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57 posts from October 2009

October 31, 2009

Even More Call-ups To Cats: Keaton Ellerby AND Victor Oreskovich

PHILADELPHIA -- Wonder what's happening here?

Sure, we know why Keaton Ellerby was recalled today; he's going to replace Bryan Allen in the lineup.

But Victor Oreskovich? Word from the Panthers is that no one is hurt. So someone is riding the press box pine tonight. Will update when I know.

Both players could make their NHL debuts tonight. Last year, Jason Garrison made his NHL debut in St. Loo against the Blues.

Oreskovich has one heck of a story. Quit hockey for a while, ended up getting a tryout from the Panthers and his former junior coach, one Pete DeBoer.

Now 23, he's on board to make his NHL debut. Kind of cool.

Read his story here.

Off to Philly

DALLAS -- Getting ready to depart chilly Dallas with chilly Philadelphia the destination. Going to take a few well deserved days away from the Panthers; we both can use the break. I'm sure they're sick of me already. Tonight's game in St. Louis will be the first I've missed (exhibitions included) all season but I'll be watching from the Steel City. I'll still be updating here throughout the weekend. Who knows, might even have some World Series updates here mixed in with your hockey news.

October 30, 2009

Steve Reinprecht: The Man Who Does it All ... Alan Cohen Getting Out?

Reinprecht2 DALLAS -- If I'm Pete DeBoer, I leave Steve Reinprecht on the ice at all times. I don't care if he is tired. I don't care if he complains. Leave him out there.

Reinprecht has a hat trick less than 16 minutes into tonight's game, likely the quickest hat trick in franchise history.

He also leads the team with eight goals. All of those goals have come in the past six games.

Hey look! He's back out there.

-- Reinprecht's hat trick is the fifth of his career and 31st in franchise history. It is also the fastest hat trick in franchise history as no Panther had ever completed the feat in the first period of a game.

-- Barry Jackson reports that minority ownership partners Cliff Viner and Stu Siegel could replace Alan Cohen in running the Panthers.

OnFrozenFilm: Pete DeBoer, Dallas Pregame 10/30/09

Cool Night In Dallas: Panthers @ Stars, 8:30 FSN

Heatdallas DALLAS -- Good afternoon from the Big D, home of the biggest win in Miami Heat history. The Heat won the NBA title here, you know.

People in Dallas don't like talking about that, but they do like talking about their Stars. A good young team that is off to a nice start. Should be an entertaining game tonight, with the Panthers desperately needing a win.

Four straight losses and wins in just two of 10 get people a little on edge.

Pete DeBoer says he's going to go with Scott Clemmensen tonight. ''We have two wins,'' DeBoer said. ''He has one of them.'' Simple enough.

Check back later for all of Pete's pregame comments (internet is too slow at hotel to upload. Will do from arena.)

October 29, 2009

We Have a Cats App for That

The Herald's mad scientists have come up with something fun for you Panthers fans who happen to have an iPhone or an iTouch: Your own Florida Panthers app!

It's fun and it's cheap and if I had an iPhone, I would get one.

Here's a totally unbiased review from my sister Rachel, who may have been the first to download it: ''Wow G, that's cool. Very nice!''

See? She wouldn't lie, either. That's because she's pregnant. With twins. So has to tell the truth TWICE as much as before.

Iphonegirl Anyway, this app puts all things Panthers at your finger tips, from the popular On Frozen Pond to the less popular (for Panthers fans these days) NHL standings and game results. We also have photos, videos, a bunch of links and much more.

Check it out on the official Herald page here, or just go straight to the Apple store and pick it up. It costs less than a gallon of gas. And it's far more entertaining.

At least my sister thinks so.

-- Speaking of that, OnFrozenFilm scheduled to return to this space tomorrow. Have had some technical difficulties, but it looks like all is well. All I needed was a new battery. Huh. The videos that I take are also accessible on the Panthers app. OK, done schilling.

Jeff Taffe: You're Up Next! ... Dominic Moore Out with Nasal Surgery

Taffe DALLAS -- According to our good pal Kevin Oklobzija with the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Jeff Taffe has been called up and will meet the team in Dallas.

