...NOT THAT IT MATTERS....

-- Oregon State shocking the top-ranked Trojans of USC, 21-0 at the half...hoo-ha!

--Speaking of SoCal, congrats to Joe Torre and the Los Angeles Dodgers of Hollywood for winning the NL West and heading into the playoffs. Of course, Hank Steinbrenner doesn't think this is fair. You want a funny ready, check this out.

Believe it or not, the Yankees -- who spend more money on their underperforming lineup than Warner Brothers -- are complaining about something being unfair. You have to be kidding me.

-- Panthers Putrid Play now 0-for-18 on the preseason...

-- Skrastins and Repik both just had nice scoring chances down low...we're midway through the third, still 2-0 Oil...

PANTHERS GOAL -- OLESZ GOES IN HARD, DVORAK FINISHES 'ER OFF..IT'S 2-1 EDMONTON WITH 9:27 LEFT IN REGULATION...

CATS SCORE AGAIN, ANTHONY STEWART WITH THE GOAL LESS THAN 2 MINUTES LEFT IN REGULATION...

-- We're in overtime...

-- Rory Fitzpatrick takes a penalty but the Panthers survive...looks like another shootout...How 'bout that?

SHOOTOUT -- SHOOTOUT -- SHOOTOUT

--Well that's it kiddies, the Panthers Perfect Preseason now spoiled. Had to come to an end soon. Oilers win shootout 2-1, and win the game 3-2.

Have a good night, enjoy the USC games and we'll see you bright and early Friday morning.

Take off, eh!

Day Off in Edmonton

BeachEDMONTON -- The sun is out and the tropical breezes have made for a glorious day here in Western Canada, although if you're going outside in shorts and sandals you might draw some funny looks.

The Panthers worked out in Calgary this morning, and should be headed north on Route 2 anytime now for a second meeting with the host Edmonton Oilers. Since I decided to stay in Edmonton and not make the trek back to Calgary, I don't have a whole lot to do this afternoon. Might head to the beach, perhaps hit some golf balls. Whatever.

Will check back in later, probably earlier than the past couple of days. Meeting the team at the arena and will pass along any news I uncover in our newest, latest LIVE! session from Rexall Place.

Now, off to work on my tan.

But not before....

G-MAN'S DAILY LYNX

-- Some news on the positional battles on the Toronto blueline...

-- James Mirtle isn't very fond of the current preseason schedule, and pokes some fun at Florida's six-games in six-nights.

-- Good read on Toronto's Jason Blake at NHL.com

-- Puck Daddy looks at the Penguins of Pittsburgh...

-- Steve Y wants to make the jump to NHL GM one of these days. As long as it's soon.

-- Tim Thomas is taking over in Boston.

Panthers beat Oilers, 3-2 in shootout

BY GEORGE RICHARDS grichards@MiamiHerald.com

EDMONTON, Alberta – The Florida Panthers and Edmonton Oilers played late into the night Wednesday, their preseason battle exceeding 65 minutes of game time and going into a shootout.

And even three shootout shots wasn't enough to decide this fight-marred marathon.

Florida's Bryan McCabe beat Edmonton goalie Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers on the Panthers' fifth shot to earn the Panthers a hard-fought 3-2 win over the Oilers at Rexall Place.

The Panthers kept their two regular keepers on the shelf and gave one of their minor league backstops a chance to play. Chris Beckford-Tseu started in net for the Panthers in their preseason game at Edmonton, surrendering two goals in regulation but saving his best in the end. Beckford-Tseu gave up two goals in the shootout, but stopped Edmonton on its final three shots for the winner.

Beckford-Tseu, 24, was signed as a free agent this summer and is pegged to start the season in Rochester, N.Y.

The way he played Wednesday, however, showed he would be ready to play in case something happened to Tomas Vokoun or Craig Anderson as he made key stops throughout the second and third periods. Beckford-Tseu, who played in one game with St. Louis last season, played in all three North American professional leagues last year. Not only did he get his sip of coffee in the NHL, but he split time with Alaska of the ECHL and Peoria of the AHL.

One night after watching from the bench, Beckford-Tseu didn't get much work early on, the host Oilers not getting their first shot on goal until midway through the first period. Edmonton only took four shots in the opening period, although one was strong, Shawn Horcoff scoring on a power play with 40.3 seconds left. That tied the score, Florida opening the scoring with a Janis Sprukts goal from the left circle 1:49 into the game.

