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Panthers Players, Coaches: We're Not Giving Up ... Management? 'No Small Change Will Fix'

Mayflower The Panthers canceled practice Friday morning, all the more fueling speculation that major moves were on the way.

Earlier in the day, team president Michael Yormark held an arena-wide meeting and basically told them there would be plenty of changes to the roster and for them to remain positive as the team is rebuilt.

On the business side of things, Yormark & Co. are trying to get people to renew their season tickets. A five game losing streak in the middle of a playoff push does not help those objectives.

In a letter sent to fans and sponsors, owners Stu Siegel and Cliff Viner say "significant" moves are going to be made and these changes "won't be easy.'' The full letter is below.

So, who goes? Nathan Horton is still on crutches and Randy Sexton said last night that he couldn't make a trade as big as "getting Nathan Horton back.'' Stephen Weiss? Tomas Vokoun?

Vokoun has a no trade provision in his contract. He said this morning in along interview that he loves living in Florida and that he hasn't been approached. Would he waive his no trade?

"It's nothing I've thought about. Right now I am playing here, I like living here. I like the dressing room, we have a good bunch of guys. I would deal with the situation if it came up. I think in the present and honestly I haven't given it a thought.

"It depends what the situation would be. It's hypothetical and may never happen.

"My 2 1/2 years here, I've never had a conversation about [waiving no trade].''

-- Coach Pete DeBoer says he's not thinking that the playoff dreams are over.

"I don't feel that way. I don't work on those levels. I coach this team and our message to the group this morning was i thought we took a step in the right direction last night. I think if we can keep doing that, we're going to start winning games again. There's still a lot of hockey to be played. Within our room and our group, we're concentrating on getting a win before the break.

"Hopefully we're the hottest team in the league down the stretch.''

"We're six, eight points out. We just have to put our heads down and start winning games. Let the cards fall where they may. For me, it's fixing our game first and the wins will come. We took a step last night against a very good team.''

-- Center Jeff Taffe on way up from Rochester to fill in for Dominic Moore. Rostislav Olesz is out.

-- For breaking news, visit us on Twitter (@OnFrozenPond) or become a fan of On Frozen Pond on Facebook.

We're all over the place and I have the Smartphone on. Let's see what happens today, shall we?

-- The Panthers posted this letter on their website aimed toward fans and sponsors. At the bottom, it is signed by Siegel and Viner.

Dear Fans,

Based on our commitment to accessibility, we would like to take this opportunity to give you some insight into our hockey club’s strategy moving forward. After consulting with General Manager Randy Sexton and Head Coach Pete DeBoer, it is clear that our team, the way it is currently structured, is not equipped to meet the goals and objectives that we have set for ourselves, our fans and our partners.

Those goals are simple: qualify for the postseason on an annual basis, maintain a level of sustainable success, put a product on the ice that we can all be proud of, and compete for a Stanley Cup sometime in the near future. Our discussions with our hockey operations department about the composition and the strength and weaknesses of this Florida Panthers team have been extensive and ongoing, and based on those discussions and the inability to meet our goals, it is obvious that significant change is required.

Thus, GM Randy Sexton has begun the process of reshaping this team in order to achieve our goals and objectives. This is a multi-step process, beginning now, ahead of the trading deadline, and continuing through the draft, free agency and training camp – so we ask that you assess our success only once this process has run its course.

Unfortunately, these changes will not always be easy for our fans and supporters to accept or understand. These changes also may not be easy for our coaches, players and staff. But they are necessary. No small changes or quick fixes will do. But please note that these changes are part of an overall plan to make the best use of our current assets and set this franchise up to achieve the success we want as quickly as possible, and to maintain it.

Clearly, we are not satisfied with some of the players on this team that do not possess the characteristics we need to be successful. We must be accountable for that. Our task moving forward is to acquire players with the attributes, skills and qualities we want in a Panthers player. We must admit the significant shortcomings we have as an organization, and we must move quickly and efficiently to overcome these shortcomings and reshape this franchise on a much more solid foundation.

As passionate fans and supporters of the Florida Panthers, this is what you deserve, and nothing else will do. Thank you for the emotion, the dedication and the loyalty that you have shown to your Panthers and please know, that as Managing Partners of this franchise, we are working hard to provide you with a hockey team you can be proud to call your own.


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Talk, talk, talk. 4 hours left. Tick, TALK, tick, TALK, tick, TALK.

time to clean house has FINALLY come, now let the Taylor Hall sweepstakes begin

Good. The new owners are letting Sexton try to do something with nothing. I hope that they don't let Vokoun go though...

