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Sunset in Sunrise ... Season Finale Saturday: Washington Capitals @ Florida Panthers, 7 p.m.

Stillman ATLANTA -- Good morning hockey fans and early greetings from Terminal A at Hartsfield-Jackson International.

About to jump on my final flight home this hockey season, our next trip not scheduled until the NHL Draft takes over Montreal come June.

That's a long way away.

The Panthers play Game No. 82 on Saturday, the 18th hole of a season that won't be extended. The Panthers gave it a good run, winning five of their past seven but once more, it wasn't good enough.

The Panthers will have missed their eighth straight postseason when the playoffs for Lord Stanley's Cup kick off Wednesday night at a rink nowhere near you.

So who's to blame for Florida's failure to reach the postseason?

Hard to say. A lot of people have dumped their bitterness onto general manager Jacques Martin, and while he shouldn't get a free pass, some of y'all need to chill a bit.

Martin has been in this gig for three seasons now, and while there's no doubt the organization is better off now than that summer Sunday when he replaced a ''stepping down'' Mike Keenan, there are still holes.

Martin took over a foundering franchise, one that was trying to plug more holes than it had parts. Today, the Panthers are on the cusp of being a playoff team. Close, however, but not good enough. Martin probably should have addressed Florida's problems at forward at the trading deadline, but instead decided to bring in more defensive depth with Steve Eminger.

I stood behind JM when he decided to keep Jay Bouwmeester at the deadline, and I still do; that was the right decision at the time. Remember, Florida was not only in the thick of the playoff hunt at that time, they were a team that was looking to move forward and perhaps even overtake Philadelphia for fourth in the east.

Then they lost eight of 10, and well, here we are today.

At the deadline, JM had a few options at forward, but either couldn't get a deal done or decided against it. Knowing Rostislav Olesz would be coming back not long after the deadline, JM's hands were tied a bit. Florida needed Nick Tarnasky and Anthony Stewart (whose trade value probably wasn't much) for depth in case of injuries, but once Olesz came back, there was a stockpile. Tarnasky and Stewart haven't played much since Olesz returned.

It's easy to say JM should have brought in a forward or two, but for what? Brett McLean? Richard Zednik? Well, the answer would be Bouwmeester. He's really -- aside from Stephen Weiss, Nathan Horton and David Booth -- the only guy who would have brought anything of substancial value in a trade.

JM gambled that the team he was watching in February would be the same -- or even better -- in March and April. They showed flashes of that in the final weeks, but they didn't do so enough nor at the times needed. Thursday's win in Atlanta was nice, but it would have been better had they beaten the Thrashers at home a week before. Or not coughed up leads in Buffalo or at home against Columbus. Or done a touch better in shootouts this season.

There's plenty of reasons why the Panthers aren't in the playoffs this year, and plenty of blame to go around. But at the end of the day, Florida showed plenty of signs that they are a pretty good club. A few additions here, a few subtractions there and the Panthers are right in the thick of things, moving forward.

And, this may be hard to believe, but with a win Saturday against the Caps, Florida will end with 93 points. That's the second-highest total in franchise history, one better than the 1996 Panthers. That team, however, played a few more games once the regular season ended. This team will be looking for answers -- and good reads of the green.

-- Don't expect any news out of Pantherland today, coach Pete DeBoer giving the team the day off. So I booked a really early flight for nothing. Talk about gambling. You know what? Golf does sound good.

Comments

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George in fairness with the 93 points you have to remember that before an overtime loss there were no points so points are inflated for every team in the league.

I agree with you that we don't have a lot of tradeable parts and that is where the not trading Bouwmeester becomes the problem. This organization does not have enough depth to lose a Bouwmeester. It did not have enough depth to overpay for Vokoun.

Martin endorsed the trading of Luongo.

To be fair to Martin we don't know how much Cohen is tying his hands. Cohen's mistakes are the major cause of the problems.

The best comparison of this organization would be the St. Louis Blues.

Both organizations were torn apart by Keenan.
While the Blues might not be making the playoffs this year, they are far ahead of where the Panthers are because they have a better vision and understanding of what is needed.

Martin should never have traded multiple draft picks for a quick fix to the Luongo mistake. This team needs assets and while Vokoun has made this team better in the short term it came at too big a price.