The Panthers have confirmed that Taffe will be called up; according to Kevin O, Taffe didn't practice today and has a 6 p.m. flight to Texas.

Kevin also said to look out for Keaton Ellerby as a possible Bryan Allen callup this weekend.

Dominic Moore is not on the trip because he needed nasal surgery after breaking his nose against the Flyers on Saturday. So now that's three players missing time because of that game. The Panthers hope Moore will be back Wednesday against Carolina.

Moore wore a full cage last night but I guess he struggled breathing and figured he better get this thing fixed. So, Taffe should get two games minimum I would assume. We'll see tomorrow.

I'm off to watch some college football, some World Series baseball and have me some Tex-Mex. See y'all tomorrow!

October 27, 2009

LIVE! Hockey Chat: 7 p.m.

We're going to have our first hockey chat of the regular season tonight around 7 p.m. Don't know how long it will go, but that will be up to you all.

If you want to get your questions in early, feel free to leave them in the comment section below or log into the CoverItLive system. Your question won't show up initially because I would have to approve it. As long as it's clean, I will. Don't worry about that.

(The live coverage will display below. Press the play button to launch. It may take up to a minute to load.)

Keith Primeau Talks about Mike Richards/David Booth Hit

Primeau Our good pal Josh Rimer sent over this transcript of an interview done by Darren Dreger and Bill Waters with former Flyers captain Keith Primeau regarding the David Booth hit.

Primeau was not a fan of it for obvious reasons. Primeau, you may remember, had his career shut short because of hits to the head. I'm no hockey softy, but I agree: Shots to the head need to be eliminated. There's too much at stake. But I digress.

The interview was done on Leafs Lunch on Toronto's AM-640:

(Speaking of radio, I'll be on with Calgary's Fan 960 at 4:25 p.m. Check it out here...)

Darren Dreger: On the Mike Richards hit on David Booth…

Keith Primeau: That it’s a hit to the head.  

DD: On premature retirement…good hit/bad hit?

Am640Marliesjpg KP: As I’m sitting here waiting to come on with you guys, I’m thinking: what do you talk about? Where does the conversation go?  Does it continue to go around in circles?  And my thought process is did anybody sitting there watching that, no matter who the victim was, or who the perpetrator was, just the incident itself saying that was an awesome hit. I don’t know whose fault it is. I don’t know who’s to blame.  I just know that there’s not a place. 

Bill Waters: Take the opportunity to make a hit, knowing that there could be a penalty if it’s shoulder to the head?  What does a player do?

KP: Good question.  And that’s the way we really got to dissect it.  As a former player, I’m looking to make contact.  I wanna make contact on the guy comin' through the middle, with maybe his head down.  That’s my responsibility.  If I turn away from the hit and I do that not just once but multiple times over a game or over a period of time, they begin to label me as a soft player.  So, I want to make contact there.  But, at the end of the day there’s contact and then there’s head contact and that for me is the difference.  Whatever the situation is, whatever the result is, it’s still a punishable act.  And, that to me is where the problem is because it should be punished. 

BW: On change….making collisions less violent.  Equipment change? Up to the players? What can be done?

KP: I don’t disagree. I think there’s lots of different issues at hand.  That certainly is one of the pieces of the equation.  For me, again, the question was how do we do it different?  How does that scenario become different?  For me the scenario is: it’s gotta be body contact.  If he’s going to make that hit over the middle, it’s gotta be contact to the player’s body.  Ultimately it could be the same result.  I’m here to tell you that from my past history that it’s a cumulative effect and I certainly don’t discount the amount of body contact over the years as not having an impact.  It certainly did.  But still, the head, there has to be off limits or else we’re creating and we’re setting a dangerous precedent.  And so for me, what has to happen is when he’s coming through the middle and he wants to make contact because he’s not going to be known as a soft player, he’s gotta make body contact.  There can’t be contact to the head. 

DD: On a rule change negating head shots?

KP: Absolutely.  There has to be a line drawn in the sand. If we’re gonna make a change, there’s got to be a line drawn in the sand.  If it’s not going to be the players whether it’s monitoring themselves or the equipment needs themselves, then somebody has to do it.

