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The Panthers Are Not Better After Today. They Are a Little Worse, but...

Pantherlogo The NHL trade deadline has come and gone.

The Panthers gave away Jordan Leopold, Dominic Moore and Dennis Seidenberg for three second round picks, Byron Bitz and a minor league player.

This is not what people were expecting when the team's management came out with their much-ballyhooed letter saying that minor changes were not good enough and the team needed to go in a different direction.

This isn't the direction people were expecting.

No "small changes or quick fixes will do" the letter stated.

So what have the Panthers done since then, save for some small changes?

The Panthers all but told people their store was open for business. Come in and get what you want. No one did save for a desperate Boston team trying to stay within the top eight in the east.

"We could have had a fire sale if we wanted,'' GM Randy Sexton said this afternoon.

Co-managing partners Cliff Viner and Stu Siegel both said Wednesday night that they are not happy where the team is right now, but didn't want to just make deals to make deals. "We want to do things the right way,'' Viner said.

It could be that the other 29 teams didn't want what the Panthers had to offer at the money they were signed to. That's not really all that hard to believe. But you have to think something could have happened. Something should have happened today. Instead, Sexton said he was close on one deal -- and it doesn't sound by his description that it was a major one.

The Panthers were expected to be players at the deadline and they were not. The Panthers basically said they were going to blow things up -- and with losses in eight of nine and in seven straight -- no one would blame them for doing just that.

Sexton said that they don't want to blow things up. He likes a lot of the players here. He only wants to get rid of a few. I doubt the three he did get rid of -- sending all three into the thick of the playoff chase -- were the players he wanted to get rid of.

Coach Pete DeBoer said just that. He said the three players "were what we want Florida Panthers players to be'' and that they were moved because of their contracts and because teams wanted them.

Give Sexton credit for turning those three pending free agents into three second round picks. But those picks will not help this team today, will not help them next September and may never help the team. This isn't the NFL. This is more like baseball. The NHL draft is a crap shoot even in the first round.

The Panthers are going to tell us they are not done and not to judge them on today alone. The draft is coming, they'll say. We're committed to building a winner and will make trades then.

But will they? Can they? This team is filled with bloated contracts that no other teams want to take on.

Tomas Vokoun will bring you something in the summer. Nathan Horton, Stephen Weiss too. And if David Booth, Dmitry Kulikov, Michael Frolik and Keith Ballard are off the table, the Vokoun-Horton-Weiss trifecta are basically all the Panthers have worth anything. Unless teams want some draft picks.

After today, the letter Stu Siegel and Cliff Viner sent out looks worse than it did when they sent it out. Privately, players within the locker room said that letter was going to come back and bite them if deals were not made. Deals were not made.

The Panthers are in desperate need of change, major change. Their co-managing partners have said as much. Their general manager has said as much.

Today was a disappointing day for the Panthers. Lets hope their management says as much. Sexton did not.

Of course, if things continue to go as they have been, the Panthers will likely have a top three draft pick coming up and a chance for the top overall pick in Los Angeles. That might work out alright.

-- OnFrozenFilm presents Sexton's media briefing online. Also trying to get Seigel and Viner. Will also be talking to Pete DeBoer around 6. So stay tuned!


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A-[expletive]-MEN, GR.

you forgot that they traded for Mathieu Roy, another UFA!

Good report, Georgie! I'm sure we'll be hearing how happy Sexton is with the changes made and that a lot of character and speed were just added to our roster :/

Should be no surprise. This is NOT and I repeat NOT a quality organization. Let me put this way, if you people still go to games you deserve what you get. I'm canadian and an original season ticket holder who won't be one.
By the way, who the hell is Mathieu Roy? And Craig Weller is another Jeff Taffe. And Byron Bitz is another Campbell

ok so IM not crazy. and if you really want to know what is sad. im still going to renew with pride. im still going to all the games and im still going to enjoy them. but what used to be a balanced scale of panther fan to hockey fan just tipped a little to just hockey fan. and for that Im am sad. after 14 years of season tix

Here's the problem, aside from the players with bloated contracts and the "untouchables", the Panthers had nothing to offer. They didn't want to take on salary. If they had been willing to take on other teams' dead weight contracts, while also asking for prospects or draft picks, they could have loaded this team up with something other than a couple second rounders.

People who like these draft picks that have been acquired need to realize two things. One, this team sucks at developing prospects, so most picks go to waste regardless of round. Two, usually when a team is willing to give up a second rounder for a third line player or fourth or fifth defenseman, its a great sign that draft is not very deep and most likely to be drafting thirdline talent in the second round.

The Maple Leafs will have rebuilt their franchise and challenge for a cup, before this organization ices a playoff contender again, if they don't get some owners who look at something other than dollar signs, and a GM who actually understands the modern game and league.

I'll put my nam out there again for GM. I work cheaply too.

