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Sunday with the Florida Panthers ... More on Wade Belak ... Jassen Cullimore In, Cory Stillman Out ... Grey Cup: Montreal vs. Calgary

WadebelakWatching the Miami Dolphins after another fine lunch at Pizza Time, ready to talk a little bit more about Wade Belak.

The Panthers will know where he's going by tomorrow afternoon, the deadline for him to be picked up off waivers is noon. He'll be picked up by someone, he's sure of it. He said last night's meal of sushi in Delray Beach was his "last supper.''

A few teams could use a bruiser like Wade, including the Panthers. That ship has sailed, however. Belak did say he hopes he doesn't get picked up. "My wife is crushed,'' he said. "We love it here. I don't want to go anywhere else.''

The move was not a popular one among teammates today. Many were visibly angry when asked about it, some offering some un-printable words. They all started with 'F.'

Wade is a very popular guy amongst his teammates, and the thought here is the move was probably more Pete DeBoer than it was Jacques Martin. Pete is the guy who controls the ice time, ice time that Wade was not getting.

Here's what Pete had to say today:

"I'm new and gave everyone a clean slate. We're almost 20 games in here to use as an evaluation period and we're not happy where we are. Tough decisions are going to be made. This is not a popularity contest.

Petedeboer "I don't think it's based on ice time. You make the most of what you're given. It's not good enough where we're sitting and there are going to be consequences throughout the lineup.

"Everyone has a job to do. I expect them to do the job they are getting paid to do. If you're not going to do it, you're going to sit in the crowd. Scorers have to score, fighters have to fight, checkers have to check. It's the old hockey adage. There has to be some accountability here.

"Listen, we're not sitting here where we're at because of Wade Belak or what Wade Belak hasn't done. But we're not happy where we at and there are consequences here.

"I think everyone here should be on notice. Boynton has been a healthy scratch, Olesz has been a healthy scratch. Wade Belak's been waived. We're not happy. Status quo isn't good enough. We'll continue to do what we have to do to get this team to the level we think it should be competing at.''

Keith Ballard: "I like Belak and think he's real good for our team, real good for our room. He's a veteran guy who's been around a long time, so you never like to see something like that happen to a real good guy. Wade's an awesome guy, works hard every day. He has a tough job. He has to fight, and if no one wants to fight him, it's tough for him to do his job.''

If I hear anything else, you'll see it here. Keep checking in.

-- Jassen Cullimore's injured right knee looks fine, he was back out practicing today and should play tomorrow against the WhalerCanes. Talked to him Friday night in Boston and he was walking well so it's good to see nothing was serious.

"If he doesn't have the brace on, it's probably a worse injury,'' DeBoer said. "We missed him the other night.''

-- Cory Stillman is still being held out because of his concussion, Pete saying he's out at least another week.  "Concussion are strange animals and you never know what the recovery time is going to be,'' DeBoer said. "I know in talking to him that he's feeling better and will start doing some light exercising. He's at least a week away.''

-- Bryan Allen made a visit to practice today. He's still on crutches after having major knee surgery, and says he'll be on them for another month.

-- Rostislav Olesz is back and should play tomorrow. He was on a line with Kamil Kreps and Radek Dvorak.

Greycup -- Big football game tonight in Montreal as the Stampeders de Calgary battle the hometown Alouettes in the Grey Cup (Coupe de Grey). Game is on Versus tonight at 6, and this guy is fired up. Go Stamps!


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what do u mean go stamps!? that mustve been a typo its GO ALS!! the Alouettes made the final which is great since the Grey Cup game is held here in mtl and everyone's goin crazy. Gotta say I'm surprised you know your CFL georgie
oh and one last thing, they say Coupe Grey lol
other than that, we need GOALS and belak will never provide even one and i guess thats why hes out. If only everyone played like Keith Ballard...

