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The Economy Strikes Again ... THE AHL on NHL

Ratpack Just got an email from the Panthers Foundation that they have had to postpone the annual Ice & Dice charity event scheduled for later this month at the Westin Diplomat (once home to Hollywood Squares on the beach for you old timers like me).

That's usually a pretty good event, one that raises a bunch of money for charities associated with the team, including the Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital in Hollywood.

The team says they are going to reschedule, but who knows if they'll hold one this year. They sent out an earlier email saying they raised $50,000 at the most recent golf tournament, and if that's true, good for them. That's a nice chuck of change for a golf outing.

Not a lot of fun talking about the economy these days. Our parent company just announced it was freezing our pension and matches on our 401k (the Panthers stopped matching contributions late last year). Sucks right now. Just have to trudge along and hope things get better. And soon.

Sidenote: Nathan Horton told me he had so much fun playing golf at the tournament this year he's thinking of taking up the game in the offseason. I told him golf was fun, and asked how he hit the ball.

''Good,'' he said. Then, laughing, he said ''better than last year.''

As you may recall, Nate and Olli Jokinen were two of the early birds at last year's tournament, drawing much criticism for bailing on the tournament just after it started.

-- The NHL Network, in another effort to bring you, the hockey fan, great programming, is going to broadcast a number of AHL games in the coming weeks. For some reason, they seem to be fans of the Panthers' affiliate in Rochester. The Americans will be featured in three of the six games televised starting with Saturday's game against Binghamton. Here's the rest of the schedule:

Saturday, Feb. 7 – Binghamton @ Rochester at 2:00 p.m. ET

Saturday, Mar. 7 – Rochester @ Lake Erie at 1:00 p.m. ET
Friday, Mar. 13 – Toronto @ Rochester at 7:30 p.m. ET
Sunday, Mar. 22 – Grand Rapids @ Lake Erie at 5:00 p.m. ET
Friday, Mar. 27 – Springfield @ Worcester at 7:00 p.m. ET

Friday, Apr. 10 – Manchester @ Worcester at 7:00 p.m. ET


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The Amerks are on a lot because the Amerks do their own broadcast of games very home game. They are on the local cable channel Time Warner Sports very game either the game is live or the game is tape delayed, so the NHL Network picks up their feed very easy.

I read their goaltender Brodeur is good. Will try and watch that game. Panthers may want to sign him as a backup next year when Andy leaves for the big money of the UFAs..

Brodeur is out with a groin injury and will not be playing tomorrow. You get to see super Panthers prospect Tyler Plante, who has yet to get ONE win with the Amerks this season.

Another reason the Amerks might be popular is that we are the second oldest continuing franchise in the AHL. 53 years running. A ton of tradition here. The Hershey Bears are the oldest, 71 years this season

What up with the Horton comment...

Horton? It was funny. He was the one who made the joke about last year, mainly since I was giving him that look...you know 'better than last year'...Nate's a good dude...one with a pretty good sense of humor (humour for our Dunnville friends)...

Maybe Horton should joke about his play on the ice. I wonder if he knows how much he is underachieving.

I think Horton is being scape-goated...he might be a -5 this season so far, but I go to a few games a month and I see a major improvement on his part on ice.

Anybody see this rumor? I'd do it in a Holy Second...

According to "league sources", the Florida Panthers are leaning towards keeping defenseman Jay Bouwmeester instead of trading him at the trade deadline. If the Panthers, don't make the playoffs, it's believed that GM Jacques Martin will be fired by owner Alan Cohen. League sources say the Philadelphia Flyers may have been asked to discuss a deal that included top prospect forward James van Riemsdyk and forward Scott Hartnell in exchange for the rights to Bouwmeester.

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