This just in booth weiss and 1st rounder for valeri bure and john casey.

Are the Panthers the worst franchise in Hockey?

No doubt in my mind...

In all honsesty, maybe the team should be moved to Canada. Hockey hasn't worked in So Fla and it never will.

You want a comparison to another of the worst franchises in sports, look at the New Jersey Nets in the NBA. What do both teams have in common? They both have a Yormark brother at or near the top of management!

ok they admit that the organization has short comings but they have the same people making the evaluation and decisions on players to draft, sign and trade for.

More talk on XM radio about the panthers, more today th6en I can remember, first Pierre McGuire clearly lays the blame on JM the GM, then they defend DeBoer as the right coach.

With DeBoer's statement that we will be the hottest team at the end of the season. He is right, this group of players will get hot and will play well as soon as we are eliminated from the playoffs and they don't have any pressure on them to win.

I agree that it is time to blow this up (Weiss, Horton, Vokoun and all the spare parts)

I still believe that Sexton is the wrong guy to lead these changes and I hope I am wrong about him, because if I am right, 5-10 years from now we will be saying the same thing

hire a hockey person to make sure the GM is making the right choices and spend more on scouting and development so we do have a team that can win for years and not a one year splash which this organization has had in its history

We need to have a couple years of drafting in the top 3-5 picks to really boost this team's talent level. This year is a really good draft and I'd rather compete for the highest pick rather than finish 2 points out of 8th place with a 10-15ish pick.

GR, if Vokoun does get moved I hope you can tell him how much the fans appreciated his play and efforts here. It's not his fault this organization put the same mediocre talent in front of him during his time here.

what a hockey...which succeful canada city should the panthers move to, winnipeg or quebec?? those were great hockey towns!!!!

2 hours and 10 minutes to go.........

Panthers don't trade Vokoun!!!!!!It will be the Panthers' stupidest trade ever, worst than the Luongo debacle. No team is going to give a 40+ goal scorer for a goalie, we will just get junk in return AGAIN!

Sexton will not make a move today. This organization is famous for choking under pressure, this letter was only another lie sent down from the way top. They don't know what they are doing and they have no assets to trade.

I guess getting rid of Moore before Campbell and Kreps was a fantastic idea.


what a joke!

The best the Panthers could do is to get a failed scorer from another org and hope he catches fire again. Cheechoo, maybe? Do the Leafs want more than a 2nd rounder for Ponikarovsky? Give them Montreal's 2011 2nd and this year's 5th and maybe they'll take it.

Time is passing, it would be really embarassing for the Panthers to send out that letter and not do anything.

Less than an hour to go--any word yet, George???

If nothing is done i say we fans BOYCOTT the game on SATURDAY!!!! ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.. THIS ORGANIZATION NEEDS TO WAKE UP!!!

Yea, boycott the game. Its time us pantero fans do something to show we have had enough. We are the laughing stock of the NHL.

It is time to start wearing the paper bags over the head starting tomorrow night.


I DID!!!!!!




3pm wow, so now we go into the Olympic break knowing the Panthers gave up on the season with 20 games to go. Nice!!!


Everyone in Canada believes Sexton fleeced Montreal for a second round pick for Moore. Read the TSN blogs and they are laughing at that trade.


Don't look now, but Carolina is 3 points behind after a disastrous season, there is your gauge to measure the Panthers season.

Who cares if Montreal got fleeced. The pick is in 2 years from now. How is that suppose to help this team???? 2010 draft pick I can understand, not a 2011. hahaha



You are aware that this is only a freeze and the trade deadline is March 3rd right? We didn't see much movement at all today, including some of the big names we expected to move (Whitney). PATIENCE is a good thing. There was no need to make a move TODAY if it wasn't the right one (like Moore for a 2nd round pick).

Now Sexton has 2-3 weeks to talk to other GMs. It may be a freeze, so no one can move, but they can certainly put things in motion for after the olympics. Jeez, some people are impossible to please...

Also, Gorten's blog on the sentinel has Sexton saying some GMs didn't want to take on salary, such as Vokoun's, during the break since players get paid even though they are on a break. That's probably the biggest issue with a guy like Vokoun. Also, he mentions there wasn't the same level of anxiety because of the next deadline.

it has been like this since they were last in the play offs how long ago was that? the coaching all the way to the gm and president lies lies lies nothing but lies see how many renew tickets this year y want my money back hell they should get mickey arrison to buy the team after all no season ticket sales the team might be the right price...........................

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