Again knowing that you need assets to build an organization, Martin as GM should be looking long term and have traded Bouwmeester, (I said it before the deadline so this is not a second guess) He needs to build assets not lose them for nothing or next to nothing (Luongo).

While we do not know what was offered for Bouwmeester a good GM will look to see how it helps the long term goal of the organization.

This brings us back to Cohen, what is Cohen's long term goal of this organization, is it to make a profit, battle for the 8th playoff spot every year (Nashville) or is it to compete for the championship every year.

We have to look at the difference in attitude that has happened under DeBoer. Why the difference: is it because of the different expectations of DeBoer and Martin. DeBoer "season not a success as we did not make the playoffs" or is it Martin, the season was a success we have a good core and I like the unity and hard work of this team.

If you want a team that completes for making the playoffs then stick with Martin if you want a team that is going to compete for the cup every year then find a GM with that attitude.

Cohen has made way too many mistakes since he has owned the Panthers and he has found ways to cut corners and it shows.

Which organization is in the better position for the next step the panthers or the blues?

As much as I started to like some of the guys in the lineup this year, we have to shed salary of most of our 3rd and 4th line players and instead use that money, and the money saved from Bouwmeester, to get some serious scoring depth. Brett McLean, Anthony Stewart, Ville Peltonen, and possibly even Radek Dvorak or Richard Zednik should all be considered as expendable as we search for more scoring.

Coach Pete also has to get guys like Horton, Weiss and Olesz to step up more and start scoring more goals. There needs to be a shooter's mentality for a lot of these guys, and they passed up a lot of chances this year because there wasn't. Weiss had a career year, and I think he's capable of more. Horton was dissapointing again; he still looks like he needs to be on the wing with a solid play-making center to get maximum scoring out of him. He was still lazy in spurts this season, but his play this year without the puck was levels above what it was in previous seasons.

Anderson needs to be resigned. David Booth absolutely needs to be resigned. If he scores against the Caps in the last game, he finishes with 30 goals, easily tops on the team. They need to keep Boynton in my opinion, as he brings a level of toughness we don't have anywhere else on the team. Drop Cullimore, and look at bringing up a defenseman from our farm system; we've drafted more than enough to hopefully have one NHL-ready player down there. Bring up Matthias and Repik as well, and start getting them more regular ice time.

It's going to be a busy off-season. I'm really disappointed and sad that the team didn't make it again this year. But, as a long-time fan, I'm excited for next season, and I am going to be watching JM's off-season moves with much interest.

GR I agree with your assessment. I too was for keeping Boumeester unless it was a trade so good you had to do it. I would have liked to see a forward at the deadline but the fact is we don't know what others were offering and what they wanted and with Olesz coming back Panthers gained a forward although not a game breaker. Eminger is a good puck mover and going into the playoffs you can never have enough defensemen. Had the team not slumped after the deadline the lack of deadline deals wouldn't look so obvious.

I agree the team should shoot for winning the Cup but let's be reasonable, if Pete DeBoer said this team should be playing in the finals he would have been laughed at, so the aim was to get into the playoffs. Once a team gets in the next year they set their sights a little higher. So the object for this team was to get into the playoffs and for many reasons they failed. In my opinion mainly for lack of goal scoring.

I remember a few years ago at the trade deadline a TV personality asked Gord Murphy if he would like to be traded to a contender to make a run for the Cup and he answered "NO I would rather turn it around with these guys." That is a team player. Jay Boumeeseter is not a team player, he doesn't want to be part of the solution, he wants to leave for a team that he can just walk in and have the Stanley Cup given to him. Jay Boumeester does not have the character of a Gord Murphy. Murphy cared about his teammates, Boumeester only cares about himself, not about his teammates or the fans that do go to the games. Panthers need guys with character not guys like Boumeester. I would rather trade his rights at the draft and get a scoring center like Johan Franzen.

Players they need to resign:
David Booth, one of the few bright spots on the team.

Karlis Skrastins, a great shot blocking defenseman.

Radek Dvorak, has proven his speed and penalty killing are as good as any in the league. Without him Panthers would have been out of the playoffs last week.

