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57 posts from October 2009

October 21, 2009

Forget Today: Let's Look Back to Yesterday ... With TWO On Frozen Polls

Beezer2 Well, we're in the second period on Wednesday and the Panthers aren't looking so good.

At least Buffalo didn't hang up six on the Panthers in that dreadful opening period. Florida has allowed six goals in a single period three times in its history, the last coming in 2007. I'm always up for seeing history made in a game, but not like that.

Anyway, story in tomorrow's Herald revolves around the team getting rid of its Den of Honor. A few of you have emailed me about this, and I first noticed it was gone Friday when I was in the main concourse for the first time this season.

I spoke to Michael Yormark about it today and he said it wasn't taken out to make room for the large computer store kiosk/advertising space as many of us (including me) assume. He said it was already gone before they sold the space. That I believe.

He said the reason it was taken out was because a ''season ticket advisory'' board said to take it out, that it was too small and didn't really represent the franchise's history. That I'm a little skeptical on. One thing Yormark said that stuck out to me was that he has spoken to teams like Carolina and Tampa Bay and that, as he said, aside from a few photos, those teams haven't done much to honor past players. I just don't get why you take out something that was there though. The old Den wasn't hurting anyone, but it was taking up valuable real estate.

But, Yormark says, a new one is on the way. They are scouting for places for it as we speak I'm sure. He says it won't be in the Chairman's Club since that would limit how many people could see it. That's very true. Yormark says the team wants to reach out to its alums and is planning a reunion, perhaps as early as late January/early February. The new and improved Den of Honor could be unveiled then.

We shall see.

''We not talking about something elaborate, but something more elaborate than what was there,'' Yormark said. ''Even though we haven't made the playoffs in a few years, we're very proud of our history in this market. We've had our moments. We think it's important to honor that and we're reaching out.''

Yormark said it may be time for the team to retire a jersey, noting that none of the recent expansion teams have done so (Ottawa's retired jerseys don't count because they are from the early 1900s). He mentioned John Vanbiesbrouck and Brian Skrudland as potential candidates. Vanbiesbrouck, as always, was outspoken about the team's dismantling of the Den. As you recall, his jersey -- as well as one from Skrudland -- were in the trophy case. Word is those jerseys are in storage. The photos that were also there were salvaged by people working in the arena who then put them in their offices.

''Sure, we would like to see our jerseys back on display, but we don't want to stand in the way of progress,'' Vanbiesbrouck said with a chuckle.

''I love that team and think the world of them. I know there's not a lot of connection to the past although I believe there is an intention. It's not just that meaningful to them. It is a building they need to make money in .-.-. they try to sell as much as they can and that's understandable.

''But you would like something to tie the history to the present.''

So, should the Panthers retire a jersey after only 16-something seasons in the league? And who do you honor? The team's first captain (Skrudland) who played here for four seasons? How about Beezer? He played here for five? Pavel Bure? Scott Mellanby? Paul Laus? Billy Lindsay?

Go ahead and vote away.

PS: It's still 5-1.

Read Between the Lines: Dmitry Kulikov Staying

KulikovThe Panthers won't come right out and say it, but 18-year-old defenseman Dmitry Kulikov isn't going anywhere soon.

Wednesday's game against the Sabres will be his seventh in his NHL career; he can play in three more before the first year of his three-year entry level deal goes into affect.

Basically, it's a point of no return. The Panthers will be paying him then, and he will have gained a year of NHL service. After that, there is no reason to send him back to the Quebec major-junior league (he can't play in the AHL because he is too young).

Kulikov has played well enough to be on a top four pairing, and he is on the top power play combo most of the time. Coach Pete DeBoer said today that he thought Kulikov was the best player in the QMJHL last year and that it would do him no good to go back there and dominate play.

DeBoer said the only way Florida sends him back was if he wasn't cutting it on the top six and was sitting in the press box eating popcorn. Obviously, that's not the case. Pete thinks he's a player who can help the team and wants him here.

So, as Billy Lindsay said today, read between the lines. He's staying.