DD: Resistance from GMs

KP: I know they don’t.  That’s where for me it becomes frustrating because I’m a real, live human being.  I know it’s a game.  And I know I’m accepting inherent risks.  But, I still have a life.  It impacts a player’s life when he’s gone.  You have to protect that because although you may not recognize that they’re human beings, they are.  This is the part of the puzzle that really hurts me is that they don’t recognize….my biggest fear is that it becomes the accepted norm and it is becoming the accepted norm.  We’ll just build it into our business model that we’re going to have players who are going to miss because of post-concussion or head trauma. And that’s not right. 

DD: You believe that happens?

KP: I honestly believe that it’s becoming an accepted norm that this is the game; this is the game we play; we play hard-nosed.  I don’t disagree with any of that.  But, the head has to be off limits.  If you still go out there and you still suffer from concussion symptoms because you’re a physical player and you play contact, or they don’t ban fighting and you’re out there and you’re a fighter, those are inherent risks.  I accept that.   But when somebody catches you in the corner, or coming across the middle or in front of the net with an elbow or a shoulder or a stick to the head and you have no defense and you can’t talk straight for the next six weeks, then that’s a problem.  That’s a real problem. 

BW: On aggression being a part of the game? Deciding when and when not to hit? 

KP: Right, and again, even though it becomes a punishable act, doesn’t mean that it’s gonna disappear.  Those situations, same as any other, cross-check from behind, hitting somebody into the boards on a race for an icing call, those things still happen.  It’s still a reactionary game.  But you have to find a way to begin to protect the players.  If you just allow it go roughshod, then that’s what’s your going to get.  I feel for the victim.  The perpetrator is irrelevant in the situation.  The point is: it’s the act. It’s the incident. That has to be punishable. 

BW: On there needing to be more than a 2-minute head-checking penalty?

KP: For starters, the incident the other night was a five and a ten.  And some people will say that’s fair.  Who am I? I’m not judge or jury.  Other people say there should be a suspension.

BW: Suspension to eliminate?

KP: Absolutely. I absolutely agree. 

LIVE! Panthers Chat: Tonight, 7 p.m.

You all have been very active on the comment section lately, so lets talk things out. Come on back tonight around 7 and we'll talk all things hockey and Panthers. Can also talk about the World Series, the Heat, Canes or Dolphins. Whatever. It's your show. If you are in, leave a comment below...

Dmitry Kulikov Stays (For Now)

Kulikov Just got word from the Panthers that Dmitry Kulikov is going to stay with the team and the first year of his entry level deal will kick in tomorrow when he plays against Ottawa.

Randy Sexton said this afternoon that Kulikov could stay throughout the season -- but if he starts to look like he's regressing, they have no problem sending him back to junior.

For now though, the kid's staying. Welcome to South Florida.

''We spent a lot of time, myself in particular talking about this,'' said Sexton, saying he spoke to Pete DeBoer and the coaching staff as well as other GMs and coaches who have kept 18-year-old players.

''We want to insure this decision was the right one. I got a lot of different input and feedback. A whole series of things needed to be considered. We have to do the best thing for the long term development of Dmitry Kulikov and what is in the best interests of our team. I think we accomplished both things. The best thing for Dmitry right now is staying with us. But he has to work, has to continue to improve. If there becomes a time when he's not developing, I will send him back. But he's here and he's excited. Now he can relax a little, get settled in.''

Sexton said Kulikov has definitely showed a propensity for getting better. That's something that excited DeBoer as well.

''He has a great ability to handle the puck, to make plays on the power play,'' Sexton said. ''He is confident on the power play. He makes plays under pressure. He's learned from his mistakes and he hasn't repeated them. If he starts to slide because of the intensity of the grind of the season, we might take a step back. But he's gotten better. He has shown an ability to get better. He has improved.

''He can help our team,'' Sexton concluded.

New Lines for Panthers ... David Booth Talks

Just finished a long practice in Coral Springs and we have some new lines:


-- Radek Dvorak was at the rink today with a wrap on his injured left knee. Pete DeBoer says the MRI showed a slight tear to one of the ligiments but surgery isn't needed right now. He could be back in a few weeks if everything goes to plan.