Florida had a 2-1 lead thanks to a Shawn Matthias goal in the second, although Shawn Horcoff tied it again on another power play goal. Florida's Richard Zednik was called for hooking early in the overtime, but the Oilers' advantage was wiped out when Edmonton's Sheldon Souray was ejected for instigating another brawl.

Anderson, Florida's regular backup, played all 60 minutes of Tuesday's 3-2 win at Calgary as Beckford-Tseu watched from the bench. Coach Peter DeBoer planned on putting Beckford-Tseu in at one point, but said he and goalie coach Pierre Groulx “just let him roll. I thought he was playing well and we had a chance to win the game. We made a decision on the fly to let him finish and I thought he did a great job. ''

Anderson's chin was sore after Tuesday's game after a hard slap shot from Calgary's Jamie Lundmark struck Anderson in the mask. Anderson initially fell to the ice, but was quick to get back up and resume play.

“I was a little shaken up, but that gets you in the game even more,'' Anderson said. “I just wanted to make sure the mask wasn't broken. It was nice to get the whistle and get some time to recover.''

POWER-LESS

The Panthers are now 0-for-14 on power play chances this preseason, something DeBoer says isn't a concern. Yet. With his 50-man roster split into two teams, DeBoer says it's hard to get a true read on his power play units. The ugliest moment came when the Panthers managed just one shot during a four-minute advantage in the second period.

“We're going to keep working at it,'' DeBoer said. “It's no secret to generate goals this year, we're going to need a good power play.''

-- Florida's assistant captains on Wednesday: Nathan Horton, Cory Stillman and Bryan McCabe. DeBoer has yet to decide on who Florida will have as a captain this season. Horton was also used as a penalty killer on Wednesday, one example of DeBoer redefining roles of various players this preseason.  Horton, predominately used as a right wing during his Florida career and very rarely as a penalty killer, centered the top line Wednesday with Stillman and Richard Zednik on the wings.

-- Zednik participated in his first game action since having his carotid artery accidentally severed by the skate of teammate Olli Jokinen on Feb. 10 in Buffalo.

-- The Oilers held a moment of silence for former goalie Jussi Markkanen, whose 3-year-old son died  in Russia on Monday. The Oilers also wore decals on their helmets to honor Olie-Matias Markkanen, who fell four stories to his death after playing on a window ledge in Moscow.

 

September 24, 2008

LIVE! From Edmonton

GretzstatueEDMONTON -- Coming to you live from atop Rexall Place, I'm George Richards welcoming you to another electrifying evening of Florida Panthers hockey.

Tonight the roadtripping Panthers take on the homestanding Edmonton Oilers. Florida is fresh off a 3-2 victory at Calgary on Tuesday night; the Oilers lost at Vancouver to the Luongos 2-1.

The Panthers charter (bus) is parked on the ramp right off of Wayne Gretzky Drive and we're less than an hour away from gametime. Don't have who will be in net yet, but will update once the teams come onto the ice.

I do believe tonight's game is being broadcast by Edmonton's radio team (only because they called me this morning) but if you can make heads or tails of the station's really crummy website, good for you. Anyways, check here in a bit and maybe the game will be on.

The Panthers will head south after the game and resume practice in Calgary, with the other half of the team making the drive back here tomorrow. Yep, back-to-back games for the Panthers in Edmonton. Lucky us. The good thing about making the trek up Route 2 is the usual stop in Red Deer, a city made famous by our own Randy 'Red Deer' Moller. Got to love how the guy's nickname is his hometown.

Just call me George 'Miami' Richards from now on.

I'll be back throughout the night, and once I have a definitive answer on the radio deal, will update it here.

Come on back and check us out, will ya?

Thanks.

--Tomorrow night's game is being broadcast across Canada on TSN (the Canadian ESPN, which, I say should be called CESPN). Anyway, don't know if it's going to be accessible in the states, but I would bet it's on the NHL Network. Will check with them.

-- Just checked NHL Network website. Tomorrow's game is not on their schedule.

--GOALIE UPDATE: No Vokoun, and surprisingly, no Anderson either. Chris Beckford-Tseu will start with David Shantz backing him up.

-- Starting Lineup: Horton, Stillman, Zednik, Ballard, Boynton, Beckford-Tseu.

GAME ON -- GAME ON -- GAME ON -- GAME ON

-- Should I get an Oil Kings cap or T-shirt? Let me know...