-- Speaking of Lindsay, congrats to the FSN crew for picking up a pair of Suncoast Emmy Awards.

FSN/Sun have a total of 16 such nominations, but two regarding their Panthers coverage.

For live game coverage, Mike Rubin, Mitch Rubenstein, Steve Goldstein, DENIS POTVIN, John Valek and Craig Minervini were nominated for their coverage of the Panthers-Leafs game in which Richard Zednik made his return. Rubenstein and Forte were also nominated for their Zednik feature from Buffalo.

Good luck.

October 20, 2009

GlassBusters: Panthers Back on Old Ice ... Thomas Vanek Back for Sabres ... More Bad News for Van Ryn

Icewagon The Panthers were back on their old ice sheet Tuesday at Incredible Ice after someone shattered a pane of glass on the new rink.

I asked around, no one will snitch on whose shot did it.

Well, Nathan Horton had a theory.

''It was Pete,'' Horton said of the Panthers coach. ''He has a new stick. He loves that stick. All he does is shoot pucks now. He even put tape on it.''

According to trainer Dave Zenobi, once the glass was broken, longtime staffer Ferdinand Brickleff found a silver lining in the broken glass as he usually does about everything.

''In Jamaica,'' Brickleff apparently said, ''breaking the glass means breaking the bad.'' And he promptly predicted a long winning streak for the Panthers because of it.

-- Not a whole lot of news out of today as you can probably tell.

-- A little bit of news out of Buffalo practice at The Billboard. According to Big John Vogl's blog at The Buffalo News, Thomas Vanek got hit in the face with a puck and was pretty ticked about it. Great response from Vanek -- who is expected to play. I request that you check out Johnnie's blog. You won't be disappointed. Have I ever steered you wrong?

-- Here's my story today on Radek Dvorak, who was so happy I did a profile on him that he bought lunch for the team today. He did not, however, buy me lunch. So I guess he didn't like the piece.

-- Tomorrow's story is on goaltender protection and the like. Got some good stuff on the subject from DeBo, Scott Clemmensen, Robb Tallas and Horton.

-- Talked to some of the guys today about old pal Mike Van Ryn and how he's had not just another setback but a serious one. The former Florida d-man and all-around good dude will miss at least this season after he undergoes knee surgery so serious some are calling it potentially career ending.

How major is this surgery? Here's what WebMD says about it:

Vanryn Osteotomy ("bone cutting") is a procedure in which a surgeon removes a wedge of bone near a damaged joint. This shifts weight from an area where there is damaged cartilage to an area where there is more or healthier cartilage. In osteoarthritis, cartilage breakdown in the knee often is much greater in the inner part of the knee joint, often resulting in a bowlegged appearance.

In knee osteotomy for osteoarthritis of the inner knee, your surgeon removes bone from the outer side of the large lower leg bone (tibia) near the knee. This tilts your body weight toward the outer, healthier part of the knee cartilage and away from the inner, damaged cartilage. Weight is spread more evenly across the joint cartilage. After removing the bone wedge, your surgeon will bring together the remaining bones and secure them, most often with either pins or staples. An osteotomy for osteoarthritis of the outer knee is just the opposite-your surgeon will remove bone from the inner side of the lower leg to shift the weight toward the inner knee.

Osteotomy may be effective for hip and knee joints. Doctors often do an osteotomy to correct certain knee deformities such as bowleg (varus) and knock-knee (valgus) deformities of the knees. Hip osteotomy involves removing bone from the upper thighbone (femur). Osteotomy may allow an active person to postpone a total joint replacement for a few years and is usually reserved for younger people.

What To Expect After Surgery

Recovery depends on the surgical technique as well as the strength and motivation of the person having surgery. A cast or splint may limit movement of the joint for 4 to 8 weeks.

You will start physical therapy immediately, even if you are in a cast or splint. When the cast is removed, you can put your full weight on the joint 10 to 12 weeks after the surgery. It may take up to a year for the knee to fully adjust to its corrected position.

