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Checking in from the Road: Schedules, Baseball All-Stars and Alex Tanguay

Savannah SAVANNAH, Ga. -- Good afternoon hockey fans, just checking in from the road. Have had plenty of time to make some phone calls and do some other things, so I figured, why not jump in and share some of that information with y'all.

-- First off, we have to get a Zaxby's in South Florida. We've got Chik-fil-A, Cracker Barrel and Steak and Shake. How about some golden chicken fingers? Anyone out there want to get us a franchise? It'll be a huge success, you can thank me later.

-- Big baseball game tonight, hopefully better than the never ending home run derby. Don't even remember who won. Lost interest. I was just happy the sound wasn't on. Chris Berman and all.

-- The Panthers are going to unveil next year's schedule tomorrow as is every NHL team in the league. Check back here tomorrow and we'll have it as soon as I can fire up the laptop and get it online. Going to be driving to North Carolina tomorrow so it could be a bit of an adventure. But we'll get things done. Talking to Randy, Michael and Pete sometime around 4 p.m. so check back after that for their thoughts on the schedule.

-- This much we know: The Panthers open in Helsinki, Finland on Oct. 2-3 with a pair of games against the Blackhawks. Florida will then come home and rest up, playing host to the New Jersey Devils. For those on the hockey beat, Florida will be visiting all 14 east teams as well as San Jose, Colorado, Columbus, St. Louis and Nashville.

Yeah Nashville!

-- Alex Tanguay? An offer is on the table from the Panthers as well as other teams. Right now the Tanguay camp is said to be taking its sweet time, trying to find the right fit. He apparently didn't like it in Calgary, didn't like it in Montreal. Well, South Florida is the anti-Calgary/Montreal. He'll have fun down here, that's for sure. Should hear something from him in the coming days. If the Panthers lose out on Tanguay (and he may just take a one-year to come here), expect another minor move before training camp.

Eurovacation - Speaking of training camp, did some math the other day (go ahead and laugh) and here's what I came up with: The Panthers, by playing seven games in nine nights, will travel a minimum of 7,000 miles before embarking on the European Vacation.

Florida will fly to Nova Scotia, then play a game in Halifax before flying off to Ottawa, Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton and Dallas. Then, the flight to Helsinki (estimated one-way: 5,100 miles).

-- And they'll be announcing that Fenway Park will play host to this year's winter classic, and I have no problem with that at all. Fenway is a classic location for a hockey game.

But I still say the NHL needs to seriously look at Camden Yards in Baltimore for a future game. Think about it: Put the Flyers and the Caps (both cities are about an hour drive in either direction) in Charm City and the NHL can bask in the glory of putting 40,000-plus fans into a beautiful ballpark in a non-NHL city. I don't see how this one can lose.

Of course, now the Flyers will have been involved in one. I don't like the Bruins/Flyers matchup, but hey, that's me.

-- In case you missed it, Noah Welch and Anthony Stewart both signed with the Thrashers. Former Panther Joel Kwiatkowski also signed with the ATLers, but he was under contract in Russia for another season and will have to go back. Sorry, Kiwi.

-- See you tomorrow...

Comments

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Good luck to Stewie & Welch. But not against us of course.

How can you be so sure that Fenway Park is gonna host the Winter Classic? They are having a major announcement about a special event there tomorrow, but how do we know it concerns Fenway Park? Maybe they will announce that the Winter Classic will be held at Yankee Stadium. That would be an interesting switch up.

Kidding, of course, nice of the NHL to make a worst kept secret into a "special event" announcement.

Any word on the Panthers third jersey?

I love how we gave up Noah Welch and a 3rd for a cup of coffee with Eminger. Assuming Eminger isn't coming back. I always thought Welch should have been given a chance last year over Cullimore.

I second Jeff"s comment.

SIGN HIM NOW!!

...if we do i am coming all the way from merry england 2 to watch a cats game this season :)!
he is a former 80 point scorer that would be suited to playing in a hockey market like south florida, where the scrutiny is substantially less than in previous towns calgary and montreal - allowing him to recapture his game from the 2006-07 season. he scored only 41 points last year, but keep in mind this was only in 50 games?! that kind of form could bring him about 70 points if playing a full season for the cats - taking into account he would become our premier offensive weapon.
with tanguay this team is legitimate once more, it would mean:

- stillman gets dropped to the third line, with tanguay taking his place on the second.
- that would make the third line a legitimate scoring threat! stillman (a top 2 line talent -like it or not its true) + campbell (showed us what he can do last year) + and olesz (who despite his critics amongst fans is going to have a career year!)
- that would give us THREE LINES which are scoring threats. . .
1. sunrise xpress line
2. tanguay reinprecht frolik
3. stillman campbell olesz
+
4. tarnasky kreps dvorak (a better 4th line thn we wer putting out last year)

if yu reely sit back and take a look at what we can potentially have, our offense would be upgraded from last year - which is what needed the most improving!
we need to do whatever is possible to get this guy, money is not an issue as far as im concerned - jus do whatever it takes sexton!!

Thanks for the info on Tanguay, George, even though I think the uncertainty in management down here gives the chances of actually landing Tanguay slim at best. Any word on Comrie?

I think we have a good chance,not just slim. He doesn't want Calgary or Montreal, Pheonix doesn't seem like a hot destination,not sure about Dallas, and if it really is between the Cats and Lightning then I think we have a 90% chance of landing him. We have a great group of players,great prospects and a team ready for playoffs. The ning have tons of forwards and I don't think he'll get the minutes he's looking for there. I really hope Sexton gets it done and brings us a scorer we've been looking for.

I'd rather have Tanguay than Comrie for sure, so if we can bring him in around $3.5- $4 million, then it's probably our best shot...Also if that doesn't work out, I'd be interested in Manny Malhotra, Dominic Moore....It looks like Kessel is off the table, so those are probably the best of the rest.... I still think a trade is our best option, but it's probably too late for that now...And no one seems to have the nuggets to deal two of our better assets--Horton and T-VO..

Tanguay needs to be signed right now. That makes this team much deeper and yes ONE player can make that happen, its now up to the organization to make the right move and get him signed.

George,
Has there been any talk of Dave Tallon (former CHI GM) interviewing for the vacant Panthers spot.
Yes, he's made a few mistakes, but he's built a winner in Chicago.

The hawks already gave him another job.

Signing Tangs is a MUST. This could really make this team capable of something awesome this year. No more playing for the 7th or 8th spot, let's go for the division.

the problem with tanguay is that as a french canadian, to choose between playing with reinprecht and frolik or lecavalier and st louis is an easy pick.... Panthers cant afford to be cheap .

With his shoulder problems, Tanguay playing for more than $2.5 million is too much of a risk. He really hasn't been up to form since the problems with his shoulders, and its a reason GMs are shying away from him. And why would he want to come to a team that got MUCH worse over night? Tanguay isn't a savior type of player. He's a complimentary type and the Panthers don't have much to compliment presently. Tampa or Dallas are the best places for tanguay to prove his worth and a better chance at winning a Cup again.

Well Hollywood Beach has the French-Canadien connection, so all the more reason to come down here!

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