-- David Booth met with his teammates and then the media on Tuesday. DeBoer gave him a warm greeting. Basically Booth says he gets bad headaches and can only read or watch tv for five minutes at a time. He has cuts on his nose and a bad black right eye. He says he doesn't remember much but has seen replays of the hit. He was very diplomatic and would not say whether he thought the hit was dirty, nor if Mike Richards should be suspended. Booth also said that Richards text messaged him yesterday wishing him a quick recovery. Booth says he hasn't replied yet, saying he gets headaches when he texts. I know that feeling.

-- Tomas Vokoun in net tomorrow for the Senators at The Billboard.

The New Lines


October 26, 2009

Repik, McArdle Up with Panthers

The Panthers are on the ice in Coral Springs with two new faces: Kenndal McArdle and Michal Repik. Those two were called up because David Booth and Radek Dvorak are hurt. That means some whacked out lines at practice. Koistinen with Weiss; Horton with Stillman and Kreps. Stuff like that. It's fun. Come on over to the rink. Plenty of great seats still available.

October 25, 2009

David Booth Flying Home: Randy Sexton Updates Condition

Booth2 Panthers winger David Booth has been released from the hospital after suffering a concussion last night in Philly. Booth should be back in South Florida today.

Philadelphia captain Mike Richards, who administered the controversial hit, will not be suspended. Sexton and the Panthers are not pleased. According to Sexton, he spoke with some folks in NHL hockey operations who went through their decision step by step. He's still ticked. ''We have to move on,'' Sexton said this afternoon.

Steve Gorten and myself spoke to Sexton today via speakerphone at baggage claim and it sounds like Booth is doing OK. The Panthers are going to keep Booth under wraps and keep a close watch on him because they know ''how committed, how intense'' he is. Sexton said Booth is the kind of player who won't feel good ''and think 100 pushups will be the answer.'' So they are going to closely monitor what Booth does. He may be out of the lineup for a few weeks.

Sexton also said that Booth has been in contact with former teammates and friends who have been through concussions before. They have told him to just take his time with this. I'm sure Cory Stillman will pass that on too; I think he rushed back last year.

According to Sexton, Booth was alert and the two had a good conversation about a variety of subjects. The Richards hit, apparently, did not come up. Sexton just wanted to talk to Booth about a bunch of stuff to see how alert he really was. ''I was pleasently surprised,'' Sexton said. ''We talked about a bunch of things.''

Sexton also kept Booth's family updated on things last night as they were watching the game on Center Ice.

-- No new update on Radek Dvorak other than he has a ''lower body injury.'' I'm saying its a left knee. We shall see. Sexton said he doesn't think Dvorak will be in the lineup Wednesday against the Sens. I concur with that.

-- Sexton also said he and the coaches were going to gather (probably tomorrow) to decide Dmitry Kulikov's status with the team. With the team 2-6-1, it might be best for him to go back in my opinion. No, he's not going to learn anything more in the QMJHL, but this place is close to imploding. It might just get ugly around here. This season has Titanic written all over it.

-- Roster moves won't be made until after Rochester's game tonight. Speaking of the Amerks, Jason Garrison will be in the lineup for them tonight as he was sent back.

-- I know a lot of people are questioning this team's toughness after last night and you are not alone. I spoke to a number of players about what happened last night and will have something on this in tomorrow's Miami Herald. Pick one up, would ya?

-- The team took today off and will have a rare afternoon practice tomorrow at The Ice. Should be on the ice around 2 p.m. So skip lunch and join us will you? I'll bring the sandwiches*.

(*) George will not be bringing sandwiches. Well, maybe one. For him. From LaSpadas. Ummmm....LaSpadas.

David Booth photo courtesy Associated Press

October 24, 2009

Randy Sexton: David Booth Alert, Moving ... Will Remain in Philadelphia Tonight

BY GEORGE RICHARDS grichards@MiamiHerald.com

PHILADELPHIA – Florida Panthers winger David Booth is alert and moving after being taken off the ice on a stretcher after a hard hit to the head from Philadelphia Flyers captain Mike Richards on Saturday night.