Why It Is Done

Doctors use osteotomy if destruction of the knee cartilage mainly affects a single disc of cartilage: the disc (meniscus) either on the inner part or on the outer part of the knee joint.

Osteotomy is an appropriate treatment for younger, active people with osteoarthritis who are able to delay a total joint replacement.

How Well It Works

Osteotomy is most often done in younger people. It can help relieve pain and delay the need for joint replacement. 1

Here's a link to the full story in The Toronto Star. Here's what The Toronto Sun had to say.

We wish Mike a full and speedy recovery....

October 19, 2009

Andy's Town: Ex-Panther NHL Star of the Week (Again) ... Scott Clemmensen Round 2 ... That's About It

Andycolo With the Panthers getting so many days off, there isn't much news to fill the old notebook.

So, lets talk about a former Panther.

Craig Anderson, Florida's backup for parts of the past three seasons, has settled in quite nicely in Colorado. Andy was named one of the NHL's three stars of the week for the second time this season. In three weeks, Andy's been honored twice. Pretty good winning percentage there.

Here's what Andy did sayeth the NHL:

Anderson recorded four consecutive road victories with a 2.20 goals-against average and .928 save percentage as the Avalanche improved to 6-1-1 and first place in the Northwest Division. Anderson began the week with a sweep of Northeast Division opponents, recording 29 saves in a 4-3 win over the Boston Bruins Oct. 12, turning aside 30 of 31 shots in a 4-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs Oct. 13 and making 29 saves in a 3-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens Oct. 15. He finished the week by stopping 28 shots and two of three shootout attempts in a 4-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings Oct. 17. Anderson has started all eight games for the Avalanche this season, posting a 6-1-1 record with a 2.09 goals-against average, .935 save percentage and one shutout.

-- Scott Clemmensen, who replaced Anderson, will get his second straight start on Wednesday against the Sabres.

-- Doing a little something on Radek Dvorak for tomorrow's Herald.

Craig Anderson photo courtesy of Getty Images

October 16, 2009

GameDay LIVE! Philadelphia Flyers @ Florida Panthers ... Tomas Vokoun Gets New Mask

Flyersfishing Another slow news day down in Sunrise, the end effect of a team not playing for three or four days.

The Flyers are in town; the Panthers have changed up some of their lines. Scott Clemmensen is in net. The power play needs to get more shots and more goals. The penalty kill needs to cut down on goals.

All this we know.

So let's play hockey!

-- Tomas Vokoun has shedded his boring looking Panthers mask and gone with a little something more daring. Vokoun's old mask just had the Florida logo on it.

Vokmask2 His new one, which came in today, features a leaping Panther (which might make for an interesting third Vokmask3 jersey logo in the future if the one they are coming out with bombs) on both sides of the mask.

It's a cool looking take on the Panther logo since its full sized (although it still has small legs).

The top features the yellow sun from the shoulder patches minus the hockey stick and palm tree.

Vokmask4 The back of the mask has the tails of the leaping Panthers wrapping around the Czech flag.

It's pretty nice. Tomas seems to like it. And he says hello to all of you out there in cyberspace. OK, that part I made up.

See you at The Billboard...Vokmask1

October 15, 2009

More Changes In Pantherland: Scott Clemmensen Starts Friday ... Rostislav Olesz to Second Line

Clemmask1Scott Clemmensen finally has his new mask and it's a good thing since he's going to be in the starting lineup Friday against the deep-sea phishing Flyers.

Coach Pete DeBoer made it official today in announcing that Clemmensen would start against Philly at The Billboard come Friday. It'll be his first start of the season and first since leaving New Jersey for the Panthers over the summer.

DeBoer did not lay any blame at the feet of Tomas Vokoun. But this team is 1-4 and needs some kind of a shakeup. Plus, had Clemmensen not had to leave the team last week to deal with a family matter in Iowa, he probably would have already have been in there.

Quotes from DeBoer and Clemmensen later in the day.