-- PANTHERS SCORE...JANIS SPRUKTS FROM THE LEFT CIRCLE...A KILLER SHOT 1:49 INTO THE GAME...FLA 1, EDM 0...STEFAN MEYER WITH THE ASSIST

--Anyone interested in four tickets to the home opener on Oct. 11? How about if we throw in food, some caps, a Panther goodie bag and -- get this -- a limo ride to the game? Going to be our biggest and bestest giveaway contest ever. Let me know if you think people will be interested. Of course, have to limit this to folks who live in South Florida.

Details in the coming days...

-- Mike Duco mixing it up -- and getting taken down -- by Theo Peckman...dude's trying to make the team. Good for him...

-- Nick Boynton just went off the ice...might be skate, might be bathroom break..

-- Zednik goes high...obviously good to see him out here playing hockey again. And kids, let me tell you, he's looked good in camp. The Cats have high hopes for his game this season.

-- If you haven't seen it, Noah Welch is one of a handful of athletes who is donating his brain to a concussion story upon his death. Kinda morbid, yeah, but he feels strongly about the subject. Read about it here.

-- The Oilers finally get a shot off, eight minutes into the game...

-- Boynton back out there...

--TV timeout at 10:29; shots: FLA 9-1

-- Cats on the PP; Fernando Pisani in for hooking...

-- Interesting: Nathan Horton wearing one of the As out there tonight...Stillman too...

--Cats get four shots on PP, but no goals. Again. Talked to Pete DeBoer about the PP today after Cats went 0-for-6 last night. He says he's not concerned since the team is split, although he plans on working the PP units hard once the Cats get back to Florida. He says the Panthers are going to need a good PP to pick up some goals. Yes they are...

--Shots with 3:01 left: FLA 16-1

--Brady Calla into the box with 2:59 left. See if the Oilers can get some shots and give Chris some sort of challenge...

-- Interesting II: Horton is out there killing off penalties...

--Going to be a EDM 5-on-3 for :33 seconds, Noah Welch heading to the bin for two minutes during the kill..

EDMONTON SCORES WITH 40.3 LEFT IN FIRST...SHAWN HORCOFF ROCKETS ON IN FROM THE RIGHT CIRCLE...EDM 1, FLA 1

-- Game back on, second period now underway. Shots on goal, FLA 16-4...

-- Janis Sprukts into the box for mixing it up with Guillaume Lefebvre; Jordan Henry of the Panthers started this one by driving Liam Reddox into the boards...Lefebvre gets four minutes for roughing at 2:07; it's a four minute PP for the Cats...0-7 on PP this preseason..

SHAWN MATTHIAS SCORES AND THE PANTHERS REGAIN THE LEAD..NICE WORK BETWEEN HE AND VILLE PELTONEN THROUGHOUT...GOAL COMES AT 8:03...FLA 2, EDM 1

--Panthers back on the PK; Matthias hooking...EDM is 1-for-2 on PP...

EDMONTON'S LIAM REDDOX TIES IT, SCORING ON A REBOUND IN FRONT OF THE NET AT 12:03 OF THE SECOND...EDM 2, FLA 2

--Panthers lose another fight, but at least Tanner Glass gave Lefebvre a go after Lefebvre decked David Brine...Panthers get the bonus, on the power play...

PANTHERS GO INTO SECOND BREAK, WITH HAVE 40 SECONDS LEFT ON PP WHEN WE RETURN...END OF 2, FLA AND EDM TIED AT 2...

--This is like watching some MMA event at Hard Rock....fists flying all over this joint...and Tanner Glass just got tossed to the ice...Stefan Meyer on the defense, but he gets jacked too...Panthers do get another PP chance tho...midway through the third...

-- Panthers finally win a fight...Duco with the takedown...still tied with 6:29 left in the third...please, no overtime...

-- Panthers get another PP chance..0-for-5 so far tonight, 0-for-11 during the preseason.

In case you haven't noticed, going to a shootout...

Panthers win in the shootout, Beckford-Tseu getting the win...

Good night all, see you tomorrow...

It's Oil Country

GretzkyEDMONTON -- First post of the day is coming a little late, but the drive from Calgary to Edmonton is long and wireless internet is scarce.

Went to the morning skate at University of Calgary this morning, not much news to offer. Word is, Tomas Vokoun may not start tonight as expected, Chris Beckford-Tseu (the likely starter in Rochester this season) likely starting. If Chris B-T starts, Craig Anderson will be the backup.

Asked Pete if Tomas was hurt and he said no; he's just being careful with so many games in so many nights. And I think he wants Tomas to start in Montreal, so if Tomas doesn't go tonight, he could go Thursday in Edmonton, then go again Sunday. Or Friday and Sunday. Whatever.