Gave up my Season Tickets last year and now they have convinced me to not even watch them on TV! I really hoped they would do something positive today to hang on to that sliver of hope I had for this team in building a future. Goodbye to all the real Panther Fans that still enjoy what you have left to finish the year out, I wish you all the best you deserve a winner but I just can't stand this anymore. At least we had the Olympics this year to see how teams play for pride instead of payroll and saw hockey the way it's meant to be played night in and night out.

I disagree. The best thing the Panthers can do is fall in the standings and try for Taylor Hall. They gave up two very good UFA defensmen and that should help get them closer to a number one draft pick. Anyone thinking that they were going to trade for a star player is nuts. DeBoer can say the we are still trying to win speech, he has to but the best thing for this team is to get one of the top 3 draft picks. Come drfat day Panthers will get even more draft picks. Teams can't make some trades now due to the cap, draft day they can. Sexton got some good return for UFAs. Today was a good day.

clash: you cant fault them for the draft picks that is what you try and do. with all that is wrong with this team, you still get picks. its not like they are trying to make bad picks. and we know what our players are. dead weight. and we now the bloated contracts. the point here that is different is THE LETTER saying that mgt. NOW gets what weve been saying. they could have traded the entire team today for good or bad and the fans would have accepted it. but what did we get. i now would like a letter fourthe explaining exactly which players were they talking about. who should i not cheer for?

So the Panthers should have just given Vokoun/Horton/Weiss away at the deadline? What does it cost them to wait until June to trade these guys?

again jeff then why THE LETTER. the "hockey world" took that letter as saying. "we are going to go in a different direction NOW! TODAY!. dont forget Sexton saying this team will be differnt come tomorrow. after today the direction is the same and so is the team. making THE LETTER either a F%#@ng Corporate double speak or us fans complete idiots. maybe both.

I don't fault them for acquiring a couple second rounders. I fault them for not acquiring dead weight contracts and additional picks, to clear out some of the players people expected them to move. My words were more notice for people who think its great to acquire a couple second rounders tho, to explain what the Panthers did in trades is nothing all that great. Guys like Moore, Leopold, and Seidenberg usually get 4th or 5th round picks and maybe a prospect with no real future above being a role player in the AHL. So when getting a second instead, its usually a good sign of a draft not deep in talent.

As for why you trade guys like Vokoun, Horton, and Weiss now, teams tend to overpay for players on deadline day, as opposed to more rational and balanced trades around the draft.

As for drafting Hall, losing out the season only gives you a better chance. Being the worst team in the league doesn't guarantee you getting the best player.

We offered Vokoun for Jeff Carter,but Philly said no.

I dont think we should get rid of Vokoun untill we get Markstrom over from Sweden

Sexton didn't take any chances and that is his reputation.

He made obvious trades that a junior manager could make.

Until you get rid of the decision makers and scouts it will be the same old. Poor draft picks, poor trades and poor free agent signings are why this team is where it is. Most of the front office (scouts, GM, President) have been here for years and all we have to show for it is that any signing is a character guy who brings leadership to help our young core.

Newsflash the young core is no longer young or no longer here.

We were building the team for years around Weiss, Horton, Luongo, Bowmeester and Jokinen.

The only draft pick that has met or exceeded expectations in the last 9 years is Booth (it is too early to judge the 2008 and 2009 drafts).

This was a fire sale period. Seidenberg admitted such saying that he was traded because of his bonus coming up.

Call me hopeful... But
ahh, Sexton only has a one year contract with the team. His contract will not be renewed. Florida is now the best place to go if you are a GM. No pressure from the media. Plenty of draft picks. All players are tradeable....I expect a new NHL GM (w/previous playoff experience) to come to Florida. This is now a good place for someone to build a team, not like it was last year when there were playoff expectations. Panthers should be able to find a really good GM after the season is over, and maybe one that can pickup some better scouts.

Just out of curiousity what do Panther fans think was going to happen? Do you really want to get rid of Vokoun and get stuck with Clemmenson through next year? You are banking on Markstrom's reputation--how many players have we been promised over the years were going to be the best thing since sliced bread. What do you think Horton or Weiss is going to bring back in return. Playoff contenders aren't going to give up anything good as long as they were in the hunt---Getting mad at Sexton at this point in time(and I don't think he is the right guy) is going to do anything. Let's see what happens at the draft and through the summer. Then we'll hang the bum.

If this was a firesale, this place is burning to the ground with no insurance and everything lost with no reimbursement.

Take deep breath then say "salary dump" when you look at the Seidenberg trade. Now ask yourself, why would a team offer its season ticket holders a 2 for 1 renewal, if they renewed by 2/13? The answer is the team really needs an influx of cash bad.

I seems this team has given up on this year. Whatever they do I hope they don't trade Vokoun. We've already had them dump a top tier goalkeeper in Loungo for basically nothing. Keep Vokoun, keep Weiss and Booth. After that I say clean house and bring in some actual hockey players. I'll take some guys who can SHOOT THE PUCK on the power play, let alone score.

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