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25 posts from June 2009

June 04, 2009

Golf For a Cause

Caddy If you are looking for a good way to spend your Friday, come on down to Miccosukee Golf Club tomorrow down Kendall way for a day of golf with Goldie and his gang.

Steve Goldstein, the Panthers' TV voice, holds an annual golf tournament to benefit his charity, Goldie's Gang.

It's a good cause, helping underprivileged children in our region. Goldie helps out a good number of kids in our community, so to say this is a good work is just.

Here's more information. Hope to see you out there tomorrow. We'll smack 'em around and see if that Smails kid picks his nose.

9th Annual Goldie’s Gang Golf Classic

Hosted by The Voice of the Florida Panthers & Talk Show Host of 560 WQAM

Steve “Goldie” Goldstein

Friday, June 5, 2009♦

Miccosukee Golf & Country Club

6401 Kendale Lakes Drive-Miami

10:30am Registration & Lunch ♦ Goody Bag ♦Food & Drinks on Course ♦

12:00pm Tee Time/2 Man Scramble Start ♦ Awards Dinner

LIVE” Auction & Raffle

Cost is $100.00 per individual golfer

Corporate FOURSOME Sponsorship available

*For More Information, please call the Goldie’s Gang Office at 754.244.7567

or email : goldiesganggolf@aol.com

June 02, 2009

Panthers Changing Hands?

Pantherowners It appears that the Alan Cohen Era of the Florida Panthers is over.

Various news organizations -- including The Miami Herald -- is reporting that Sports Properties Acquisitions is buying the team from Cohen and his various partners (Cliff Viner, Mike Maroone, Bernie Kosar, Jordan Zimmerman, Steve Cohen, etc.) for $240 million.

Cohen and his group bought the team from H. Wayne Huizenga (who is still part of the partnership) for $101 million in 2001.

SPA is getting the team, the sweatheart lease to the arena and development rights to the surrounding land.

Word I'm getting is that Mr. Cohen has been asked to stay on with the team in some capacity but he has not accepted that offer. Michael Yormark is expected to remain with the team.

And no, the Panthers haven't found a general manager just yet.

Your comments below...

June 01, 2009

Who will be Florida's next GM? Now with On Frozen Poll

Gm Bill Torrey is in charge of the Florida general manager search, one that will probably last well past the upcoming draft in Toronto.

Who would you like to see running things from atop One Panther Parkway with that somewhat boring view of the Everglades? And does Jacques leave the cool golf bag that sits in his office to his replacement?

Good thing JM never got around to hanging up all his pictures. I always knew he wasn't in this job for the long haul, mostly because of that. Would have taken an hour. Yet they all sat stacked up on the floor or on filing cabinets, waiting to be packed up to his next coaching address.

And when I said this morning that I didn't believe the Montreal story, I just didn't believe that the Canadiens had offered him the job. If they had, we would have heard about this nonstop from the Montreal media. I never had any doubt that if JM was offered a coaching job -- anywhere, much less storied Montreal -- that he would jump at it. The guy's a coach. Plain and simple.

I know a lot of people are celebrating the fact that JM is leaving, but I'm not so sure that's wise. JM was a pretty good GM, and helped get the Panthers organization back on somewhat solid footing. JM took a gamble by not trading Jay at the deadline, a gamble he won. By leaving, he doesn't have to worry about the consequences of not getting anything for the team's top asset! That's pretty slick.

Anyway, back to the task at hand.

Who do you like for the new Florida GM? Leave comments below. Here are some names I'm throwing out there -- and remember, this is complete speculation on my part.


-- Jay Feaster: Former GM of Lightning, helped build 2004 Cup champ

-- Rick Dudley: Former Florida GM now assistant in Chicago

-- Les Jackson: Former Dallas GM, reassigned officially on Monday

-- Doug MacLean: Former Florida coach, former president of Blue Jackets

-- Pierre McGuire: Television analyst was a finalist for Minnesota job

-- Scott Mellanby: Former Florida captain, now scout in Vancouver

-- Dave Nonis: Former Vancouver GM (remember Luongo trade?) now in Toronto

-- Randy Sexton: Current assistant GM in Florida; GM of Senators in early years

-- Neil Smith: GM of 1994 Cup champion Rangers; was briefly GM of Islanders

And just for fun:

-- Denis Potvin: Disposed TV analyst who kind of knows Bill Torrey

-- Mike Keenan: He's been there, he's done that

Of course, I only have 10 spots, so since Keenan's been here a few times I'll leave him off the poll. He gets the benefit of the doubt since he probably still has a set of keys to the place.

Go ahead and vote as much as you want. If you don't like any of these choices, leave yours below.

MONDAY LIVE!: Jacques Martin in Montreal - With Quotes! ... Bill Torrey, Randy Sexton in Charge ... Speaking with Michael Yormark, Pete DeBoer, Torrey and Sexton

Jacques Working the Jacques Martin story throughout the day and am awaiting the press conference from Montreal. Updates here all day long (no golf for this guy).