-- As promised, will be going LIVE! from Rexall Place tonight. Probably online around 8:15 MiamiTime. The drive wasn't very condusive to work, so I have plenty to do, so I may be a bit slower. Would be good to see everyone back online like last night. That was a fun run. 

September 23, 2008

LIVE! From Calgary, it's Florida Panthers hockey

CatscalgaryCALGARY -- Yeah, that's an old photo, but it's all I can work with up here. Can't get my camera phone to send through Canadian wireless.

So you're stuck with a picture of David Booth (wearing No. 46) celebrating in front of former Florida goalie Jamie McLennan.

The rest of this post will be fresh, I can assure you.

Sitting high above the Saddledome in a chilly Calgary, Alberta, where fall is in full swing. The leaves have already begun to change colors and it's going to be cold enough tonight to set records if we were in South Florida.

It's 8:28 MiaTime, and the two teams have taken to the ice for the first time this preseason. Calgary in its usual home reds, Florida in its road whites. Todd Bertuzzi is on Calgary's first line tonight, and he has given up his usual No. 44 in exchange for for a No. 7. Says it's in honour (I'm in Canada) of Phil Esposito, whom he grew up idolizing.

More as we go. Must say, it's good to have hockey back.

-- Don't know if it's on in the States, but NHL Network is showing the Kraft Hockeyville game between Buffalo and Montreal right now. We have 4:50 left in the second, Habs up 1-0. Check 'er out if you have the means...

STARTING LINEUPS -- FLA: Campbell, McLean, Dvorak, Bouwmeester, Cullimore, Anderson. CAL: Bertuzzi, Iginla, Backlund, Sarich, Regehr, McElhinney.

-- The Anthems are done -- and done well, actually -- and we're ready for hockey.

GAME ON -- GAME ON -- GAME ON

-- Panthers on their first power play of the preseason less than two minutes in...

-- Youngster Keaton Ellerby getting his shot on Florida's second PP rotation...

-- Bo just popped in a puck only ref Ed Hochuli had already blown the play dead...Panthers on three-second 5-on-3, so, an extended power play...

-- FYI: The game is being streamed live by Calgary's 690 the Team. Good folks over there. Link is in a post below...

-- Panthers have 17 seconds left in extended PP; have six shots while with the advantage, but alas, no goals...

-- Jassen Cullimore takes Florida's first penalty of the preseason.. Calgary on PP at 6:20...

-- Craig Anderson looks to be in midseason form...dude making some serious stops...

--Frolik just had a good scoring chance, only he couldn't handle the puck...the young kids looking good out here...and Andy just made another sweet save...

-- And the Panthers go back on the PP, Brett McLean drawing the penalty....we have 7:01 left here in the opening quarter...just kidding, I'm in hockey mode...

-- This sucks: Calgary Hitmen play host to the Edmonton Oil Kings here tomorrow night. Should I go cover the Panthers in Edmonton, or sit in the stands and root on my Oil Kings? Tough one, yep.

-- Booth, Weiss, Bo, Olesz and Murph on Florida's opening PP unit...

-- Booth just takes penalty eight seconds in...we're even at 4-on-4..

-- Panthers back on the PP, 3:55 left in the opening period...

-- DEmpiresportswriter_2on't forget, On Frozen Pond goes LIVE! throughout the preseason -- save for the Islanders game on Prince Edward Island on Saturday night. So don't forget to check back on an hourly basis throughout CanadaWeek.

--Calgary putting on a nice shorthanded charge, getting Murph to take a penalty at 2:24. 4-on-4 for 29 seconds, then Calgary PP..

--We're through one complete here in Calgary, with no score. Shots even as well, nine apiece...

--Oh my: New sandwich at Tim Hortons is a Bagel BLT. Look's like me and Steve X are hitting the Timmie's in Red Deer tomorrow. Glad I scored that Timmie's gift card this morning.

-- Ready for the start of the second...

-- Bryan McCabe not dressed tonight FYI

--PANTHERS GOAL -- DAVID BOOTH AT 1:18 OF THE SECOND PERIOD...SHOVELS IN THE PUCK OFF A BLOCK...PANTHERS 1, FLAMES 0

--Repik heads to the box, Calgary PP at 2:15....

--Eating my first popcorn of the season at 4:35 of the second...

--Rusty drives the net...no go...good look though...

-- Marlins lose again tonight, FYI

-- FLAMES tie it up; Dustin Boyd top shelf past Craig Anderson at 13:02 of the second...tied 1-1

--Culli goes to the box for the second time tonight, this time for holding w/ 1:43 left in the second.