-- DeBoer also shook up a few of the lines in practice today. Up on the second line: Rostislav Olesz. Down to the third line: Cory Stillman. Newbie Dominic Moore will open up centering the fourth line. The top line of Booth-Weiss-Horton remains unchanged.

-- Clemmensen's first Florida themed mask was too small for him and he plans on signing it and auctioning it for charity. It was a tropical-theme with puma-type cats all over the mask in pastel colors.

His new mask is anything but tropical.

Clemmensen changed things up and went with a more traditional Panther mask, one similar to the one used by John Vanbiesbrouck back in the day. Compare and contrast:

Clemmask3  Beezer_mask  Clem is on the left, Beezer on the right. Obviously some differences, but some similarities as well.

I think it's a cool mask.

Clemmensen said he wanted to keep something similar to what he had in Jersey last year with the eyes on top and the big teeth on the front.

Clemmask2 He also kept his Jimmy Buffet parrot on the back, with the bird wrapped inside his No. 30.

Clemmensen just got the mask and admitted it would have been strange had he been pressed into service Saturday night against the Devils wearing his old black-and-red New Jersey mask.

No such worries anymore.

-- Here is the only picture I have of Clemmensen's first mask. I should have taken some but didn't have my phone with me at the season preview photo shoot. He's on the right, Tomas Vokoun on the left. I will see if the helmet is around somewhere and get a better shot of the sides.


October 14, 2009

Changes to Panthers: Dominic Moore IN, Shawn Matthias OUT

Matthias2 Not five feet from where Dominic Moore was sitting twirling his brand new Florida Panthers baseball cap sat Shawn Matthias' stall. Matthias had his pads and helmet sitting there all by its lonesome.

Matthias and his skates were gone, off to Rochester.

The Panthers returned Matthias to their minor league team on Wednesday, coach Pete DeBoer saying everyone within the organization is where they should be. DeBoer wants Matthias to dominate play in the AHL although my bet is he'll be back soon enough.

''He needs to earn his ice time and score some goals,'' DeBoer said. ''He had a good training camp but hasn't had a good season in the [AHL] yet. He needs to do that.''

Even with Moore on the practice ice Wednesday, the Panthers only dressed nine forwards. Radek Dvorak was out with the flu; Nathan Horton and Steve Reinprecht were out with undisclosed injuries. The Panthers are going to start playing the injury game now, making us guess on what's wrong.

So here's my guess: Reinprecht's foot is still hurting from getting hit with a puck last week and Horton has a sore knee. I don't know if that's true or not, but the Panthers can't argue it since they won't give us anything anyway. Horton was walking around the locker room on Wednesday, however, and nothing looks wrong. His ankles weren't swollen or anything, that's where I came up with the knee thing.

Moore says he's happy to be with the Panthers and feels this is a good fit. He's been watching the team since signing with them last Monday, so he knows he can only help. The Panthers were horrible in the face off circle Monday against the Lightning, so Moore will definitely be an upgrade there.

Florida's faceoff stats are just like most of the Panthers stats this year: Bad. The team is ranked 27th in the league currently, winning 46 percent.

''I've watched a lot of hockey over the past few weeks,'' Moore said. ''When I made the decision to join the team, it was because I thought it was a good fit for both myself and the team. The kind of game I take a lot of pride in is what this team is trying to build an identity around.''

-- Couldn't tell what was going on with the lines since only three were out there. How strange was that? Ville Koistinen was up on the top line as Horton's replacement.

Here's how I see things going: The Sawgrass Express stays the same as does the underperforming second line (which DeBoer basically said hasn't done much since the Chicago opener). The third line is now Moore's, with Dvorak and Rostislav Olesz on the wings. Gregory Campbell now becomes the fourth line center, piloting Kamil Kreps and Koistinen. Kreps can take faceoffs on that line when needed.

-- DeBoer also said that he hasn't decided if Scott Clemmensen will play Friday against the Flyers, but ''he's going to get [a start] soon.''

-- Craig Anderson on XM Home Ice channel 204 today at 12:45 p.m. FYI...

