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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.


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lol, I like how Ballard is after No One.

It goes in random order...everyone sees a different order...

Weiss should be captain.
We need a long-term captain with panther heart and not an "outsider" like Stillman who's probably gone in a year or so.

Interesting there's not much love for Booth, when he just signed long term and led the team last year, and so much love for Weiss, when he's been one of the bigger disappointments over the last couple seasons (yes, I am aware he led the team in points, but only 14 goals while playing on the top line, and only 13 the year before).

Not that I'm saying Weiss isn't deserving, obviously being a captain isn't always or often a leading goal scorer. But you'd like to see a captain leading by example on the ice, and I'm not sure Weiss always does that. just a curious disparity between Booth and Weiss.

I like McCabe...

If you click where it says "Comment" on the poll, it shows a map of where each person is or where their ISP is and how they voted. There are a lot of good choices, McCabe, Weiss, Allen, Ballard, Stillman, it is nice to see a group of players that can lead. I trust DeBoer to make the right call.

Although I would like Allen, I voted for Weiss. It makes the most sense--been here the longest, Centering the 1st line, worked well with Deboer in the past, prefers an assist over a goal, has 4 years remaining on contract (I think).

I chose Weiss as well, although I love Booth. I just don't think Booth is ready for that kind of responsability yet and I would rather have him concentrate on scoring more goals,then leadership. I believe Weiss,Ballard and McCabe are the front runners for the "C". They all have shown leadership last season and no matter who is chosen, I believe it'll be the right choice.
Weiss (C)
Ballard (A)

Dvorak (C)
Weiss (A)
McCabe (A)

Ballard or McCabe should be captain.

I can't believe Weiss is in the lead. I always feel like he's an overlooked player. He's not a scoring machine, but the team is consistently better when he's in the lineup. Look at the games he's missed the last two years. The Panthers struggled when he was out. Booth, I think, is too young. Making him captain could be another Lecavelier situation, where too much was put on him too soon.

I voted Ballard. Although I wouldn't be unhappy with any of those guys, I still think it's going to be McCabe.

Opps, I forgot to put this with my comment. I really enjoyed that Dallas Miami game. gotta love Leon Lett giftwrapped thanksgiving gift to Miami. Checkout a replay of the play on YouTube. I think this is why Johnson got on a flight to Miami AGAIN.

Mcabe. no question. Weiss not ready. IMHO

Ballard baby!

He's got the hits, the offense, he doesn't take stupid penalties, he can hold a decent conversation, he brings the crowd to it's feet, he's signed long-term...

Not much else you could ask for.

Keith Ballard C

He knows how to win and what it is like to win at many different levels. Just not the NHL yet but give him time. Look at the teams he has been on.

I voted for Ballard. He leads by example, plays balls-out, and is signed for 6 years...

My suggestion for the new camera name is kinda bland: "OFPcam" (On Frozen Pond cam)

Nice job Murph...you gave me an idea for the new name:


Like it... Like it a lot! With a name like that, it's just too bad John Facenda and Harry Kalas have passed away and can't do the voiceovers!

I would like to see Ballard with the (C) and both Stillman and Weiss with the (A)

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