--Iginla makes Florida pay for that one, scoring with 44.2 seconds left in the period. Also, top shelf. So, it's Calgary 2, Florida 1

-- End of two periods in Calgary, Flames 2, Panthers 1

-- Of Florida's 17 shots tonight, seven by Weiss-Booth-Frolik. Frolik has three of those seven...

-- PS: Keep up the banter on the comment section...good stuff coming from all around...I'm enjoying the comments...let's all plan to meet up tomorrow night, cool?

--Anthony Stewart with a big chance..he's playing very aggressive...me thinks he's out of JM's doghouse (finally)...

-- Panthers back on the power play at 2:12 of the third...holding the stick your call...

-- Anderson still in net...good thing too...Andy makes two more nice saves as the Flames kill off the penalty quite successfully...

-- Larman heads to the box, he'll do two minutes and feel shame...Calgary on the PP at 5:24

-- Anderson just took a hard shot to the face/neck area off stick off Jamie Lundmark..went down in a heap...he's talking to Dave Zenobi now, fixing his mask...is good to go and is staying in the game. Good to see...

-- Frolik with another good chance..dude is playing well...now Bert flies up the ice, misses...

-- Timeout with 11:43 remaining in the third...both starting goalies still in...

OLESZ CONTINUES HIS STRONG GAME, TIES THE SCORE AT 2 WITH 9:46 LEFT...TAKES A NICE FROM STEWART FROM BEHIND THE NET...FLA 2, CAL 2...

--Panthers 0-for-5 on PP, but getting another chance here...9:06 left...

--Five minutes left...

--JAY BO GIVES FLORIDA THE LEAD ON A SWEET DRIVE AND SHOVEL...3:27 LEFT FLA 3, CAL 2

PANTHERS WIN -- IT'S A FINAL FROM CANADA -- SEE YOU ALL TOMORROW -- GOOD NIGHT AND DRIVE SAFELY...

Morning Skate

CALGARY -- Not much to report here, it was your basic morning skate at the Saddledome. I gave you all the lineups in an earlier post, although Pete DeBoer has switched some things up today and Rostislav Olesz will be in tonight.

Craig Anderson in goal.

-- Mike Keenan is ready to break out his newest combo, Jarome Iginla with Todd Bertuzzi. Should be interesting to see. I, for one, think Todd's going to have a pretty good year here. Only saw him briefly, but he looks to be in great shape and will be given plenty of playing time under Keenan.

-- If you're in the mood for some Calgary hockey talk, check out Calgary's Fan 960 AM. They're going all day from the Saddledome, and will be broadcasting tonight's game live and in living color. Tell 'em George sent ya.

-- LIVE! from the Saddledome starting tonight around 7:30. So, you can listen to the game on 960 and get your running commentary from me right here. It's what we call a 'win-win' situation.

-- Top line is Stephen Weiss centering David Booooooth and Michael Frolik; Richard Zednik, originally slated to play tonight, was not at skate.

-- From the Panthers and Brian Goldman:

COUNTDOWN TO PANTHERS OPENING NIGHT

18 Days: Ville Peltonen

SUNRISE, Fla. – The Florida Panthers open up their 2008-09 season in 18 days when they head to Raleigh to take on their Southeast Division rival Carolina Hurricanes on Friday, October 10 at 7 p.m. Each day leading up to Opening Night, the Panthers will highlight a specific meaning to the number of days remaining until the start of the season.

18 – Ville Peltonen

Florida Panthers LW Ville Peltonen is in his third season with the Panthers after being recruited from Finland by Panthers GM Jacques Martin. Peltonen scored the 100th point of his NHL career on Oct. 26 last season. Peltonen brings an enormous amount of international experience to the Panthers. He has competed in 13 World Championships and three Olympic Games for his native country Finland.

PANTHERS PRESEASON

  • The Panthers open up their preseason schedule tonight in Calgary when they face the Flames at 9p.m. EDT. Tonight’s game can be heard on Fan960 in Calgary by logging onto www.calgaryflames.com and www.nhl.com.

  • Tomorrow Florida heads to Edmonton for the first of two games in two nights against the Oilers. Both games begin at 9p.m. EDT. Thursday’s game will be televised on TSN in Canada.

PANTHERS ON THE AIR

  • Wednesday, Sept. 24 – Peter DeBoer on 790 The Ticket with Sid Rosenberg at 8:45 a.m.