The Panthers have released a statement with owner Alan Cohen wishing JM luck in his new gig. Bill Torrey, the team's alternate governor and architect of the Islanders' dynasty, will lead the search for the new GM. Torrey Mr. Torrey -- a Hall of Famer -- will work with assistant GM Randy Sexton on free agency issues and stuff relating to the upcoming draft.

And word is there will be no compensation from the Canadiens. The Panthers waived their right to anything when they allowed the Canadiens to talk to JM in the first place.

“On behalf of the entire Florida Panthers organization, we would like to thank Jacques for five years of service to our franchise and wish him the best of luck in his new position,” Cohen said. “An extensive search for a new general manager will begin immediately, and we are fortunate to have someone like Mr. Torrey to lead us through this process. We will look to bring in the best person possible.”

-- So, what, exactly, has JM been doing lately? Well, he hasn't been involved in many negotiations as far as I can tell. Just got off the phone with David Booth. He says there has been no contact with his agent and JM of late. Craig Anderson told me the same thing last week in Indy. Jay Bouwmeester's agent told Barry Jackson of El Herald that he hadn't heard from JM either.

Booth says he wants to be here, and being at Joe Louis Arena last night inspired him. ''I want to bring that to Florida,'' he said. ''It was loud there, but I really think it would be louder in Florida. I think the Detroit fans are just so used to this they kind of take it for granted. Our fans wouldn't.''

-- Booth also had plenty of praise for JM: ''He really gave me confidence when I was a young player. He was always great to me. It's sad that a guy like this is leaving our organization.''

-- Stephen Weiss also had praise for JM as a coach, saying ''I think he's a great coach.''

-- Weiss said he had surgery on his wrist five weeks ago and is close to 100 percent. ''I'm very happy with that.''

-- JM's presser is on NHL Network right now; can also be found on French channel RDS.ca

Its a great pleasure to be part of his team. I'm really looking forward to the challenge.

Look at how team performed in five years, its 10th overall, 40 wins a season. Look at players in the organization, strong nucleaus, strong base to build a wining team. Really looking forward and am excited in leading this team next year.

When Bob approached me for the position, I think I was surprised and flattered from a standpoint that I have a lot of respect for what Bob accomplished as a player, coach and in management. Won the Stanley Cup numerous times. .-.-.

I really believe this organization is rich in people and to me, that's a very important ingredient.

We had the opportunity to discuss at length philosophy, the operation, players, the league. I was really excited by those conversations with Bob. We had good chemistry. The fact that I had the opportunity to be a GM gives me a better appreciation between the player and coach. We concluded it last evening. It didn't take me a long time to make up my mind. This opportunity to come back to my roots, a French-Canadian who knows the passion that exists in that market. Been in Ottawa, both French and English where hockey is a religion. To get back in this kind of market, where fans are so committed and passionate. Its a great opportunity to work in this.


We love Montreal as a market but it comes with demands and pressure. Jacques has shown he can handle that not only the coaching but the environment in Montreal. Experience is very important, but he's a professional. At his core, he wants to coach. He's a teacher, brings people together. Very valuable for all of us to have him be part of our group.

Speaking to Michael Yormark and Bill Torrey in the coming hour...more then...

Here's what the Florida Four had to say:


The Canadiens contacted us 10 days ago for permission. Alan spoke to Jacques about whether he wanted to talk to Montreal. As we all can imagine, for a French-Canadian kid growing up in Canada, every young kid's dream was to coach or play for the Canadiens.

Clearly Jacques was interested in talking to them about the job. Talks took place last night, got word last night that Jacques took the position. We are sorry to see him leave. He put in five great years with the Panthers. We are turning the page and moving forward.

Bill Torrey has been asked to lead the search for the new GM. Bill will report directly to Alan during this interim process. He will lead the search, identify candidates and go through the interview process.

We will make sure we are ready for the draft, free agency period and any hockey related things that come up during this process. Randy Sexton will be the point person on all hockey related matters and work closely with Pete in how we construct the team moving forward.

Bylaws indicate no compensation for a transaction. The Canadiens asked for permission, we granted that permission. That was the terms of the deal.

Is it the ideal situation, no. The window of opportunity meant the Canadians had to act. This is something we had to let Jacques pursue if he was passionate about it. Jacques is a very professional guy. We're not concerned with him being in Montreal. Our hockey guys will do the job and move forward.


I'm not sure I saw it coming. I felt he really threw himself into the GM role. My thought in coming here was I would get a chance to work with a GM who had recently been a head coach. He knew what coaches went through. I could rely on him. That's what I got. On a day-to-day basis, he really supported me and let me make my own decisions. He also had some great advice at key times for me.

You don't just stop coaching after 25 years. It doesn't leave your blood. It's always in your blood. I didn't see it coming.

