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Pete DeBoer Assistant for Team Canada ... Nathan Horton Not Amused, Leaves Practice

DeboerCoach Pete DeBoer is going to have plenty of time to play golf this summer, although his offseason will be a little more shorter now that he's been named an assistant coach to Craig MacTavish for the Canadian World Championships team.

The worlds opens up next month in Germany.

"I'm excited about that,'' DeBoer said. "I've been able to coach for Canada before, and it's always an honor to go and represent your country. It's a little bittersweet though. The only time you get to do this tournament is when your team is out of the playoffs.''

DeBoer was on Canada's coaching staff in 2005 when it won gold at the world juniors.

It sounds like DeBoer is excited about having some expectations again.

"It's going to be nice going is as one of the favorites,'' he said with a sly grin. "I haven't been a favorite in a game in a long time.''

-- And Pete could be joined in Germany by a few of his players. Stephen Weiss and Nathan Horton would have to be under consideration to play. Will they? Who knows.

"I would hope so, but I'm not in that loop. I'm just coaching. I would expect some of our guys will be in that mix, be in the discussion.''

Mark Messier, who watched the Panthers on Saturday night, is the GM of this Team Canada squad.

-- Horton stormed off the ice this morning after getting into an altercation with assistant coach Mike Kitchen. Apparently Horton skated into a drill Kitchen was running in the corner and the two had heated words.

Horton wasn't amused.

He started screaming and smashed his stick along the Panthers bench, shattering the stick before continuing to scream while throwing the bashed up shaft of his stick across the ice.

While everyone kind of looked around in stunned silence, Rostislav Olesz -- who was on the other side of the ice from the bench -- picked up the stick shaft and skated it to the bench. It was then given a proper burial in a plastic garbage can. Then practice resumed.

Horton wasn't around after practice as he was spotted rushing out of the locker room pulling on his shirt about 10 minutes before practice officially ended. Kitchen told TSN.ca that he and Horton would speak before Tuesday's game and he didn't think there would be a problem moving forward.

I wouldn't put too much stock in this one. It was pretty funny stuff -- and I'm sure Horton is probably feeling a little red faced about the whole thing.

"It's that time of year,'' DeBoer said. "If you didn't have people who were upset about the situation we were in, if the nerves weren't frayed, you'd worry about people's competitiveness.''

Comments

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at least there is some emotion left in some of the players on this team. Who knew?

Say bye bye to big Nate soon. He now has the mentality of Luongo, Jokinen, and Bouwmeester. Unless they do something serious and pretty much drastic, he's gonna want out of the not so sunny south, and play in a real hockey market, where losing truly is not tolerated.

I would rather get rid of Kitchen. Horton is too good a player to lose. Unless you get equal value I keep Horton.

FLA Kittens: yea but funny how we never see that emotion on the ice. another non productive panther

Hey Clash "play in a real hockey market, where losing truly is not tolerated," the reason there are few fans at the games is because losing truly is not tolerated here. In Toronto or Edmonton they fill the seats when they lose. In those "real hockey markets" they do tolerate losing or they would have empty stands like Florida.

Bo, real hockey markets go because they love the game, not because of a team. People in Florida go to a game, cause "its cool to follow a winner" when there is a winner, and forget hockey exists otherwise. If the Panthers didn't have all the tickets they give away, you'd see how few real hockey fans are in Florida. And real hockey fans would have seen through the BS of the last 8 years under Cohen. In real hockey markets, they go to games irregardless of how the team performs. Just in real hockey markets, they threaten to kill the front office if the team is an annual loser.

Clash, you lost me at "irregardless." I am a real hockey fan, and have seen through the BS many times since I have been following this team. However, I still very much enjoy the sport, I enjoy going to the games, and I enjoy bringing my son as he is learning the game and at 7 years old probably knows more than a good percentage of the people that are in the stands.