PANTHERS HYUNDAI CARAVAN TOUR

  • Week of Sept. 21-27 – Stanley C. Panther and Panthers Ice Dancers to appear throughout South Florida handing out pocket schedules, Panthers paraphernalia, etc.

More Panthers' press releases right here!

FLORIDA PANTHERS PRESEASON SPECIAL PREMIERES ON FSN FLORIDA SATURDAY, SEPT. 27 AT 5:30PM

SUNRISE –  The Florida Panthers announced today that the Florida Panthers Preseason Special is scheduled to premiere on FSN Florida Saturday, September 27 at 5:30pm and will  replay multiple times before the start of the regular 2008-09 NHL season.

Hosted by FSN Florida’s Frank Forte, the new half-hour show will focus on the continued growth of the Panthers’ top players like Nathan Horton, Stephen Weiss, David Booth, Jay Bouwmeester and Rostislav Olesz.  This young core is the nucleus of the Panther squad which has made late runs at the playoffs for the past two seasons. Plus, the veteran presence of goaltender Tomas Vokoun, who returned to All-Star status in the 2007-08 NHL season, provides the Cats with the most important element of any successful hockey team - good play in the net. Panther fans will also get a preview of the new additions to the roster with a feature on Keith Ballard, Nick Boynton, Brian McCabe and Cory Stillman, who were all acquired in the off-season. Ballard, Boynton and McCabe are predicted to significantly upgrade the Panthers corps of defensemen.

FSN Florida’s Panthers play-by-play announcer Steve Goldstein will speak with new Panthers Head Coach Peter DeBoer about his jump into the NHL after a successful career in Canadian junior hockey and hear his thoughts on guiding the Panthers.  In addition, Goldstein will be joined by FSN Florida’s Panthers color analyst and hockey Hall of Famer Denis Potvin to review the competition in the Eastern Conference and offer their thoughts for the upcoming season.

 


 

Greetings from Calgary

CalgaryCALGARY, Alberta -- Wish you were here.

But since you're not, I plan on being your eyes and ears here in beautiful Canada the coming days.

Just had a nice breakfast at the Westin -- where a little Elvis was playing -- so my day is off to a solid start. Heading to the rink here in a moment, and may have live updates once I get there. Have to see if they have wireless or not.

Will tell Bert, Mike and Noodles you all send your very best.

DAILY LYNX JR

-- Speaking of Mike Keenan, he likes the Flames' fitness level.

-- Mathieu Schnieder may be leaving the west coast and heading to the Southeast. USA Today's Kevin Allen says a deal between the Ducks and Thrashers may be in the works.

-- Henrik Lundqvist is having knee problems.

-- Apparently a lot of empty seats at the WestJet Center in Toronto despite the Leafs giving away tickets. We know how they feel.

-- Sad story out of Moscow as Jussi Markkanen's 3-year-old son falls out of a third story window and dies. Our heartfelt condolences to the Markkanen family.

September 22, 2008

Calgary Stampeding

 

Truck The Panthers are done with South Florida for a week, their charter scheduled to leave sunny Fort Lauderdale at 12:30 today.

Looking forward to a week in tropical Canada. FYI, it's 48 in Calgary right now. And that looks like that's as warm as it's going to get this week. Hey, at least I get to break out the winter coat.

Peter DeBoer split the teams in two today, with one side being NHL regulars and the other being Florida's minor leaguers. Kenndal McArdel, Shawn Matthias and Michael Frolik worked with the big squad.

DeBoer said today he wanted to do that because he wanted to have his core group together at least for a day. With six preseason games in as many nights, he's splitting the team up into two, so having most of the NHL guys practicing as one isn't going to happen until they return next week.

-- DeBoer said this group is the one that will play tomorrow in Calgary: Booth-Weiss-Zednik; Campbell-McLean-Dvorak; McArdle-Sprukts-Stewart; MacIntyre-Larman-Repik; Cullimore-Bouwmeester; Skrastins-Murphy; MacDonald-Beaverson; Aston-Garrison; Anderson, Beckford-Tseu, Shantz.

That means the other team goes Wednesday in Edmonton, with the Calgary gang facing the Oilers in the rematch Thursday night.The complete breakdown, as it stands now, on the previous post.

-- News: Bryan Allen participated in all of today's work, and DeBoer says he'll play sometime this week. Wade Belak still being held out with the shoulder, he'll play against the Islanders on Oct. 6.

-- Prospects Adam Comrie, Corey Syvret, A.J. Jenks and Colby Robak were returned to their respective junior teams on Monday. The Panthers are traveling with 50 players.

