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More Changes: Pierre Groulx, Andy O'Brien OUT ... No Salary Dump ... Coaching Staff (mostly) Intact

Pierre The Panthers lost a couple more good guys this week.

Pierre Groulx, the team's goalie coach the past two seasons, told me today that he was relieved of his duties as his contract was not renewed. Groulx, who is pictured at left as the 'Fake Eddie Belfour,' just got back from the team's prospect development camp.

He was informed of Pete DeBoer's decision on Saturday; DeBoer was the one who made the call and informed Pierre of his decision.

''This was my decision,'' DeBoer said. ''When I took this job, I inherited some coaches under contract. Guy Charron, Pierre, Mike Kitchen. The only move we made then was with Guy. The other guys we wanted to give a year, see how we worked together. We want to go in a different direction.

''Last year was the first year I had a full-time goalie coach. We want to go wPierre2ith a part-time guy, more of a consultant. A lot of teams around the league have consultant-type goalie coaches. Detroit is one. Last year, I found sometimes there wasn't enough to do to justify a full-time guy.''

Pierre said he kind of saw this coming, but hoped things could be worked out. Pierre's wife Wendy recently gave birth to twins, the couple's first children. So, what we have here is a very good guy -- and a good coach -- with a young family looking for work.

He's confident in what he does and what he has done and feels he'll be back in the league somewhere next year. A couple of teams are looking for goalie coaches, and interestingly enough, the Canadiens fired their coach around the time they brought in one Jacques Martin to be their head coach.

I would bet JM at least has a meeting with Pierre sometime soon. Hey, they're both in the same area code.

''Pierre was very good at what he did and did a good job for us,'' DeBoer said. ''It's obvious he and Jacques have a very good working relationship. I'm sure that will continue.''

Pierre said he enjoyed his time with the Panthers and has no ill will toward the organization. He hopes they keep making strides and moving forward -- even though it appears they've been taking a few steps back this summer.

''I had a great time with the Panthers and wish them nothing but the best,'' Groulx said. ''I am disappointed they decided to make this move, but that's part of the profession. This happens to coaches all the time. I know we had pretty good goaltending while I was here, so I'm happy with that. I look forward to new opportunities and new challenges. I want to continue coaching in the NHL. It just won't happen in South Florida.''

Andyobrien -- Strength coach Andy O'Brien is also leaving the organization, DeBoer telling me he took a job outside the NHL. A position, the coach said, was something Andy could not turn down. So good for him.

''Andy's one of the best in the business,'' DeBoer said. ''We're going to miss him.''

O'Brien, best known for being Sidney Crosby's personal trainer, had been with the Panthers since 2005. He helped run the developmental camp in Ontario that just completed.

-- DeBoer also said that rumors that the Panthers were going into a salary dump were not true. He says there has been no indication that the ongoing potential sale of the team is going to affect things too much, although the Panthers will likely see a lower payroll next year.

A lot of teams are going to be saying the same thing.

''Everyone is going to take a haircut this year just because of the economy,'' DeBoer said. ''Well, everyone except for Toronto, the Rangers, Montreal. Those kind of teams.''

-- While DeBoer looks for a new goalie coach and a strength coach, he says that's going to do it for staff changes for the coming year. That means Mike Kitchen and Jim Hulton will be back behind the bench next to DeBoer in 2009-10.


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it deffinetly feel like a salery dump. i really hope we can put it all together for next year because this is a joke!!!

A salary dump would really piss me off. Sure, I don't expect the same payroll as last year, but I expect nearly the same payroll. That's why I renewed my tix! Hopefully the new owners don't pull a Jeffrey Loria on us, which I don't think will happen, but I just wanted to voice my concern.

And the hits just keep on coming. Better watch out George...you might have a Bullseye on your back.

Bravo! It will be nice also to dump some stupid posting fans, these are too many...lets get another hair cut !