October 12, 2009

Panthers GameDay LIVE! Florida Panthers 2, Tampa Bay Lightning 3 (FINAL) ... Tied for Worst Start in Franchise History (1-4-0)

Lightninggirls2 TAMPA -- Welcome to another Hockey Night in (Central) Florida as the Panthers take on the Lightning from the Lakeland Ledger Ice Palace on the shores of Lake Wasapamanni.

Kickoff is just a few minutes away, so make sure to return throughout the game for our usual LIVE! chat.

If it takes a few minutes for your questions to get through, be patient. Like a lot of things at this arena, the internet sucks.

They do have a pretty nice scoreboard though. But I digress.

-- Randy Sexton tonight on Dmitry Kulikov: 'We're keeping an open mind, but we're going to do whatever is best for the long term interest of this player.''

''We have five games left. We'll see.''

-- As far as Dominic Moore goes, the Panthers can't do anymore to help. Sexton says all the paperwork is turned in and they are waiting for Homeland Security to clear him to come in with a work visa. It's been a week since he signed, but thanks to Columbus, Ohio, Day, only five workdays. It can take up to 15 workdays but probably won't.

Panthers GameDay LIVE! Dmitry Kulikov Sticking Around? ... Game Blacked Out in SoFla

Lightninggirl TAMPA -- The Panthers are desperate for a win and the Lightning are looking to win a second straight game tonight when the two Sunshine State rivals face off at St. Pete Times Forum.

The big story of the day is the future of defenseman Dmitry Kulikov. The 18-year-old will play his fifth game tonight, meaning he has four more to go before the Panthers have to make a big decision: Keep him for the season or send him back to his junior team.

Coach Pete DeBoer said today that if Kulikov keeps up what he's doing ''I don't know how we can send him anywhere.''

''He has to keep doing what he's been doing,'' DeBoer said. ''He's had one tough game. He's been pretty steady and is getting more and more confident. He needs to find a way to get his shot to the net, put pucks at the net, but that's going to come.

''You guys saw Stamko's development last year; this doesn't happen overnight. I think Hedman who is here is a little bit of a different story. He's hit the ground running. But it's tough for young defensemen. [Kulikov] is playing 18 minutes a night which is a great number for a young guy. He's contributing.

''If that continues, I don't know how we can send him anywhere.''

I later asked Pete if he was leaning one way or another as far as Kulikov goes and he gave me a smart aleck answer.

''I'm not leaning anyway right now, I'm standing straight up,'' he said. ''You know what? We're not going to make that decision until we have to and that's Game 9.''

-- Same lineup for tonight since Dominic Moore still isn't here. We may see him Friday against Philly. Or not.

-- Speaking of Canada, Happy Thanksgiving!

-- And happy Columbus Day to all you Buckeye fans out there....

-- Just got official word from Sun Sports that tonight's game will be blacked out in South Florida even though people in South Florida get Sun Sports. It's apparently a league rule that Tampa Bay broadcasts can't be shown in South Florida, although I've watched a few of their games at my place and I don't have Center Ice.

Again, another dumb rule. I'm sure the Panthers have no problems with the game being on in South Florida even though it's a Tampa broadcast. And why are the Lightning blacked out in South Florida anyway? Has it hurt the Marlins ratings that the Rays are on in South Florida as well? No. Hockey needs all the help it can get in the Sunshine State. Let both teams roam the airways throughout the state. Might just get a few more fans in the process.

Anyway, the game is on Center Ice so if you have that, bully for you. If not, head to a place that has the package and it will be on. Quarterdeck in Sunrise is one, Incredible Ice and Carolina Ale House in Weston are others. I think the Miller's Ale House chains carry the package too. You might want to call first.

And you might want to get their early. Apparently there's some big football game tonight with the local team playing host to a bunch of jokers from New York.

-- Also, congrats to the University of Miami for staying atop the national hockey polls. Just got the release on it, although they called Miami the 'Redhawks.' Don't know what that's all about. Probably just a typo.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Miami University, which twice defeated St. Cloud State University last weekend, retains the No. 1 ranking in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Men's College Hockey Poll. The RedHawks accumulated 496 points and 24 of 34 first-place votes.