With a healthy Bryan Allen, and possibly a better D coming from minors or junior, Boynton, Cullimore or Eminger should only be signed at reasonable money if at all. They each bring something to the game but it is only worth having at a reasonable contract. Boynton at $2.950 million is overpaid.
http://nhlnumbers.com/overview.php?team=FLA&season=0809

I don't know how you sign Craig Anderson when he will be getting a big raise, rightfully so from a team willing to give him a chance at number one. Tomas Vokoun has a big no-trade contract at $5.700 & $6.300 million for the next two years. Vokoun is a good goaltender if the team can score at least 3 goals which they should be able to. A team cannot expect the goaltender to shutout the other team every night. If the team cannot score the problem is NOT the goaltender but the forwards!

The Panthers NEED to sign or trade for a goal scorer. Frolik has been great, Horton is only 23 so I haven't given up on him yet, he is good. Stillman nice addition but not enough goals. My advice to JM and Cohen is take the money they were going to pay Boumeester and get a proven goal scorer. Either Franzen or Hossa will be available, Mike Cammalleri is UFA, all score goals. Phil Kessel will be a RFA, sign him to an offer sheet. Brandon Dubinsky a center also RFA sign him to an offer sheet with the Rangers cap problems they couldn't match it. Scottie Upshall another RFA and Phoenix has money problems sign him to an offer sheet they can't match it. There are plenty of good forwards available this summer that would help the Panthers offense. Two of the above players should be signed. It would make a huge difference. Pick any two and it would be an upgrade. Can you imagine Mike Cammalleri and Scottie Upshall on the Panthers. No offense to Zednik and Peltonen, pun intended, as better as those two have played Mike Cammalleri and Scottie Upshall or Franzen and Phil Kessel would be a big upgrade. If Panthers want to win they need to bring in some goal scorers. As a fan I can not sit through another Panthers game with the same cast. It is too frustrating to watch, the lack of goal scoring makes me want to pull my hair out. It it is a necessity to bring in goal scoring forwards. If you snooze you loose and Panthers fans are tired of losing. Sign some UFA or RFA goal scorers!

I say trading Vokoun is the only option. Sign Anderson and make him the #1. Trade Vokoun for picks and start over.

Bouwmeester is gone. I am so upset we missed the playoffs and I blame it on JM first for not making a move to improve our HORRIBLE PP. Not trading Bouw now leaves us with basically nothing in return. Bye Bouwmeester, he's gone for good.

Booth will not even come close to 29 goals next season. Please don't count on that (unfortunately the organization will). When is Horton, Weiss and Olesz going to break out? Probably never. I think we saw Weiss's overall potential this season. Horton on the other hand could be a 40 goal getter but I doubt it.

Next season? 91+ points? NO WAY. We lose Bouw, we still don't have enough cap since we have to resign Booth and others.

Move #1: TRADE OR WAIVE MCCLEAN
Move #2: Waive Cullimore
Move #3: Give Stewart a two way contract or waive him
Move #4: Waive or trade Tarnasky
Move #5: Give Booth 4 years 3.25
Move #6: restructure his contract or trade Olesz (HE'S NOT THAT GOOD)
Move #7: MOVE NORTH WHERE THE TEAM CAN ACTUALLY HAVE A FAN BASE.

Since2000, go to a Canadian news board and talk about northern hockey teams. the FAN BASE down here does not want to listen to you or any other ignorant northerners who say move the Panthers. This team has a fan base, it may be smaller then that of a northern team, but there is one. I bet that if you put one hardcore Panthers fan against a hardcore Habs, Bruins, Flyers, etc. fan that they would match them blow for blow in anything hockey.

Now to move away from the stupidity crowding Since2000's opinion, he does make some decent suggestions. McClean, Cullimore, Tarnasky all must go to improve this team. Culli is way, way too slow to continue to play every night.

As for what you said GR about blaming JM, there is room for blame. Look at what teams picked up at the deadline. Buffalo got Moore for a second round pick. NYR got Antropov for a second round pick. The Penguins got Guerin for a fifth rounder! (will be a third now that they made the playoffs). I am glad JM did not trade Bo at the time, but there were way too many options out there that he passed on, including the load of players placed on waivers deadline day.