If the Panthers want to put fans in the seats they need a goal scorer. Let Boumeester go and save the $7 million and use it on Dany Heatley who wants out of Ottawa.


yea now that we can make trades with ottawa again, i'd love to see Bouw go for Heatley....

You cannot trade an unrestricted free agent.

You can trade his negotiating rights, until midnight of June 30th. And investing $7.5 mil in one player, when this team should go out and split that number in two to find two top six forwards is ridiculous. Or do people forget the failed Pavel Bure experiment 10 years ago. Great way to eat up diminishing cap space.

As for shedding salary, dump it all. Trade it for top prospects and draft picks, and let Luce and company show why they get a paycheck. Get a real farm system going to develop players in the mold of what the NHL team does (Like is seen with New Jersey for the past 15-20 years). And sign to one year contracts, a bunch of hard working, character guys to fill the roles left by those traded away, something akin to the original expansion team and the 96 team. Let the UFA's battle for the right to be traded to a Cup contender come March, or a return to the Panthers the next season with a sweetened deal.

The Panthers just let a few more staff members go, which makes around 50 over the last 6 months. They are planning on dumping Salary, its currently in the works with a couple of big names going away for good. Also, upper management wanted to get rid of a full time goalie coach because of cost cutting moves. Does anyone really think there's another reason behind it.??? come on, after all you've seen from this team, would anything suprise you..

Clash is right
also tee spot is right,

watch how smooth NJ runs the coaching search which started when Sutter indicated he was considering stepping down as compared to the Panthers who give permission to a team to talk to their GM and then they are shocked that he leaves.

As far as staff members go I say bring back the staff members and get rid of Yormark

as bad as the last 12 years have been, this is the first time the panthers are truly frustrating me...this team, which seemed like last year were starting to come around, once again seem like they are 4-5 years away...and then 4-5 after this rebuild doesnt work either

Well maybe this is saying something. On the panthers website up until today they were promoting the cats cookout for this saturday and that you can meet tomas vokoun. But go look at it today and no more vokoun hmmm.....

Maybe he had other plans? :-D

maybe he getting delt lol and they dont want the fans to get to close to him. maybe

or he is out of town thereby ruining the reason Yormark got rid of Denis

I don't post stuff on here often but had to after reading these idiotic omsments. Are you people fans or do you work for the team or used to work or the team??? Do any o
f you ever talk about the team? What's going on on the ice? Who care about ads, front oficestaff and all
And all of that garbage? Talk players, what team needs, who should be re-signed. Maybe this team doesn't ever win because partly due to the fan base never putting any pressure on the team to woin. Instead its all about this other stuff. Who cares who is selling the ads in the building!!! Who's playoing on the ice is what matters. Get lives!!!

Problem is, the people selling ads, are also the same ones making on ice decisions and a large reason why this team sucks.

Hey Cheap Seats, your a D-Bag. Maybe your name is actually Mike Yormark or Pedro Goncalves......

The Problem with the team is the front office and GM. There's a reason why there is resentment towards all involved with the franchise. And if little things don't change, then how are the bigger things going to. There's a reason why fans aren't packing the house. Instead of marketing the players on the team, there marketing junk sponsors, who honestly nobody cares about while at games......

Tee Spot

U guys are idiots!which non hockey guy is picking players? Did any of these sales guys sign olesz? Pick horton instead of staal? Let luongo go for bryan llen and nothingelse? NoB those were moves by the gm's at the time. U guys are losers! Those front office people are seperate from dudley, keennan, martin and whoever else. Those are the guys picking stewart and schvidki in the 1st round!!!!

And tee spot, whatever that means...people don't pack the place becsause the team hasn't won a playoff gamne since bill clinton wasin his 5th year as prezisdent. Has nothing to do with yormark and whoever this other guy you keep talking about is! Pedro? Is he a coach, gm player vp? Rochester guy?wwho is he? What's he got to do with olesz and horton combining for 26 goals and vokoun giving up the softee in buffalo?? Answer that tough guy!

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