« May 2010 | Main | July 2010 »

25 posts from June 2010

June 10, 2010

The Panthers Cook Out, Dale Tallon Speaks Up ... One New Assistant Coach?

Tailgate GAINESVILLE -- I missed tonight's Panthers cookout at The Billboard, the one featuring GM Dale Tallon, coach Pete DeBoer and season tickets for $5.60 per game as part of a promotion with WQAM 560-AM coming back as the team's flagship station.

Barry Jackson was there, however, and he passed along some nuggets of information (no word on if he ate any chicken nuggets)...

First off, DeBoer said Mike Kitchen is looking elsewhere for employment but could return to the Florida staff next season -- adding that he hoped Kitch would return.

No other changes are coming, with Jim Hulton, Jamie Pringle (video) and Robb Tallas (goalies) all returning.

Second, Tallon said he expects to get a Blackhawks Stanley Cup ring, and yeah, that should happen. Tallon said he teared up when watching the Hawks win on Wednesday night and Jeremy Roenick knows that feeling.

Hey, you live and die with a franchise for that long and you are going to get emotional when they do something that huge. Tallon's name won't be on the Cup, but he deserves that ring.

If Chicago comes through, that is a class move. And I expect them to do so. Anyway....

Tallon said no player on the roster is untouchable and that he spoke with other GMs at the GM meeting and others have called to kick the tires. Show 'em the CarFax.

Tallon also said that the Panthers are going to play up-tempo and physical with the word "bruises" and "beaten" thrown around a lot. Well, we've heard that before. Lets see what happens.

Randy Sexton is also still with the franchise and is one of the candidates for the assistant GM gig. On a personal aside, here's hoping he gets it (if he indeed wants it). The guy is definitely capable and loyal. Again, we'll see.

Will have more from Barry and the cookout later I suppose. Figure I would pass on what he told me before I head out to dinner.

More when it becomes available.


June 09, 2010

The Stanley Cup Returns to Chicago After Long Wait

Tallon2Congratulations are in order to the Chicago Blackhawks.

And somewhere in Florida, Dale Tallon has to be smiling.

Sure, Tallon's name will not be engraved on the Stanley Cup after Chicago won it for the first time since 1961. And that's a shame.

But he knows -- and many around hockey do too -- that these are his guys. A dynasty in the making?

Also, need to congratulate defenseman Nick Boynton, who spent just one season with the Panthers but ended up with Chicago and was part of the Hawks magical run to the championship.

Been one heck of a season, one that started in Helsinki, Finland, with the Blackhawks losing to the Panthers.

Who would have figured it would end like this, right?

Enjoy the party Chicago.

Well deserved.

June 08, 2010

Moving Down the Dial: Panthers Moving Back to WQAM

I may be back in South Florida but I'm still technically on vacation. Thought I would pass this along...

As expected, the Panthers are moving back to 560-WQAM this season after three years with Dan Le Batard and 790 The Ticket.

The Panthers had been with 560 since Day 1, but left when 560 got the Dolphins and had to do a nightly football show regarding mostly mundane topics during the offseason.

Randy Moller and the 70-plus ad drops are coming along as well. The team is not commenting on Barry Jackson's story (link below)


-- Don't forget about the Panthers cookout Thursday in Sunrise. Dale Tallon and Pete DeBoer will be there. Call the team for more info. It's free.

-- For you college baseball fans, I'll be temporarily taking over our Eye On The U blog starting Thursday from Gainesville for the baseball regional. Come on over and say howdy.

Moving Down the Dial: Panthers Moving Back to WQAM

June 01, 2010

Dale Tallon Talks Jacob Markstrom, Kamil Kreps and Benoit Groulx

Markstrom The Panthers announced the signing of their goalie of the future on Tuesday, and Jacob Markstrom hopes to make life tough on the team’s decision makers come training camp.


The 20-year-old Markstrom has already spent the past three seasons playing professionally in Sweden and recently helped his country take Bronze in the World Championships.


Markstrom is penned to start next season with the Panthers AHL affiliate in Rochester, N.Y., but things could change.


“We’re pretty deep in goal, but this is a pretty good opportunity for him,’’ general manager Dale Tallon said, referencing starter Tomas Vokoun and backup Scott Clemmensen. “This is good for the franchise.’’


There had been speculation that Markstrom’s agent had demanded that his client start next season with the Panthers or he would return to Sweden for the 2010-11 season. Tallon denied that. But had the Panthers not signed him before June 15, Markstrom indeed would have returned to Europe.


Tallon praised the work of former GM Randy Sexton for laying the groundwork for getting a deal done. Tallon met with Markstrom and his agent in Germany during the Worlds.


Markstrom had five shutouts with a 2.01 GAA and a .927 save percentage for Brynas last season. He signed a three year entry-level deal with the Panthers.


“He’s really a really a wonderful human being and I’m glad we were able to seal the deal,’’ Tallon said. “This gives him the chance to develop in North America and get his feet wet, get ready for the next step. They are realistic. They see the future; they know how bright it is. The opportunity will be there down the road.’’

(*) With all of Florida’s prospects signed, Tallon’s attention now turns to the NHL Entry Draft later this month in Los Angeles where the Panthers have the third overall pick.

Only Tallon has more on his plate than just that. Tallon did confirm that Scott Luce, the team’s director of amateur scouting, will return. Tallon also has to work with coach Pete DeBoer regarding the team’s coaching staff – Mike Kitchen and Jim Hulton have expiring contracts and aren’t expected to return.

The Panthers now have an opening in Rochester after Benoit Groulx resigned with one year left on his contract. Groulx is returning to the Quebec junior league where he left after being hired to coach the Americans by then-GM Jacques Martin.

(*) Winger Kamil Kreps wasn’t expected to be tendered a contract by the Panthers this summer, but that is now a moot point as he has reportedly agreed to play professionally in Finland next season. Kreps, 25, spent parts of four seasons with the Panthers and scored 18 goals with 42 assists in 232 games.

Kreps had his best season in 2007-08 when he accounted for 25 points.  He’s one of a handful of restricted free agents the Panthers have to make decisions on.

Gregory Campbell, Jason Garrison and Kenndal McArdle are all expected to receive contract tenders from the Panthers.


Markstrom Signs

HICKORY, Ind. -- The Panthers confirmed this morning that prospect Jacob Markstrom has signed an entry level pact with the club and will be in training camp come September. Will be talking to Dale Tallon later today about the Panthers goalie of the future as I drive across the American heartland. Today I'm in Knightstown, In., the place where they filmed Hoosiers. Stay tuned for a special edition of On Frozen Film next week. Will also be talking to Tallon about who will coach in Rochester next season as word is Benoit Groulx has resigned to head back to his old gig in the Quebec junior league. Stay tuned for more. 10-4 good buddy, GR over and out... Markstom Signs