This year gave the fans something to hope for. This team is a lot better then years past, by far, but I think Martin could have made them better. Do I think JM should get the boot? No, I really don't. He built a solid team last offseason and I think he can do it again, as long as he actually pulls the trigger on some deals.

Also lets not forget that Bo's rights can be traded at draft day for something. A team might throw a draft pick or two our way to have the first crack at signing him.

Thats about all I have to say. Since2000, you and the rest of the northerners need to stop bashing the fan base of this team. By doing so it just proves that your not a true fan of the Florida Panthers.

I put the blame solely on the shoulders of Jacques Martin. When he traded Jokineen for 2 defensemen, he then never addressed the need for a true front line center. Horton was not the answer, nor is Steven Weiss.
By not addressing this need with a UFA, or during the season, or at the trade deadline, JM put all the pressure on an overrated roster.
There was just way too much expected of this group. We have no true goal scorer.
Getting Cory Stillman, whose best seasons are probably behind him was a satisfactory move. He is a complimentary player, but not a superstar.

Horton has not lived up to his potential.
Trade him. He needs a change of scenary.

Not trading Jay before the season was the biggest mistake. We will n ow lose him for nothing. Yes we can use the money alloted for him for another player, but I would bet that we try to get another top line defenseman before we get a top line forward.
In addition to that, how certain are we that Cohen and Co. will let the spending continue. We were at 53 million this year and still missed the playoffs!

Trading Vokoun could be a problem. I see Edmonton and possibly Colorado and maybe Detroit as possible destinations. However I would not want Craig Anderson as my number one. I would have more confidence in Scott Clemenson. Based on that though we need to change our defensive system. We give up way too many shots.

I'd keep going, but it all comes down to another disappointment. Another failure of the season. Regardless of how some players played, and what those players' futures look like, we still have not built a team for the playoffs. We are loaded with 3rd and 4th line players. No way we ever make it at this rate.

Ryan said it best. Also, I think giving Booth an extension of $3.25-$3.5M a year would be a good contract.

JM put McLean on waivers and no one was biting. He has 1 year left at $1.75. Ownership should buy him out.

JayBo is not coming back. Use his money ($4.5M) wisely!

1. Don't resign Cullimore, Ville, or Dvorak.
2. Resign Skrastins, Boynton, and Zednik but do not overpay.
3. Bring up Ellerby, Repik, and Matthias.
4. Do not offer Stewart a qualifying contract; let him go.
5. Try to resign Andy.
6. Acquire next best UFA defenseman via free agency.
7. Acquire top UFA offensman via free agency.
8. Buy out McLean.
9. Keep Tarnasky.
10. Do not give Eminger a qualifying offer; let him go.

EJ, I agree with you on everything but bringing up Ellerby, Repik and Matthias, also with keeping Tarnasky.

I also doubt we go after a top winger/center since we will have to resign Booth and our cap is going to lower after this season.

You can't bring up 3 guys who don't have enough professional experience. Just look at Olesz! It's a real shame to have a player do nothing then get rewarded with a 6 year 3.25 contract. It might be one of the worst moves JM has made.

Top UFA DMAN, YEA I can see us doing that since JM only goes after dmen. Eminger was a waste of a trade as well.

oh and resigning Zednik is ok with me but he's a 3rd/4th liner and doesn't deserve to be on the top 2 lines.

EJ-

Sorry, but I disagree with much of what you suggest. We need to keep our powder dry for next year, which will be a complete buyer's market due to the anticipated 10-15% drop in the salary cap.

I agree with buying McLean out and not re-signing Ville, and Cullimore. Add Zeds and Boynton to the cut list. Qualify Eminger and Stewart. Resign Dvorak. Resign Skarstins, but only if short term. In free agency,add a veteran center on a 1-2 year deal. Preserve cap space for 2010-11 unless a deal too good too be true arises, like Gaborik at $5 million.