Boston University (470) moves up one spot to No. 2 while the University of Denver (413) slides to No. 3 after splitting two games with No. 11 University of Vermont. After a pair of victories against Merrimack College, the University of North Dakota (394) jumps four spots to No. 4. The University of Michigan (365) rounds out the top five.

The University of Nebraska Omaha makes its 2009-10 debut in the poll at No. 15 this week after defeating Army and No. 13 University of Massachusetts Lowell.

NOTES: The Central Collegiate Hockey Association, the Hockey East Association and the Western Collegiate Hockey Association each boast four ranked teams. ECAC Hockey has three ranked programs ... A total of 27 teams received votes.

October 11, 2009

Off to Tampa For Some: Jason Garrison Back to Rochester

Vinnybucs About to hit the road and make my way toward Tampa, but there is a little news out of the Panthers today.

Jason Garrison, called up to spell Bryan Allen in Saturday's game, has been sent back to Rochester.

That is all.

See you tomorrow.

October 10, 2009

Panthers GameDay LIVE! It's Opening Night at The Billboard ... Roster Moves Made

Openingbillboard Well, the Panthers take to the ice in Sunrise tonight for the first time this season.

It's nice to be back home, back in the old routine, no?

Back to the tailgate out in the parking lot, Bill Murphy's spiel about going back to your seats after warm ups, Ice Dancers.

The Panthers are dealing with a lot of stuff this weekend, what with the Hurricanes playing FAMU tonight in Miami Gardens, the Gators playing LSU on national television and the IndyCars running wide open around the Homestead oval.

But isn't that how it always is? There's always a lot of stuff going on here.

See you at the arena in a few hours.

-- Big treat for you fans of the Ice Dancers. They now dance on the ice. Should be a treat.

-- Don't know what this 'Rock the Rink' is all about, but there is no way it tops the Monks promotion from a few years back in my humble opinion.

-- Alexander Salak has been sent back to the Americans with defenseman Jason Garrison coming back up. What does it mean? I don't know other than Scott Clemmensen is back to spell Tomas Vokoun if needed; and perhaps Dmitry Kulikov is out of the lineup. Last night was definitely not his finest hour as an NHL player. But we all knew he was going to have one of those, no?

From the Cats: Garrison departs Rochester after recording an assist in his season debut in Rochester’s 5-2 win over the Lake Erie Monsters last night at The Blue Cross Arena. The recall is the second of his professional career. A native of White Rock, British Columbia, Garrison skated in his NHL debut last season with the Panthers on October 25th. In 2008-09, the second-year pro finished his rookie campaign as Rochester’s top scoring defenseman and fourth overall with 35 points (8+27) in 75 games.

October 09, 2009

OnFrozenFilm: Pete DeBoer, Carolina Postgame 10/9/09

Panthers GameDay LIVE! Florida Panthers 2 @ Carolina Hurricanes 7 (FINAL)

Stormy1 RALEIGH -- The tailgaters are out in the parking lot and I've polished off a BBQ sandwich with a little banana pudding for desert.

So let's get this thing started already!

Don't know if you have seen the new video up, so now is your chance.

Will be back here LIVE! around game time if you want to chat. Where else you going to do that?

-- The Panthers inform me that 15,000 blue rally towels will be given out tomorrow night. I think the place holds close to 20K. You go ahead and do the math. Either some people won't be happy, or 15,000 will just about do it.

Speaking of math, Gary Bettman in the house tomorrow...

-- Also, the Hurricanes got a new scoreboard. So, the Panthers now have the worst scoreboard in the division. Some day that might be rectified. I was told a few years ago that a new one is in the works. Obviously other things have taken precedence. 

-- Ric Flair punctuates Carolina goals with his 'whooo!' Now, he's also doing ads for the Carolina lottery. That's something we all can get behind.