DAILY LYNX

-- Friend David Shoalts writes about Bryan McCabe. Hope I showed you a good enough time while you were here, D.

-- The Rangers' Wade Redden gets a homecoming in Ottawa tonight.

-- The NHL returns to Kansas City, if only for a night. The Blues take on the Kings.

-- Al Montoya getting a fresh start out in the desert. Say hello to Olli for us, would ya?

September 21, 2008

LIVE! Scrimmage II

Arena2 The Panthers are currently practicing at Incredible Ice, the second scrimmage of the season about to go here soon.

It appears Bryan Allen is being held out of these initial workouts for the second straight day after having some minor knee surgery a few weeks back.

Here are the team rosters, a split I assume will pretty much get us through the first few exhibition games in Canada. For instance, team A may play the opener at Calgary, with team B playing the following night in Calgary. And so on, and so on.

Team A: Stillman-Horton-Olesz; Peltonen-Kreps-Frolik; Glass-Matthias-Meyer; Duco-Brine-Calla; Ballard-Boynton; Welch-McCabe; Caruso-Henry; Ellerby-Fitzpatrick; Vokoun-Plante. Out: Collins, Belak, Delory, Syvret.

Team B: Booth-Weiss-Zednik; Campbell-McLean-Dvorak; McArdle-Sprukts-Stewart; MacIntyre-Larman-Repik; Cullimore-Bouwmeester; Skrastins-Murphy; MacDonald-Beaverson; Aston-Garrison; Anderson, Beckford-Tseu, Shantz. Out: Sweetland, Jenks, Comrie, Allen, Robak.

-- UPDATE: It's 10:53 and the Zamboni is out clearing the stadium rink. Come on over, another good hour of hockey remaining...

-- GAME ON...two 30 minutes halves...

-- Ten minutes in, no score...here we go again...

-- Craig Anderson just made a big save...heading to the 20 minute mark still scoreless...

--  Anderson with another big save...robs Shawn Matthias...

-- We've now gone 20 minutes today, and 35 minutes yesterday, without a goal....that's a long time of scrimmaging without any scoring...

-- Finally a goal; Ville Peltonen with 6:35 left in the first half, White up 1-0 (and 3-0 overall)....

-- We're at the half here in South Parkland...White 1, Blue 0

--David Booth puts one in four minutes into the second...Blue 1, White 1

-- Jassen Cullimore puts in another goals for the Blue, they lead 2-1 with 12:20 left.

-- Anthony Stewart scores an empty netter with a little over a minute left...3-1 Blue...

It's a final: The Florida Blues 3, the White Stripes 1

Good day from Coral Springs. Enjoy the football. Will see you tomorrow -- unless I come up with some more junk later in the day. So make sure you check back, ya hear?

LIVE! Sunday Panther

Arena3 Back for Day 2 of the 2008-09 Florida Panthers season, it's 9:40 a.m. and only one player (Richard Zednik) on the ice. 

Much different scene than Saturday's opener. For one, there's only about 15 people milling around Incredible Ice right now. Secondly, well, that's about it.

Will be updating this site throughout the morning, and will be live when the scrimmage kicks off around 11.

-- In case you missed it, the Miami Arena is no more. Around 8 a.m. this morning, charges were set off from the roof bringing at least that down. Didn't look like a whole lot, actually. You can see video from our good friends at CBS-4 right here.

-- And here's our take on the 'festivities.'

FLORIDA PANTHERS DAILY LYNX

-- Here's the Herald story on the demolition, with quotes from some guy named 'Beezer.'

-- Here's my story in Sunday's paper regarding Jay Bouwmeester with other news and notes.

-- Story from Detroit: Jiri Fischer says he's in a good place right now.

-- Don't bet on Martin Brodeur playing in 77 games this season.

-- The Penguins have sold out 10 games this season; the Wild sold out their opener in eight minutes; you can get free tickets to the Panthers preseason game on Oct. 6 by going into Quarterdeck and asking the hostess for a voucher.

-- And speaking of Quarterdeck, the Lightning win its preseason opener, rookie Steven Stamkos getting the shootout winner as the West Coasters beat the Burghers 5-4.

September 20, 2008

The Old Arena Comes Down

Dscn0315 Well, if you haven't said goodbye to the Miami Arena yet, you'd better hurry. Just got a call from a reporter on our city desk telling me the big pink hatbox is being imploded come Sunday.