GR, I like your blog.. you're almost always on the money.. but "chill out". I don't think so. I think part of the problem is that there is no pressure to perform down here, and Jacques Martin has made some ok moves, but a lot of questionable moves. He signed a bunch of people to bloated long term contracts which made them very un-attractive as trade bait. He did not address the scoring problem. He was in-effective in signing Bouwmeester, He marginalized players as a coach, and I'm sure the fact that he was still around as GM hasn't helped. He had no GM experience at any level prior to him being Florida's GM (which I'm POSITIVE it puts us at a disadvantage when dealing with other GM's in the league)...this last point obviously brings us to our owner, which is arguably the worst in sports. Since the lockout (which is the Martin era in Florida) we've watched other teams turn things around. St. Louis (if it weren't for injuries...), Chicago, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington (last in the NHL half way through last season).. and we've improved from 11th to 9th place. so as a fan that has not seen one playoff win since 1997 it is hard to "chill".. as you put it. It is no longer time to improve from a horrible team to a mediocre one. It's time for Cohen to make a real commitment to winning or sell the franchise, and for there to be a real hockey front office, not Yormark with his urinals, and Martin with his crony assistant GMs...

Caps fan here, but I really wanted the Panthers to make the playoffs!

No joke they were so close to grabbing that spot, and they deserved it more than the Rangers or Habs. This team has a lot of talent, and I've seen it beat us in our building twice this season. If you can get a strong center down the middle you guys will be a dominant team. I really like the Panthers, and I hope your team makes it in next season.

Hope for a good game tonight!

The Blues just made the playoffs... they had 75 points last season (we had 85.. How ANYBODY can defend Jacques Martin is beyond me. this is HIS TEAM. There are no more excuses.. Last year it was "Jokinen is a cancer on the team".. What's the excuse this year? Steve Eminger didn't produce??? We thought Dvorak was a 40 goal scorer??? Bouwmeester tanked at the end after logging more minutes than anyone in the league??? our 5 million/year goalie gave up soft goals? He got the goalie, he got the UFAs, IT's HIS TEAM!!! The Blues had a TON of injuries, HUGE injuries for most of the year, in a tough conference. Someone has to take the fall.. and it can't be Bouw or Vokoun, The buck has to stop somewhere and at some point...

Fire Martin:

I strongly disagree with your assessment and recommendations. Martin is trying to build the team the right way, but it takes time. At long last, we have our own AHL franchise in Rochester teaching our system. We actually have a nucleus of good young players at that level. On the NHL level, we also have a nucleus of good young players (Weiss, Horton, Booth, Frolik, Olesz, Ballard, Allen etc), most of whom are signed to reasonable, long-term contracts. We have a top 10 goalie, who anchors a defense that will remain solid notwithstanding the departure of J-Bo.
We are in great shape in terms of the salary cap.

So, please take GR's advice and "chill out." This summer the salary cap will be flat before going down a projected 10-15% the next year. The Panthers are sitting pretty as long as the team builds for the future and avoids a quick fix mentality.

zenator Vokoun a top 10 goalie please!!!!!

I would rather have the following in no particular order:

Luongo, Brodeur, Lundqvist, Ward, Backstrom, Nabokov, Miller, Fleury, Thomas, Mason, Khabibulin.

Vokoun is an average goalie who has a history of giving up the soft goal at the wrong time.

Nucleus of good young players please!!!!

Weiss is no longer young, Horton doesn't work hard enough, Olesz is always injured, Booth is giving his best and we can't expect much more improvement from him.

The Panthers are not sitting pretty, St. Louis is sitting pretty, Washington is sitting pretty, Pittsburgh is sitting pretty, even the Kings have a better future than the panthers.

Martin says that our young players will get better, we have been hearing that since the lock out yet they are not getting better, when your leading scorer is 65th highest in the league then there is not skill, even DeBoer says we don't have the skill to compete in the shootout (last in the league in goal scoring in the shootout).

We need to get bigger, stronger and more skill at center ice.

We have a bunch of third and forth line forwards and only one top 2 d-men who is leaving the team.

We have drafted poorly, signed the wrong free agents and have been burned on the vast majority of trades.

