So far today, the Panthers signed St. Thomas Aquinas goalie Rob Timpson (national three star by rivalstarprepwatcher and a 4 1/2 star by whatyoutalkinboutwillis.com).
Florida has also received signed scholarship papers from Fort Lauderdale Dillard defenseman Steve Blake (13 goals, 11 assists last year for the BCAA runners-up) and Cooper City's Luke Daniels (he's a center now, but is probably going to be a winger, coach Mark Rael says).
The big name so far has to be five-star prospect Ronnie Booth, cousin to Panthers' winger David Booth, a senior at East Lansing Senior High in Michigan. They say the kid can fly.
''Yeah, I sold him on the Panthers,'' David Booth said. ''Detroit offered him, but not until real late in the process. The Panthers were right with him all the way. He felt comfortable here, he likes the coaching staff. Mike Kitchen was his recruiter and was at a lot of his hockey games. They went fishing. Detroit just visited once or twice.''
Pete DeBoer and Jacques Martin are still out recruiting right now, and plan on having a big signing day press conference in Sunrise later on this afternoon.
We'll have updates throughout the day as we are waiting on Orlando Bishop Moore's Dave Karpowski to decide on the Panthers, Tampa Bay or Chicago. He's said to be a soft commit to Chicago, but the Panthers think they can land him. We'll see.
-- Slow day for the Panthers, save for the big national signing day festivities and all. The team pulled a rare move and stayed the night in Toronto, a move that looked even better after they came back and won. Seriously, that was one of the most exciting wins I've witnessed in my years covering this team. Down 3-1 in the third, on the road, fairly hostile environment. Good win for sure.
We were talking about this last night, but not only does Pete DeBoer have to be in serious running for coach of the year, but Jacques Martin has to be in the discussion for executive of the year. If this team makes the playoffs, you have to think both will get serious nods.
JM has made some pretty good moves this year, no? You like Bryan McCabe, Cory Stillman, Keith Ballard and even DeBoer?
Say what you want about him locking up Rostislav Olesz long-term to big bucks (that isn't looking real good now, but patience), but JM's other moves have been pretty good.
Of course, the big test comes in a few weeks with one Mr. Bouwmeester.
-- The Panthers have today off after flying home this morning, on ice tomorrow at the arena at 10:30. Kickoff against the Islanders at 7:30.
-- Oh, big surprise here! TSN is reporting that Immokkalee's Javon James -- cousin to Javarris and Edgerrin -- has just signed with the Panthers after committing early to Phoenix, apparently to be closer to Edge.
Javon James is a bruising forward, setting the Immokkalee record for goals and points in a career and he got to the Florida Frozen Four in Lakeland twice. This is a big signing for the Panthers, and should cement their standing as having a top five class this year.