-- Tonight's game was a disaster almost from the start, although Nathan Horton opened it up with a nice scoring chance real early. Perhaps if Florida is up 1-0 things might be different. Who knows.

Anyway, here are some quotes:

-- ''We made some mistakes and gave them some goals. Do this in this league, and they are going to capitalize,'' said center Stephen Weiss. ''They got some guys who can finish those 2-on-1s, the breakaways. You're asking a lot of goalie and we did that tonight. We asked too much out of Tomas [Vokoun]. We have to be better defensively, a little sharper. We can't give up quality scoring chances to a team that can score like that.''

-- ''Today I wasn't able to do it. I have to be better than that,'' Vokoun said. ''This team needs certain goaltending and I wasn't able to produce it tonight. It's early in the season. This was a tough game but we have a game [Saturday]. We have to play better than this, although we played good from the midway point. It's going to come. I still have a good feeling. We have a good group of guys who care about what we're doing out there. This was a bad night in a long season.''

-- ''Hats off to Carolina. They played a great first period and it was over in those 20 minutes,'' said DeBoer. ''we turned pucks over, made mental mistakes. They capitalized. It was really frustrating. We knew coming in that if you turn over the puck they'll make you pay the price. Then we went out and did exactly that. WE got exactly what we deserved.''

-- ''The best thing to do is get back on the horse and forget about this one,'' Weiss said. ''This is how hockey goes. You get your butt kicked every once in a while. Good teams respond the right way. Hopefully we do that [Saturday].''

See you all tomorrow at The Billboard. Kickoff at 7 p.m. Good night!


An OnFrozenFilm Original Mockumentary: A Final Taste of Helsinki

The lost video has been recovered. Good for you.

OnFrozenFilm: Pete DeBoer, Carolina Pregame 10/9/09

No Big News Here

RALEIGH -- Not much to tell you about tonight's game here in Carolina.

Same lineup as we had in Finland, with Ville Koistinen going on the fourth forward line.

Dominic Moore and Scott Clemmensen still not here; Clemmensen could meet with the team tomorrow in Sunrise. But no one knows what's happening with Moore. It's a visa thing. That's why I use MasterCard.

LIVE! chat, as always, a few minutes before kickoff. Come on back, eh?

October 08, 2009

It's Finer in Caroliner: Panthers in Raleigh

Cheerwine2 RALEIGH -- Just got into town after a fun day taking the long way to Raleigh.

Missed out on practice today (it was strange not spending at least part of my day without the Panthers. I wonder if they missed me? Nah.)

From what I was told from Golden Panther Pete Pelegrin, I didn't miss much. Dominic Moore still isn't here, neither is Scott Clemmensen.

Everyone else is healthy and ready to go as the Panthers kick off their Southeast Division schedule on Friday here at the RBC Center.

I'm off to watch a little MIA football action, Northwestern and Central LIVE! from FIU.

Will check in tomorrow and will let you know who shows up.

-- Also, found some lost video from Finland today. Will have a special OnFrozenFilm sometime tomorrow.

October 06, 2009

End of the Tour: Panthers Settling In ... Scott Clemmensen Goes Home, Alexander Salak Returns

Panshirtfront A new t-shirt is making its rounds through the Panthers locker room, word is it's the brainchild of David Booth.

The black t-shirt has a modified rock 'n roll Panther on the front and a list (concert shirt style) Panshirtback of all the places the team visited this preseason.

I don't think Aerosmith went to this many cities during their most recent tour.

These shirts are for players only, but I would think they would be big sellers at Pantherland.

Perhaps the team might be persuaded to put a few on sale, you know, and donate the proceeds to charity.

Will keep you updated if this idea takes hold.

-- Scott Clemmensen has returned home to Iowa to deal with some family business. Pete DeBoer said he wasn't sure if Clemmensen would be back for the Carolina game or not.

Just in case, Alexander Salak was brought back after less than 24 hours in Rochester. Salak was at practice on Tuesday and looked pretty sharp. He looked real happy to be getting some work in. In Finland, he didn't get to do much as the third goalie.