I talked to Jacques this morning, early this morning. He informed me he was taken the job. I had not spoken to him about that. I didn't know it was a possibility.

It's in real capable hands. The guys we have right now between Michael Yormark, Randy Sexton, Bill Torrey, Scott Luce. I'm real comfortable that we're not going to drop any balls. We're going to get done what needs to get done. Lot of work, but every team in the league is in the same position. Hopefully when we open camp in September, all this business will be taken care of.


I would say in order of importance here, we are going to get the search for JM successor and new GM as quickly as we possibly can. Randy has been privy to all conversations between players and agents. He'll be working on that area. At this time of year,so many things affect future of team, not one thing, have to move forward in all areas. As best we can, run our business as any team would at this time of year.

We have to assess who is available. Those who are under contract, can we talk to them. Free to come here if they are selected. Identity of all candidate is the first part, start whittling that down. Get serious candidates. It's the individual who will best fit our established jobs here. Pete did a great job guiding this young team, want to find someone compatible with him, know the team that's here and supplement what we have.

Jay is a part of this organization until July 1. We'll be moving forward as best we can to try and retain his services and the specific steps will have to be reconsidered. There are a number of free agents who have to be dealt with as soon as we can.

I want someone who will represent this organization in the best way in public as well as in the dressing room.

This is a team that has improved, is a young team but one that still has some needs. [The new GM] has to be comfortable with Pete. We have to keep this thing moving forward. We have to find out what is out there, then find out who fits. You have to feel your way around. More than one good candidate and I don't think the final decision will be an easy one.

We're going forward with clear understanding that Peter is here. We have to find someone comfortable with that, can do that. Scott Luce has done a great job. He is in place. In this particular place we have people in place who are going forward. We have to find someone who can work with that and are ready to move forward. I have served my time. I know where I am in this life. My heart is with this franchise, want to see it move along.


Had a conversation with [Bouwmeester agent] Byron [Baltimore] three days ago. Jacques talk with Jay at end of season and they agreed to a three or four week break to see how things went. Things continue to unfold. I don't think it's appropriate to talk about agent/player conversations. We have a plan in place, we're doing our best to make that happen.

JM the Canadien: Jacques Martin New Coach of Montreal ... Quebec Press Conference Today @ 2 p.m. ... Hello Frozen Poll

Jacques1 BY GEORGE RICHARDS; grichards@MiamiHerald.com

A highly placed source within the Florida Panthers organization confirmed Monday
morning that general manager Jacques Martin is going to leave the team to become the new
coach of the Montreal Canadiens.

The Canadiens have scheduled a 2 p.m. press conference to introduce Martin. The press conference will be held at Bell Center, the team's arena near downtown Montreal.

Martin, 56, just completed his third season as Florida's general manager. He coached
the team for three seasons before being relieved of that duty last summer. Martin was
asked to stay on as general manager by owner Alan Cohen and Martin agreed, signing a
four-year contract.

What sort of compensation the Canadiens would give to the Panthers isn't clear, and it
is not known if Martin would personally have to buy out his own contract to leave. Cohen
and Martin -- who was scheduled to attend the team's development camp in Ontario on Monday
-- were not available for comment. According to a Panthers source, Martin is not at the development camp and is in Montreal.

Prior to coming to the Panthers, Martin spent parts of nine seasons as coach of the
Ottawa Senators, leading that team to the playoffs for eight consecutive years. He was
fired in Ottawa after the 2004 campaign after the Senators were knocked out by Toronto in
the opening round.

Martin was soon hired to coach the Panthers with Mike Keenan becoming the team's
general manager. After one season (and a Roberto Luongo trade), Keenan was fired and
Martin was elevated to the front office while also serving as the team's coach.

The Panthers did not advance to the postseason in any of Martin's four seasons with the
club, and Florida hasn't been to the playoffs since 2000 -- the longest current streak in
the league and second-longest drought in NHL history.

Martin, who was also head coach of the St. Louis Blues from 1986-88, has coached in
1,098 games with a record of 517-406-56 with 119 ties.

Randy Sexton, Florida's current assistant general manager, could be a candidate for the
main job and could at least run things on an interim basis as the draft is coming up later
this month in Montreal.

Joe Nieuwendyk, who retired as a Florida player in 2006, would have been a prime
candidate to replace Martin in the front office, but Florida's timing was not right.
Nieuwendyk is being formally introduced as the new GM in Dallas on Monday. Former Florida
assistant general manager Chuck Fletcher also recently took the GM job in Minnesota.

Florida has plenty of offseason business to take care of, with Jay Bouwmeester (whose
agent told The Miami Herald that he hasn't spoken to the Panthers in a long time) a
pending free agent on July 1. Backup goalie Craig Anderson and wingers Radek Dvorak and
Ville Peltonen are also free agents.

The Panthers also are in negotiations with restricted free agent David Booth -- a
third-year forward who led the team in goals this past season.