The big news around the Panthers is that they still haven't done a whole lot to improve themselves, are still for sale and still don't have a permanent general manager. Not a whole lot has changed since May. Or June.
So today's lead story regards something we all care deeply about: The Ice Dancers. There will be a new crop of Ice Dancers this year, and tomorrow starts that process. Tryouts for the 2009-10 dancers will be held at The Billboard starting at noon. Don't know if it's open to the public or not, but I'm going to see if my media pass still works.
If you are 18 or older and want to be an Ice Dancer, check it out. Information is here.
They say some of the judges are ''media celebrities.'' Guess I didn't make the cut. Maybe Joe Rose will be there. Or Steve X. I'm sure Goldie will find his way there out of professional curiosity.
-- Individual tickets for the Panthers are now on sale. Thought I should mention this somewhere.
-- Spoke with Tomas Vokoun a few days ago. He's been working out in South Florida for almost a month, getting a real leg up on the upcoming season. He's been working out with the team's new strength and conditioning coach and looks pretty good to me. He says he really wants to get off to a good start this year. Story in tomorrow's Herald.
-- Vokoun seems to feel like a lot of you when it comes to the roster: He wants more.
''It's pretty much the same team,'' he said. ''I think we can still use a couple more players on the roster, veteran guys. But we have what we have and we go from there. This is a team sport, not an individual sport. We'd be lying to ourselves if we said we were the most talented team in the league. We're definitely not. But we have enough talent to be successful and if we use what we have, we can be successful.''
''We definitely want to shorten it. This has been too long. I said when I come here, you play to make the playoffs. It makes no sense to come in and want to play 82 games then go on vacation. We all want to be in the playoffs. That's where the fun is. We want to do something special and that's up to us. It's not going to be easy. If it was, everyone would be in the playoffs.''
On being pushed by Scott Clemmensen:
''I think Craig did a great job and we both did a very good job. We were good together I thought. It's always good to be pushed. When you play hockey, most of the good players have pride. You want to do your best whether you are being pushed or not. Craig is going to do very well where he's at. He deserves this shot. I'm happy for him. He played very good hockey.
''We'll see what happens this year. I'm focusing on how I play. That's all I can control.''
-- Pete DeBoer says the new goalie coach/consultant should be named any day now. They are working on the contract as we speak. I hear it's John Vanbiesbrouck. And I totally just made that up.
-- Pete says his wife and kids are sick of seeing him so he's ready to get back to work.
I know I promised these a few days ago but have been busy writing football preview stories as well as the Vokoun story that's coming out tomorrow. Since it's still August, these may not be updated every day, but it will be more frequent than not.
Hope you enjoy, eh.
-- Dany Heatley says he still wants to be traded from Ottawa because of his diminished role.
-- Don't think Sens owner Eugene Melnyk is going to have Jim Balsillie visit him in Barbados anytime soon...
-- Patrick Kane and his cousin plead not guilty.
-- And speaking of great television (not), Versus may not be on Direct TV come Sept. 1.
-- How could I forget about Todd Bertuzzi going back to the Red Wings?