October 05, 2009

Panthers Add Some Offense: Dominic Moore Signs

Dominicmoore The Panthers added some scoring punch to their lineup Monday, signing free agent center Dominic Moore to a one-year deal worth over just $1 million.

Moore, 29, was an unrestricted free agent who hadn't found a home through training camp.

Florida general manager Randy Sexton said the Panthers had been talking to Moore's agent at times during the summer, but decided to make a firm offer after this past weekend's series in Finland. In that two-game set against Chicago, the Panthers went 1-1, winning Friday's game 4-3 in a shootout before losing 4-0 the following night.

In those games, the Panthers were outshot 88-47, and won just 43 percent of faceoffs.

Moore won 54 percent of his faceoffs last season for Toronto and Buffalo.

"He brings several things that we've been trying to improve on," said Sexton after Monday's practice in Coral Springs. "He's good on faceoffs, and that's a key area of concern for us. . . . He's very good defensively and for me and Peter, that's critical. Guys have to play both sides of the ice."

The Panthers will have to shuffle some things on offense, but that seems fine with coach Pete DeBoer. Florida's top two lines appear set, with Moore looking to settle in as the third line center between Rostislav Olesz and Radek Dvorak. That would slip Gregory Campbell to the fourth line, where he could either center or most likely go back to wing alongside center Shawn Matthias and winger Kamil Kreps.

Ville Koistinen, who played on the fourth line in the opening two games, was back working with the defensemen on Monday.

"He's one of those guys who can only add to your team," said Campbell. "I think it's good for us. It adds depth. All teams have injuries unfortunately and he adds another dimension to our team, he adds grit."

Moore's best offensive season came last year when he scored 12 goals in 63 games with the Maple Leafs before being traded to Buffalo at the deadline. Moore didn't do much for the Sabres down the stretch, scoring one goal with three assists in 18 games.

In 305 NHL games, Moore has 35 goals with 65 assists. This is Moore's sixth NHL team, the Harvard grad starting with the Rangers in 2003 and since playing in Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Toronto, Buffalo and Florida.

Sexton said Moore was skating in the Boston area and would have to return to Canada to get immigration matters taken care of. DeBoer said he would be in the lineup Friday at Carolina -- even if he doesn't practice with the Panthers prior to that day's morning skate.

"It's great news and shows our ownership is committed to making sure we have an opportunity to be competitive in a tough conference," DeBoer said. "He's a guy who gives us some depth, a face off presence. He had a career year last year. I like his versatility."

-- The Panthers got to experience their new training facility for the first time on Monday. The $10 million expansion to Incredible Ice got rave reviews from players who enjoyed a full locker room, weight room and hot/cold pools at the facility for the first time.

"I got lost a couple of times," Kamil Kreps joked. "You need a map to get around here."

-- Injured winger Nick Tarnasky was at the facility Monday although there is no real update on his status. Tarnasky, who fractured an orbital bone in a fight with Ottawa's Chris Neil on Sept. 15, says he hasn't begun skating again.

-- Former Florida goalie Craig Anderson was the NHL's second star of opening week after the Colorado netminder stopped 73 of 74 shots faced in leading the Avs to a pair of wins.

October 04, 2009

Welcome to Fort Lauderdale: Now, Get on to Rochester

Roch SUNRISE, Fla. -- Hello South Florida. Good to see you. Been too long.

Going to keep this brief since I'm trying to sleep and watch football (that's not working out real well).

The Panthers made a couple of moves today, sending four players to Rochester.

The biggest surprise: Michal Repik. With Ville Koistinen playing well on the fourth line and Dmitry Kulikov getting his games in, I guess the Panthers felt they were cool with what they have.

Also heading north (after spending 11 hours on a plane heading south): Jason Garrison, Mike Duco and Alexander Salak.

The Amerks opened their season last night with a 3-2 overtime loss to the Cleveland Lumberjacks (no, I'm not calling them by their official name because I don't like it). The Amerks held a 2-0 lead on the Barons in the third period before C-town came back.

The two teams play again Friday night in Roche.