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Hello Pal: Panthers Heading to Calgary ... Keith Ballard, Bryan Allen OUT


ENOCH, Alberta -- Greetings from the River Cree Resort and Casino, your temporary home of the Florida Panthers.

The team has stayed here the past few nights, and have practiced on the ice rink attached to the hotel/casino.

Photo at left is of an outdated Nike Bauer poster that's hanging in the pro shop that greets the players as they come off the ice.

Hi Olli.

The Panthers get to see Olli Jokinen and Jay Bouwmeester up close and personal Sunday night as Florida visits the Saddledome to take on the Flames.

-- Keith Ballard and Bryan Allen were held out of Saturday's practice for precautionary reasons. Ballard has a sore groin; Allen, well, he played a lot of minutes the other night at Montreal on that surgically repaired knee.

Ballard said if this was the regular season, he wouldn't be missing time.

''I'm sure a lot of guys are banged up right now,'' Ballard said. ''It just doesn't make sense to go out and skate and then sit on a bus for a few hours.''

-- Here are the lines for Sunday's game against the Calgary Jokimeesters:




-- The Panthers will play both of their top goalies in Calgary, with Tomas Vokoun likely starting and Scott Clemmensen coming in relief. Both goalies were working with new pads on Saturday, Vokoun switching from white to red with Clemmensen dropping his New Jersey black-and-red blockers to a Florida color scheme.

''We're in the tail end of the exhibition season and we leave for Finland [Friday],'' DeBoer said. ''We're starting to split the groups a little bit more, in practice and for the games.''

-- Prospect Colby Robak was sent back to his junior team after Friday's loss in Edmonton.

-- I'm off to Calgary via Red Deer; will tell everyone that Randy Moller said hello.

See you tomorrow with what I hope is a special 'CatCam: Alumni Edition.'

You can just guess who I plan to speak to in Calgary.