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Football Night in Dallas: Slow Day for the Panthers ... Gregory Campbell Still Out ... Radek Dvorak Back Wednesday ... Captain to be Announced Soon (With an All-New On Frozen Poll!)


DALLAS -- Took a side trip from the airport here to the Grapevine Mills Mall, a sprawling living and breathing ode to capitalism.

The place may or may not be bigger than Sawgrass Mills; it does, however, have better stores, restaurants, movie theaters, ambiance.

Didn't see a PF Changs, but they probably had one somewhere.

Anyway, went into the Dallas Cowboys store to see what the mood was. A lot of people were still milling around, picking through what was left of the Opening Night souvenirs from the new stadium.

I asked if they had any New York Giants stuff. They didn't. So I bought a Cowboys shirt. I was blinded by the blue star, I admit.

You're welcome Mr. Jones.

-- Did the Dolphins play this week?

-- The Panthers got in early this morning from Calgary and promptly went to bed. Then, they gathered at the other AmericanAirlines Arena and did some workout stuff. Both squads ended up skating at the Stars training facility, the ice at AA Center not available because the Dallas Mavericks were using the arena for something or other.


''I felt we needed to be out on the ice,'' Pete DeBoer told me via the AT&T Miami Herald BatPhone as he walked back to the team hotel. ''With this schedule, we can't waste days.''

The Panthers and the Stars meet up here tomorrow night. LIVE! coverage, as always, right here.

-- Keith Ballard and Bryan Allen practiced today with Gregory Campbell (hip flexor) the only one held off the ice. DeBo says it's a precaution and that's it. All three players will participate in one of the two Dallas games -- either the one here or at home on Wednesday.

-- Radek Dvorak could make his preseason debut on Wednesday, DeBo telling me that the team felt it didn't make much sense for Dvorak to come all the way to Dallas just to fly back to Fort Lauderdale with the team. Dvorak has been skating since coming back to South Florida. He missed the start of training camp because he was attending to family issues in the Czech Republic.

-- Have just been informed that FSN's locker room camera is dubbed CatCam. I did not know this since I never get to watch their broadcasts. Should I change the name of my videos or just play dumb (something I'm good at)? Let me know your thoughts.

I'm leaning toward changing the name, by the way. Feel free to leave your suggestions below.

-- Yes, the Florida Panthers will have a captain this season -- and perhaps as early as this week. Pete told me last night that he and the coaching staff will decide on who will finally replace Olli Jokinen as captain of the Panthers.

I asked whether he thought about whether the players would vote on this and he said it would be better if he did it.

''Sometimes it becomes a popularity contest,'' he said.

And if that was the case, they would probably all vote for me. Except for Stillman. And probably McCabe. And Booth, Horton and Weiss. I think Rusty would vote for me. Vokoun wouldn't.

Who would you vote for if given the chance? Well guess what? It's your chance!

Time for our first On Frozen Poll of the season. Enjoy kids. Enjoy.