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Florida Panthers: No Offer to Steve Eminger, Anthony Stewart; Brett McLean Waived

The Panthers made a number of surprising moves Monday, declining to tender qualifying contractual offers to restricted free agents Steve Eminger and Anthony Stewart among others. Both Eminger and Stewart could return to Florida next season, but on July 1, both are free agents and can sign with any team they would like.

Eminger was acquired by the Panthers at last year's trade deadline in a deal with Tampa Bay, with the 25-year-old unseating veteran defenseman Nick Boynton for a handful of games before coach Pete DeBoer put Boynton back in the lineup. Boynton, who said he didn't think he would return next season, is also a free agent later this week will not be offered a new contract by the Panthers.

Stewart was Florida's first round pick (25th overall) in 2003 and spent the entire 2008-09 season with the Panthers after bouncing around the organization the previous three seasons.

Florida also declined to tender offers to David Shantz, Franklin MacDonald, Drew Larman and Tanner Glass. The Panthers did offer contracts to David Booth (who is in negotiations with the team) and David Brine.

''We're fairly certain he would have a pretty good case in arbitration,'' acting general manager Randy Sexton said of Eminger, ''and I'm not prepared to put this organization in a position where we'd have to pay a large arbitration reward. After July 1, if he wants to chat, we can. But at this time, we're not going to be tendering him an offer.''

Sexton also said the Panthers were willing to bring back veteran defenseman Karlis Skrastins as well as forwards Ville Peltonen and Radek Dvorak. Sexton said all three have shown a willingness to return to the Panthers and Florida has mutual interest ''at the right money and the right terms.''

Brett McLean was put on waivers and the last year of his three-year will probably be bought out.

Florida's activity in the upcoming free agent market will be determined on which of its players it can resign. Goaltender Craig Anderson will be a free agent, and if Florida can't come to terms with him, it will be forced to look elsewhere.

Sexton also said newly acquired defenseman Jordan Leopold's agent told him that Florida was an attractive destination for his client. Florida acquired Leopold's negotiating rights on Saturday after sending Jay Bouwmeester to Calgary. Both Leopold and Bouwmeester can be free agents on Wednesday.


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George, it has also been reported that Maclean has been put on waivers and if unclaimed will be bought out.


And the Panthers continue to pay for the stupidity of Keenan and Martin... an entire decade lost because of the stupidity of a drug dealer (Alan Cohen).

Alan Cohen has not been an effective owner but the drug dealer comment should be deleted from the board. It is libelous.

Sexton is obviously getting DeBoer's input and making hard-minded decisions regarding qualifying offers. Waiving McLean was also the right move as it saves $1.2 million against this year's cap. i also like what Sexton is saying about only bringing back the vet UFAs for a "reasonable price."

not only that but the 2003 draft was Dudley/Keenan and not Keenan/Martin.

Cohen is a nice guy but he was star struck and went for the name instead of for the best candidate

Let's hope Torrey picks the right guy

GR, I love the photo of Stewart you decided to use for this story. The photo pretty much sums up his career with the cats. Sad....

by the way remember we traded Noah Welch and a 3rd round pick for Eminger, another great trade for JM the GM

So that is another wasted pick by JM the GM.

Yes I am glad we are getting rid of the dead weight but it again shows what horrible drafts we have had since Cohen took over,

I will be interested to see if we pick up a top 6 forward

Cmon!! Nik Anthropov!!

I have a feeling that these are the guys that the Panthers are going to be targeting during free agency:

Mikael Samuelsson (doubtful to sign)
Mike Cammalleri (likely)
Alex Tanguay (likely)
Marian Gaborik (doubtful to sign)
Marian Hossa (doubtful to sign)
Eric Cole (doubtful to sign)
Mike Comrie (likely)

i wouldn't mind getting mike comrie and we all know cole will stay in carolina with stall. But out of all of those i think comrie would be a great fit for us. But i just for some reason have this feeling we are going for some sort of a splash in free agency. I dk how many of you actually got to read up on the kids we drafted but they all seem like they are gonna be good players and are very young which will benefit us down the road.

There are a lot of good free agents out there this year. If it wasn't for the pesky salary cap we could probably buy a pretty good team.

Samuelsson was a Panther - no way he comes back!

If we can't work out a deal with Andy, I hear Ed Belfour might be interested in coming back to the NHL!

[Running away from the mob chasing me right now.]

OK I don't want him back either, but it was so easy I couldn't pass it up.

They aren't signing any big names... Be ready for young cheap players next year

With all the players not tendered offers and JayBo gone, they better make a big splash or we might as well kiss the 09-10 season good bye on July 1st.

They're either making room for something big or dumping salary to be more attractive to new ownership.

I'm starting to come around to Sexton. Keep going.....

Tee Spot is correct- don't expect Randy to offer anything to any of the big name UFA's that are out there. However, even if we did offer, I don't know which UFA would risk signing a long-term contract with us (at market value) if they had the opportunity to sign elsewhere with a team who is more likely to win. Let's face it, our record of not making the playoffs for almost this entire decade is really really unattractive to potential UFA's.

So far, so good with Randy as the GM. Let's see how he does with the contracts of Booth, Leopold, Skrastins, and Andy. If Randy can't move TVo's contract, then Andy is gone.

This is Randy's job to lose. We'll know by the end of the week if Randy is up to the task of being the GM.

Please don't get your hopes up. I bet we sign another fill in 3rd line player come July 1st. Thats all this organization can afford and since they are committed to losing, they will not get a top tier player.

God help us.

And I hope McLean gets picked up or something because he was an absolute waste. Same with Stewart.

Get on your hourse Sexton and sign Booth/Skrastins and Anderson NOW!!!


What have we become?

A falling leaf grazes the side of my face as I look up and realize Fall is arriving...The NHL Hockey season is right around the corner.
I can barely contain the excitement and eagerness I have in anticipation of yet another season with hope and a possible playoff birth and...NOT.
I have often wondered what gets fans motivated to go to games when they have absolutely no hope of winning...teams like baseball's KC Royals or now, the NHL FL Panthers. Organizations that don't instill a shred of confidence in its commitment to win... Obvious weaknesses not addressed, the youth movement being peddled annually with little or no results.
Hope is one of the cornerstones of life. Every religion is based on hope. Hope of peace, hope of eternal salvation, even the sick, twisted promise of 72 virgins for killing people manifests itself with hope in the minds of the murderers.
Well, I believe we have become a hopeless organization and without it it's hard to feel that pre-season excitment I have felt every season since 1994. The Pavel Bure experiment did not bring a cup to So Fl, but it did give us hope. That said, I don't believe one established, proven F/A (scorer) signing is the answer to all our problems but it would begin to re-establish HOPE.
Am I the only one who sees the need for a proven, consistenet 30,40,50 goal scorer on this team. Someone that can steal a game occasionally or give you hope (there is that word again) when trailing by three goals going into the third.
I hope, I hope, I hope...

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