Well I for one hope Wade clears and comes back with the proverbial chip on his shoulder. He says that after he excised one of Boogards chicklets that no one wants to fight him. I say F it. dont give them a choice, pound the snot out of them if they turtle, I hope he starts tomorrow night vs Carolina grab Brookbank around the neck and rearrange his freakin face.

I'm waiting for DeBoer to cash in his promises.

"Clean slate"? Why haven't I seen Horton eating food in the cheap seats for a game or two? It might remind him that he's supposed to be leading this team EVERY game.

How about our third line which has produced dip over squat through 20 games? If your biggest asset to this team is that you can "eat up minutes", well, we have guys that can do that for less money in the minors and they can score about as much as Dvorak/Peltonen/Campbell. For the record, they've combined for a whopping four goals in 19 games, despite averaging over 15 minutes of ice time per game. Could a line of, say, Stewart, Matthias and Glass be that much worse?

How about McLean who has yet to score despite appearing in 19 games and is a -6? Is that underachieving? Are these guys getting the message? I doubt it.

I'm willing to bet my cowbell we'll see the Campbell/Dvorak/Peltonen line tomorrow getting their regular shift and getting outplayed all night.

I won't get started on our All-Star defenseman here who also is 0-for-the-season in goals.

I wonder, Pete, did you give Stewart a "clean slate"? Granted, he's not an All-Star, but he's out there trying to make a difference, banging when he can and getting involved in the play. For that, he gets half the time of Dvorak? Some clean slate.

I have seen very little of the desperate play that was promised to us. Allegedly, our new coach was going to light a fire under these guys. Well, I haven't seen it much. It hasn't seemed to make a difference from last year when we limped around under the reins of our current Dear Leader and GM.

When is it going to change? IS it going to change?

I don't see how waiving Belak (a great locker room guy and one of the few fan favorites for the few fans that are left), scratching Olesz (who may not be scoring like we expect, but can be found in front of the net causing havoc most nights) and Boynton (the guy that seems to be standing up the most for his teammates at this point, because Belak sees about as much ice as a lifeguard at the beach), makes this team better. It hasn't worked so far.

I can understand losses to Detroit and Boston. But, the rest of the hole we dug ourselves was inexcusable.

I'm waiting for the coach to put into practice what he preached in August and September. It really shouldn't be up to Martin to rile these guys up. He proved he couldn't do that LAST year.

Send a message... Pfft. I'll bring a message tomorrow night to the BAC. In fact, if anyone wants to join us in the parking lot for pregame, I'll make sure to bring plenty of posterboard and markers. You bring the ideas, I'll bring the supplies. Look for the flags and the Panthermobile. We'll see you there (or not).

Good post drscruf. You should write

"For sale: JayBo"

"Short sale: Kreps, Murphy, Olesz, Weiss, Horton"

"Foreclosure: McLean, Peltonen, Dvorak, Zednik"

"Free to good home: JM, Alan Cohen"

Go Stamps Go!!!!!!

drscruff has made one OUTSTANDING post. I couldn't have said it better A+++++++


Oh, LOL, George! I think I get it! Because the Hartford Whalers relocated & are now the Carolina Hurricanes, right?? I got it right, didn't I??? It's a little obscure, but give me credit, I think I figured your reference out!

Hey, I thought of something else that's kind of funny: speculating on what the Panthers will be called when they relocate, which I suspect will be in approximately three years! Let's see... OK, now, if Hamilton gets the franchise, they could just keep "Panthers" as the nickname. Although, I can see the argument for a brand new moniker. The association with futility & losing that "Panthers" summons up could definitley be a stumbling block. However, if they move the team to Winnipeg, I say they should go ahead and call them the Jets. Great logo, great colours - so why not?

Again, George, I congratulate you on that original, cutting-edge sense of humour that you're (oops, there I go again! "you're" = "you are") well-known for. I mean, could there be anything more hysterical than a beat writer for the FLORIDA PANTHERS snickering over an NHL franchise relocating?!

Oh, you are an absolute stitch, George! Truly, Steve Harvey has nothing on you.