Sad end to an arena that may have been outdated the day it opened. Still, it was our arena. It helped bring South Florida sports into the big time. Remember what it was like down here before that arena opened in 1988? No basketball. No hockey. No baseball, even.

Well, we had minor league baseball (yes, to those who may not know, the Miami Marlins were a minor league team down here for almost four decades, kicking off in 1956.)

Anyway, I loved the old arena and have missed watching sporting events and concerts in there. Of course, I'm not a skybox kind of guy, so the arena not having them (the sky boxes they did have were literally in the sky -- they were above the 200 level in the rafters) didn't bother me none.

Actually, I did get to watch a Miami basketball game from one of the boxes one night. Dennis Erickson was there. He probably doesn't remember the game. Heck, I don't either. It was a long time ago!

Did a poll earlier in the summer on your favorite moments in the old barn. You can still vote right here. Included below is a set of pics me and Joe Ibis took at our last trip to the Arena. In 2004, we heard John Kerry was holding a rally there. We're not politicos, but figured this would be our last shot to get into the building. We were right.

RIP Miami Arena: 1988-2008.

Dscn0296 Dscn0307 Dscn0294_2 Dscn0308

Dscn0309 Dscn0313

Bo's Still Here

BodukeJay Bouwmeester spoke after Saturday's first day workout, saying a lot of the right things, but other things that may make the Panthers nervous.

Bouwmeester didn't pull many punches, saying he wasn't ready to commit to the Panthers long-term during the summer, mainly because he doesn't know how things are going to go down. He says "we're always starting from scratch. That's tough.''

Jay also says this is "not a hockey market by any means,'' before adding the team has a solid core of fans and it's a fun place to play when the team is winning. As far as the Panthers not making the playoffs, he takes some of the blame for that, and adds he can be part of the solution to fixing things here. Below is the transcript of Jay's talk with the South Florida -- and one member of the Toronto -- media.

JAY BOUWMEESTER

-- No distraction: “It's not going to be. It's done. I have a year, and you can't do anything until January anyway. It's no distraction. When the time comes, we'll deal with it.''

-- Why one year?: “Over the summer I wasn't prepared to sign a longer term deal. There were a lot of changes and everything else. At that point, I didn't feel it was time. We'll see what happens. Nothing can happen until January. We'll go from there.''

-- Is money the issue?: “No, it's not. If you're just in it to sign a contract and get the money out of it, I think you're in it for the wrong reasons. It has to be a good situation, and if you're going to sign a long-term deal, you have to make sure its something good for you and your family. It has to be something that works. This past summer, with the changes and not knowing what's going on, well, I've been through that before. I wasn't prepared to do that.''

-- Importance of the Panthers becoming a winner: “I've been here five years and haven't played in a playoff game. It's not fun for anyone. Hey, I'm partly to blame for that. I know that. You go through all these changes, and your always starting from scratch. It's tough. Now, the last few years, we've finished better. And what we have here now is a lot better than we've had in the past. Again, it takes time. We have to see what happens.''

-- On Keith Ballard: “He's a good player. For sure, this defense is the best we've had since I've been here. There's some pretty solid players. And we have great goalies. Looking at things, we should be solved defensively. Hopefully we have some guys who have some breakout years and continue the offense and all that. We should be good defensively if everyone plays the way they can.''

-- Improving the D: “It's good. Teams with solid defense start there. You don't want to play in your own end all the time. It makes things a lot easier. It's good when you have good guys around you. It makes it a lot more fun. There's optimism this year that we're going to have a good team and make a good run at it. But you have to take it – this is the first day of training camp. Everyone feels that way. You have to wait and see what happens, get off to a good start and take it as it comes.''

-- Open to staying in Florida: “Well, yeah. If I wasn't, I would have signed something and that's the end of the discussion. I wasn't prepared to do so. That's not closing any doors.''

-- Going to a traditional hockey market: “Obviously there are differences no matter where you go. This isn't a hockey market by any means. But at the same time, we do have good fans and when we do well, people show up and this is a fun place to play. Most of that is our fault because we haven't been good for a little while. That's no excuse. It's all speculation.''

-- Pros and cons for all situations: “Of course. You go to some markets where it's just ridiculous. The guys from Toronto can tell you about that, how everything gets blown out of proportion. That's no fun. So, anywhere you go, there are pros and cons. It doesn't make a whole lot of difference.''

-- Simple as 'make the playoffs?' -- “I don't know. That would be a tough pill to swallow for sure if you don't make the playoffs then faced with, well, you have a tough decision to make. Hopefully that doesn't happen. We'll just have to see.''