Think about two moves that Martin was involved in: We did not get enough for Luongo and we paid too much for Vokoun. (Martin endorsed the Luongo trade)

Cohen needs to sell the team to someone committed to winning and he needs a GM with a better vision that Martin has especially when he seems satisfied with finishing at or below 500. (a loss is a loss whether in regulation or overtime and we have 40 wins out of 81 games)

zenator,
Allen has been hurt for 2 seasons, and he's an average defenseman when healthy. Horton has not broken through (Jeff Carter, Zach Parise, Eric Staal, Dion Phaneuf and Patrick Eaves were all drafted the same year.. how long do we wait??). As far as our own farm team. The owner of the Rochester Amerks had to hold a press conference WITH Martin to calm down his fans, because the AMERKS where terrible this year, and they didn't make the post season... He's also on record saying that he would consider making Buffalo his parent club again. This is after one season of dealing with the Panthers. Martin talks out of both sides of his mouth. He mortgaged part of the future for Vokoun (average at best), Did not get a number one pick in return for Jokinen (He should have), and took a gamble on not trading Bouwmeester to make the playoffs. So how many years does he get until we realize that he's not effective? He's been here since the lockout.

Well Franzen just signed with the red wings so dont count on him wearing a kitty's jersey

I love how the Flyers go from worst to EC championship game.

and I bet the Islanders once they draft Tavares will be better than us.

It's a shame this organization can't put a team together to make the top 8 since 2000. What a joke. No fans will come to watch them next year except for the fans who will be receiving 4 free games because we missed the playoffs < talk about more revenue lost!

Time to move them out of Florida and start over with a new core that isn't afraid to lose. Horton, Weiss < these two are the reason we aren't succeeding. Two top picks that haven't even made an impact yet. Carolina has their Staal, Wash has Semin (who was picked a few picks after Olesz lol) and AO, Atl has Illya, Tampa has Vinny, SL, and Stamkos, and we have BLAH! Stinks when your leading scorer can't even get over 60 points.

REBUILD THE RIGHT WAY! WE ARE NOT GOING NE WHERE NEXT SEASON SO WE MIGHT AS WELL START REBUILDING AGAIN FOR THE MILLIONTH TIME THIS DECADE.

Anyone that posts it is time to move the Panthers out of Florida is not a fan. Since2000NoPlayoffs time for you to leave Florida. Get lost punk. We don't need Since2000NoPlayoffs stink'in comments. Go cheer for some other team. Panthers are here to stay.

And for those that say, "part of the problem is that there is no pressure to perform down here," what do you call the empty seats if not pressure to perform? Win and those seats will be full. There is no pressure to perform in Montreal or Toronto because they sell seats even when they stink because of the corporate buys. The pressure to perform in Florida is greater than in most areas.

I was for keeping Boumeester but in retrospect they should have traded him but they didn't and if not for one game that they lost instead of winnning they might have made the playoffs. The season is over. The summer is the time to sign a scoring center. That is the team's greatest need.

keeep martin. Every year we get rid of the administration then have too completely start over. It's not his fault. He is sending us on the right path after years of mis management. We were in the thick of the playoffs but then bow made or d- tank and killed us. He has done a lot of great things for this team and I am horny to see what happens over summer.

most teams that lose say wait til next year
Under Cohen we get to say wait til next decade

Sign Hossa!!! We get him on a line with Booth AND Horton that line should b sick.
I always think that the NHL should welcome the one game playoffs. That is terriable that this Team is gunna finsih with 93 points andNOT make the playoffs i just dont understand. They need to take out the three point games becuz i just dont understand how a team can get a point for a lose. They should DEF!! change that format some way so this doesnt happen i know that im makin exases but what the hell I wanna see playoff hockey here. If we were in the WEST we should be the 4th or 5th seed that is craazy. 2009 i think that the EAST is so makebatter than the West yes u have SJ AND DET but who after that? WE NEED THE ONE GAME PLAYOFFS!!! and we need them NOW!!

For the people hating on Vokoun and saying he isnt a top ten goalie take a look at the save % leaders
1. Tim Thomas, BOS .933
2. Tomas Vokoun, FLA .926
3. Craig Anderson, FLA .924
4. Niklas Backstrom, MIN .923
5. Roberto Luongo, VAN .920


That being said we need to sign Anderson to a nice big contract

Save % can be misleading.. vokoun's and anderson's save % is high because FLA allows more shots than anybody.

a better statistic is wins it is like a pitcher that use to pitch for the pirates, if his team scored 1 he gave up 2, if they scored 2 he gave up 3, he was traded to the yankees and when the yankees scored 5 he gave up 6 etc.