Booth, 25, remained motionless on the ice after the dangerous hit administered by the Flyers star. Booth was taken to Pennsylvania Hospital in south Philadelphia where he was expected to remain at least until Sunday.

Team athletic trainer Steve Dischiavi rode to the hospital with Booth and will remain with him until he can return to South Florida. The Panthers boarded a jet soon after Saturday's game.

''They are doing a whole host of tests just to make sure everything is OK,'' said general manager Randy Sexton. ''I don't know [if Booth had a concussion]. It's too early to tell. The injury just happened. We'll have a much clearer picture in the morning. He was moving his extremities and was awake when he left the ice.''

Richards aggressive hit could bring a fine and suspension before the Flyers play host to San Jose on Sunday. Richards hit Booth on open ice as Booth was vulnerable after playing he played the puck in the Philadelphia zone. Booth did not appear to see Richards coming at him. Richards led into Booth with his shoulder and sent the Florida winger flat to the ice.

Booth immediately hit the ice where he remained motionless for a few moments. Dr. Gary Dorshimer, who works with the Flyers, was escorted onto the ice by a Philadelphia player as Dischiavi and Dave Zenobi attended to Booth. Paramedics later rolled out a stretcher onto the ice. After a few minutes, Booth was rolled over and there seemed to be a little movement.

When Booth was moved, a puddle of blood could be seen collecting under where his face had been resting. It appeared that he was knocked cold when he hit in the chin.

''Obviously, I was not trying to hurt him but separate him from the puck,” Richards said. “He turned, everything happened so quickly, it’s hard for me, I really didn’t see it. .-.-. I didn’t mean to hurt him. I don’t have a history of head shots. I don’t even know if it’s a head shot.''

Booth, coincidentally, scored his second goal of the season in the first period.

''It was a loss out of our lineup,'' said coach Pete DeBoer. ''You worried about his welfare; it's a scary sight. He was totally unconscious on the ice. You're not thinking about hockey. You just hope he's alright.''

Sexton had said that the Richards hit was dirty and a number of his players – including Bryan Allen and Keith Ballard – agreed. Sexton's quotes were relayed to Philadelphia general manager Paul Holmgren and he defended his player.

''Randy Sexton needs to watch more hockey games,'' Holmgren said. ''It's a good hit. Mike Richards was just doing his job.''

Responded Sexton: ''I'm not going to get into a war of words with Paul. He has his own opinions.''

A quick skirmish broke out after the Richards hit, but attentions quickly turned to the fallen Booth. The Panthers then went on a long power play and didn't physically respond to the Richards hit during the game. The Flyers, who led 3-1 at the time of the Booth hit, rolled from then on.

Florida didn't score on its two minute chance with two extra skaters on the ice and did little the rest of the way as the Flyers celebrated the win.

''The guy had his head down, in vulnerable position and Richards knows it,'' said Ballard. ''He went after him. He's done it before. It's the same thing [the NHL] is trying to put an end to. He tried to hurt him. [Booth] was looking the other way. .-.-. We had a five minute power play. We didn't score, didn't hit anyone. We didn't do anything. We needed to pick something.''

The Panthers also lost veteran winger Radek Dvorak to an apparent left knee injury after he got crushed by Darroll Powe just 36 seconds into the second period.

Dvorak was in obvious pain as he was helped off the ice, with DeBoer saying after the game ''it didn't look good.'' Sexton said Dvorak would return with the team and be evaluated by team medical personnel in South Florida.

David Booth Carted Off Ice: Now at Philadelphia Hospital, Status Still Unknown

BY GEORGE RICHARDS, grichards@MiamiHerald.com

PHILADELPHIA -- Panthers winger David Booth was involved in a nasty mid-ice collision during the second period of Saturday's game against the Flyers.

Booth was hit in the Flyers zone and immediately hit the ice where he remained motionless for a few moments. A team doctor from the Flyers was escorted onto the ice and a stretcher was rolled out. The doctor and the paramedics rolled Booth over and there seemed to be a little movement. When Booth was rolled over, a puddle of blood could be seen collecting under where his face had been resting.