Thanks for stopping by Erik...I always learn something when you post...and I don't think I have ever said the Whalers moving to Carolina was a mistake although the Whalers are missed up there. The Jets are missed too...oh, and you misspelled "definitley." It happens...

While Wade Belak is unquestionably one of the top 10 enforcers in the league I think we need more than what he provides.

We need an agitator type ala, Cam Janssen,David Clarkson, Darcy Hordichuck...guys who will not only drop the gloves but play with wreckless abandon and are a constant force when on the ice despite few minutes.

Belak is too one dimensional...he will challenge anybody but if they do not oblige he goes on his merry way.


Go out there on a mission to seek and impact. Not with stupid or illegal stuff, not like the pair of goofballs in Dallas, Avery and Ott but like Janssen, Clarkson, Hordichuck.

These guys have to be accounted for everytime they are on the ice.

Every time they go over the boards the possibility of a ruptured spleen on a clean hit exists and please do not take it the wrong way I don't want to see a considerable increase of ruptured spleens just the fear and possibility of its existence initiated by one of our players. In addition, if we are lucky enough they may develop and actually contribute. Clarkson has 5 goals in 12 games. Thats more than any forward on our team except, Booth or Horton and tied with Stillman and he has played less games than all of them.

I wrote all of the above because I wanted to write about the Belak move but the truth is its insignificant.

The questions that beg to be asked are when do you realize the moves you made are not panning out? How long do you wait for Weiss, Olesz,Horton,Kreps to develop before you realize they will not reach their expected potential.

As in any other professional sports league, management is on shaky ground when they don't produce. I'm afraid the lack of stability in our not to distant past has allowed JM the opportunity to force feed us the same players year after year in an effort to bring continuity. However, if the end result is the same then change should take place until the right leaders are in place.

Afterall, when and if the Panthers cut their losses with all of these players wouldn't it be an admission of failure on JM'S part?

Stamps win. I'm not a big CFL. fan but Calgary is the city I reside in . Keep your head up GR.! Good work.

CanadianPantherFan (HF board member)

George: This whole Belak thing seems a little strange. I mean, was he the right guy for Pete and JM to make an example of (as compared to all the other slackers on this roster)? Or is there more to the story here, i.e. was there some locker-room "bad blood" between player and coach that hasn't been reported on yet?

Erik: If the team really does eventually end up in Hamilton (and that's my guess too), they'd fit right in. Hamilton's football team in the CFL is called the Tiger-Cats, so you'd have the Tiger-Cats and the Panthers (or can you say "Panther-Cats"???) ....

The Belak situation is very curious.  I understand that since his ice time is virtually nill, they (Panthers) feel he is expendable, however he is NOT the reason why we are not improving. 

Let's face it, we have no superstar to protect and unlike the Western Conference, there are not as many tough guys to worry about in the east, especially in our own division.

As for Belak not fighting, PJ Stock said it best on HNIC Saturday night when talking about this subject (not belak).  If you can't get someone to "go" after asking, then you need to do something to make them want to "go".
Belak only gets a few chances so he needs to be more aggressive in his efforts.

On the other hand, this team cannot afford to carry a player like him and only play him 3-4 minutes a nite. Some of Pete's coaching moves have left me scratching my head.
Example, Horton has not shown any improvement in his behavior.  Why isn't he sitting a game or two? Peltonen took 17 games to get his first point. Why are we still carrying this guy? Stewart had a tremendous camp, yet here he is back on the 4th line mostly.  He deserves first or second line chances.  He has been much better this year than in the past, yet he can't get scoring opportunities playing with the duds on the 4th line.

Lastly, this organization is becoming a joke.  It is very sad.  I don't want them to move.  I love hockey and my season tickets, but something has to be done.  This latest thing by JM is proof again that he is not the right man for the job.  It will be costly, but can we please fire him?  We are paying way too much in salaries for the production we are getting in return.

I would have to say I am in the same mind-set as DrScruf.......

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