Some people are winners and some are not. The Panthers gave up a lot of shots from the outside thus building up the save percentage of the goalie.

You can also look at scoring chances and the save percentage with scoring chances and Vokoun will not be in the top 10.

Another aspect is looking at the save percentage when the game is on the line. Vokoun is weak at this as well as he has a history of giving up late soft goals.

It reminds me of A-Rod he hits a homer when the game is not on the line but he strikes out when the game is on the line.

I like Vokoun I just don't believe he is a top ten goalie or a goalie that can go out and win a majority of his games.

Grant Fuhr never had a great save percentage but he won games.

Its now the third straight year the Panthers have narrowly missed the playoffs. Lets think here, Rangers acquired babyface Avery and Pens acquired Guerrin. Both teams were sinking, and now they are in the playoffs. The Panthers are missing the clutch players. Rid Sunrise of Vokoun and Olsez (trade) and Boumester (gets some draft picks for preferential signing), bring us a "NAME" player with leadership for this team.

I'm hoping they sign a "go to guy" in the clutch, and a veteran forward or center. Preferably, someone with leadership skills down the stretch..


You will see the playoffs next season with how good our the young guys are but you have to give up some to get some veterans in the mix. I pick Olsez because it seems he is injury prone. I think HOrton shows promise. Booth should be resigned already. No playoff next year than JM should hit the road. I'm willing to give him a year like Cohen is.

Hey GR, have you heard anything about what the payroll is going to look like next season? Are we looking at a big drop, or can we expect relatively the same payroll?

Break up the band. The Panthers have been "rebuilding" with this core of players since 2003/2004. Five seasons and six years. While I love some of these players (Weiss being a personal favorite for his character), its time to rebuild this franchise properly, and with new management and preferably ownership. or management that can tell ownership to shut the hell up and watch like the super fan he claims to be.

This team needs to trade EVERYONE and get everything it can. Stock pile prospects and picks. Sign undrafted college players and use them to fill out the roster in the minors. Sign the true character thirdline players, many similar to the origins of this franchise, and give them a reason to play as the kids develop. Continued employment in the States as opposed to Switzerland, Germany, or Russia. This is a franchise that needs to build, and continue to build through its player development. Meaning they don't sign RFAs to offer sheets and give up those picks. Meaning the sign as many top college players and develop them.

This franchise, altho many hate to admit it, was growing before the lockout, and then Keenan and Martin were brought in as a package deal, cause the superfan Cohen had a stiffy for a man who never really won anything of substance. Oh, a President's Trophy with one of the youngest, most explosive offensive teams prelockout. ONE. Its time to wipe the board clean and start from scratch.

This team needs a GM who has a head more directed at managing contracts and finding talent. Not one looking to coach from the pressbox. Cohen has had two oppurtunities to hire Burke, if he wanted a GM that can compete, and both times he went for the guy who won't talk back to him.

Oh, and get rid of Yormack, so the average fan can enjoy a game again. Not just the highly affluent with deep pockets in the worst of economic times.

Oh and its funny to sit back, and read people makes excuses for the team's futility year after year, and consistently blame the most talented player on the team. People wonder why Luongo, then Jokinen, and now Bouwmeester wanted out. Robert Svehla was once the goat of this team, altho he played more minutes and was put into more situations to make a mistake that would stand out, than any other player. And why was that, because he had the talent and was the reliable one.

Vokoun isn't a god in net, but there are MANY teams that would take him over their current tandems. Philly being one as they enter the playoffs. Why is it that other teams want Bouwmeester? Cause he has the talent and potential at still a relative young age. Ray Whitney once gave an interview to the competing rag a few blocks north in FTL, saying sometimes its not the player. Its the organization not wanting to succeed, explaining his troubles early on in San Jose and Edmonton. My god how fitting that is now to apply to the Cohen owned Panthers.

Bo,
STFU.

Ok, the smartest thing JM could do is try and trade Vokoun so we save money by just having anderson at a cheaper contract than what Vokoun is at.

Then use the money that was suppose to go to Bouw and get another offensive player.

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