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Happy November 16

HomesteadGreetings from Homestead where I've come down to watch some NASCAR racing up close and personal.

OK, lying about that one. Sitting in Sunrise, watching the Dolphins.

Not much interest among the Panthers regarding today's Winston Cup finale, even gearhead Craig Anderson declining an invitation to see the boys trade some paint. Too far, too many folks seemed to be the rationale for most. Plus the team has an earlier practice tomorrow (10 a.m.) and a week long road trip coming up.

Anywho, not much going on at practice this morning. Stephen Weiss and Gregory Campbell sat out, although Campbell worked on the ice for about 45 minutes after the practice broke up. Didn't see Weiss anywhere, he was probably getting treatment back at the arena.

With three forwards out (told Kamil Kreps is out another week at the least), Noah Welch was put on a line with Wade Belak and Anthony Stewart. Pete DeBoer says that was just to have four even lines and they are not considering moving Welch to forward (although, why not. Worked for Montie).

Talked to Jay Bouwmeester a little bit about his offensive struggles, he has yet to score a goal this season. Reminds me of a couple years ago when it took him months to get his first. He says he hopes he doesn't have to go through with that again.

-- As far as that report out of Ottawa goes (basically said JM has been ordered by Alan Cohen to a) make the playoffs, b) sign Jay long-term and c) cut $3 mil off the books) probably has a touch of truth to it. But just a touch.

Mr. Cohen wants Jay to stay, and would like to save money and make the playoffs. No duh.

But I think this combination of things -- orders it has been reported -- don't make much sense. You can't dump salary and hope to keep Jay. He hates how things are run down here as it is. Dumping salary only to offer him more and tell him once more "things are looking up" is delusional.

To make the playoffs, you can't deal off your best parts, because, well, no one wants the Panthers' spares (who don't make the kind of money that would make that much of a difference any how).