Clash, your logic doesn't hold up to fact. Only in Toronto can a team be a perpetual loser and still pack the house. Even in Montreal, when they went through a playoff drought several years ago, they began offering "family plans." You don't do that if you don't have to.

Look at these established markets:

Toronto: hasn't made a Stanley Cup final since 1967 while going through extended horrid stretches in the 1970s, 1980s and the last several years. Yep, losing isn't tolerated there, no siree. Apparently, the Leafs front office hasn't properly taken seriously any the threats on their lives over the years. That you can actually hear people still refer to "the great Leaf tradition" tells you the locals attend not just out of a love of hockey, but custom.

Boston: Kind of a "real hockey market" wouldn't you say? High school and college hockey everywhere with tournaments that can pack the NHL arena. Yet their NHL fan base stopped filling their arena when they got the feeling owner Jeremy Jacobs had an unbalanced interest in a big bottom line vs. the big prize.

Chicago: Same as Boston, but even worse and for a longer period. Before the current renaissance, the gangs in the nearby projects could've held shootouts in the United Center without worrying about collateral damage.

Rangers: In a metro area of 20 million and 8-10 million within easy midweek striking distance of MSG, no surprise the Rangers sold out regularly. Then, starting with the 1997-98 season, they went on a playoff free run. In 2002 or 2003, the NY Post's Larry Brooks wrote a great column before a Rangers-Panthers game ripping the franchise for its yearly failure that had turned the once-rockin' MSG into a no-show heavy morgue on game nights.

If fans in "non-traditional markets" don't want to pony up serious jack to go watch a team that perpetually disappoints (or, in the case of Tampa Bay from 1996-2002, is out of it by December), they're a "bad hockey market."
But when fans in Boston, Chicago, Pittsburgh (early 1980s, 2001-lockout), Edmonton (1992-96), Calgary (late 1990s-2002), New York or Detroit (1970s-1983) do the same thing, they're "discriminating hockey fans."

That last post was hilarious - love the gangs comment about Chicago. LOL!

This article sounds like frustration by Nate that we're missing the playoffs again, and to his credit, he has had is most productive season as a Panther. This goes beyond the stat sheet too. Although he didn't break 30 goals, his play on both ends has been so much more consistent and he even started becoming a playmaker (there's a reason why Weiss has a career high in goals, and I think Nathan is a big part of that).

We all saw what happened to this team when Nathan went down - we went from 6-8th place to the bottom of the pack. I hope Nathan is a part of the future here, not traded for more prospects/picks who will continue this cycle of losing with the promise of better days ahead when they develop (if they develop).

Get rid of this whole coaching staff. They're all bums.

Why can't PDeB ask Weiss and Nate if they intend to play? It's called communication!

I agree that Weiss, Horton, and Booth are part of the solution, not part of the problem. I don't, however, think they're consistent enough to be a legit 1st scoring line in The NHL.

Until they get a legit 1st line centerman, all talk of making any other moves(unless those moves are to help facilitate the acquisition of a 1st line centerman) is premature, IMO. I just can wrap my head around the inability to get a guy to be the face of your franchise at forward(and please don't mention Jokinen's name with regards to that face. He wasn't a #1 either, IMO) when drafting in the top 5 just about every year for the past 10 years and only having Weiss(as a centerman) to show for it....And I happen to LIKE Weiss as a player.

"
Say bye bye to big Nate soon. He now has the mentality of Luongo, Jokinen, and Bouwmeester. Unless they do something serious and pretty much drastic, he's gonna want out of the not so sunny south, and play in a real hockey market, where losing truly is not tolerated."

and as soon as all 3 of them went to a big market they folded

Let's face facts, this team needs a true 1st line center, a true sniper for the first line and a true top pair defensemen.

If they get that and Weiss, Horton and Booth can be on the 2nd line where they belong then things will improve.

Right now other than goalie we are weaker then a majority of teams at every position

^^I agree completely, Day One.

DJN, that is about the best comment I have read in a loooong while,. thank you!

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