Booth collided with Flyers captain Mike Richards who led the hit with his shoulder. Booth didn't appear to see the hit as he was playing the puck and turned into Richards.

Richards was hit with a five minute penalty for interference and a 10-minute misconduct.

More as it becomes available. I'm heading downstairs to check on things now.

-- I heard downstairs that Booth was taken to Methodist Hospital. Have now been told that is Pennsylvania Hospital. The Panthers spokesman says he doesn't have any new information, but we're trying to get Randy Sexton to update us soon.

Sexton, you may remember, stayed behind in Buffalo with Richard Zednik was he was seriously injured in 2008.

-- Randy Sexton said ''there is no place'' in hockey for hits like Richards put on and he could be suspended as early as tomorrow morning. The Flyers play here Sunday.

''I didn't see the hit,'' Sexton said, noting he was writing in his game report as the hit went down. ''When they didn't show the replay, I knew it was bad. Then they showed it. I'm sure the league will do a full review.

''The league wants to get rid of these shots to the head.''

-- Booth was taken to the local hospital with athletic trainer Steve Dischiavi and Philadelphia team Dr. Gary Dorshimer.

-- This is not the first time Booth had to be taken off the ice. Here's what I wrote in 2007:

Panthers forward David Booth was hurt in the second period of Saturday's game against the host Ottawa Senators after being thrown head-first into the boards by Anton Volchenkov.

Booth, a second-year winger from Michigan State, spent 10 minutes on the ice and had to be taken off by stretcher.

Booth was attended to by Ottawa team physician Dr. Don Chow.

The hit by Volchenkov may have been in retaliation for a similar hit just moments earlier. There, Florida defenseman Branislav Mezei sent Nick Foligno into the boards. Foligno had to be helped off the ice; according to an Ottawa spokesperson, Foligno has a neck strain and will not return to the game.

Volchenkov was assessed a penalty for boarding and was ejected from the game.

Booth has been taken to the Ottawa Civic Hospital, said to be alert and moving around. The Panthers are optimistic doctors at the hospital will release him and he'll be able to make the charter flight home.

October 23, 2009

Panthers GameNight from the Keystone State: The Other Pitt Panthers ... Florida @ Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m. FSN

Wannstedt PITTSBURGH -- Two teams going in opposite directions meet up tonight in the Igloo.

The Penguins, your defending Stanley Cup champs, have won eight of their first nine and whose 33 goals are third-best in the east.

Things haven't gone as well for the Panthers. Florida has lost five of its past seven and its 15 goals (not counting the one awarded for the shootout) is second-lowest in the league.

Florida is also the only team in the league whose leading scorer (six guys with two goals) only has two goals.

Coach Pete DeBoer has mixed up the lines and is hoping and praying this team starts converting on their chances. A lot of guys have been harping on the Panthers outshooting the Sabres in Wednesday's 5-2 loss, but truthfully, the Panthers didn't even start testing Ryan Miller until they were already down 3-0.

Florida desperately needs a quick start tonight, and they have shocked the Pens before here. But the Pens are so good right now, the Panthers could play a perfect game and still lose by three. If the Panthers don't show up, well, it'll be ugly.

-- Panthers coach Dave Wannstedt (or maybe it was DeBoer) said goalie Tomas Vokoun would start tonight against the Cup champion Penguins (8-1-0).

''We need a win,'' he said.

October 22, 2009

Your Den of Honor: Keep 'em Coming

Panthersden AKRON, Ohio -- I have been traveling across the midwest today, but have thoroughly enjoyed reading everyone's suggestions for the Panthers 'New' Den of Honor.

In case you are new to the conversation, the gist is this: The Panthers got rid of the Den of Honor at The Billboard for questionable reasons. But, since I brought it up, they say there should be a new Den of Honor constructed somewhere in the arena soon. Perhaps as early as January/February! And I believe it.

This morning I wrote a piece asking for suggestions to relay to the Panthers oh-so-powerful Season Ticket Advisory Board (STAB) to see if they can get some stuff in this 'new' Den of Honor to really honor the entire existence of the Florida Panthers. You know, not just the good year(s).

This stuff is gold. You all really came through today.

If you have more suggestions, make sure you leave them below and I'll pass them along to the good folks at STAB. Whomever they are.

Read the suggestions at the bottom of this post. Again, funny stuff.

-- I forgot perhaps my most important suggestion, one no Panthers Den of Honor could be without: Eddie Belfour's water bottle from the Long Island hotel lobby.

Definitely check out the comments left on the previous post. I laughed all day.

Here's stuff I liked from Facebook from my friend Phil. I used to call him Stanley C. But I don't anymore. You can if you want.

- 17 stars representing each and every Panthers game Randy Moller played as a cat.
- at least one of Doug McClean's "mandles"
Stanleyc3 - a stop watch stopped forever at 45 seconds - to commemorate exactly how long it took Pavel to go from the ice to the parking garage post game
- Not just the Monk robe, but Friar Puck himself (his name is Jeff and he lives in Coral Springs)
- A speaker playing a continuous loop of "Hey Ref!...You Suck!" with a sign: "in Memorium: Section 401 (no sponsor)"
- a diagram (or instructional video) showing just how Olli got all that dip in his *upper* lip.
- the apology letter from Mr H that he only bought ONE of his teams a world championship
- the apology letter from Mr. Y to the city of Sunrise that, yet again, the Panthers "did not make a profit" this year, and thus would not be paying back dime-one of their stadium loan (and enclosures countering each one of Dave Hyde's columns)
- The articles showing the exact difference in dates when the ownership group went from being referred to as "Bernie's Group" to "Alan's"

A 'New' Den of Honor: Your Suggestions

Suggestion-box Panthers president Michael Yormark told me yesterday that the team's 'season ticket advisory board' suggested to him that the team's Den of Honor should be removed because it wasn't big enough and didn't truly reflect the team's history.

That got me thinking.

First off: Wow!

What power this 'Season Ticket Advisory Board' must carry at The Billboard! I wonder what else they came up with that the team jumped on.

''Michael,'' you can hear the STAB saying, ''how about we get someone to sponsor the power play? I think that would be dandy.''

Or, ''hey Michael. We noticed those urinals in the men's room are a little plain. How 'bout we decorate 'em with something?''

So, now that we know how powerful this STAB is, I would like to know what else they have in mind. Because whatever they want, they apparently get. So STAB members, please, make some better suggestions.

-- Word is, the STAB didn't think the Den of Honor was a good representation of the Panthers past.

It had jerseys from the team's first captain (Brian Skrudland) and its first goalie (John Vanbiesbrouck). It also had some rubber rats from 1996.

What else does it need?

Apparently more, so sayeth the STAB.

So what should go in the 'new' Den of Honor? Aside from stuff from the 1996 team, what really personifies this franchise? And what does the STAB want in the 'new' Den of Honor. Because, ultimately, that's the most important question.

Here are some of my suggestions. I would like to hear yours as well. Comments below if you don't mind.

-- Ticket stub from the team's last playoff appearance in 2000. I know it may be faded and yellowed, but it's something for the kids to see.

-- Denis Potvin's coffee cup.

-- The wad of chewing gum Mike Keenan was gnawing on when he traded Roberto Luongo to Vancouver.

-- A copy of Luongo's long-term contract signed with the Canucks a little while later.

-- A hubcap to a 2007 Chevy pickup truck, left on the side of the Turnpike as Jay Bouwmeester headed north.

-- One of the unopened boxes from Jacques Martin's GM office at The Billboard.

-- A piece of signage from all the names the arena has had in its brief history.

-- Peter Worrell's skates. I would have to donate those.

-- Olli Jokinen's old boxing robe.

-- Chris Wells' golf bag (just kidding Chris).

-- Jeff Rimer's wallet -- still unopened (just kidding Jeff),

-- One of the famous monk robes.

-- On a serious note, something from the late, great Roger Neilson would definitely be appropriate.

This list is far from complete, so please add your thoughts here. I will sure to forward it to the team's STAB -- as soon as I meet a member of this exclusive group that is.