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Jacob Markstrom: I Want to Be a Panther

MarkstromspringsGood afternoon all. Off to the Dolphins game here in a minute to hang out with new assistant GM Mike Santos, and I'm sure this kid's name is going to come up.

I spoke with Jacob Markstrom on Thursday and he seems to be a very engaging fellow.

His English is impeccable and he towers over everyone -- although while no one has ever said this to me, it looks like he could use a few extra pounds. Of course, Craig Anderson isn't very husky and it seems to work for him.

He also has an air of confidence surrounding him.

The kid is good and he knows it. Playing the past two seasons in the highest level of the Swedish Elite League -- and succeeding -- has fueled that outlook.

I will have a full story running on the 20-year-old Markstrom in the coming days (probably Monday or Tuesday), but here are some things I would like to share.

When asked about playing in Rochester:

“I want to play for the Florida Panthers. I want to play in the NHL. They want me to play as well as I can over here and get here as quick as possible. You don't become a better goalie by sitting on the bench. I want to play in games and I want to win games. That keeps pushing me to be a better goalie. If they tell me to go to Rochester, that's how it is. I'll go there and show them they were wrong.''

On learning the North American game:

“It's a whole new environment over here. I'm picking things up and becoming better and better. Rochester is a good team and the AHL is a good league. And I've played on the small rink before. But it's a whole different game in the AHL, NHL. But I want to play in the NHL and everyone in the Florida system does as well.''

Dmitry Kulikov on Markstrom: “He's so tall, he takes away the net and makes it very hard to score against him. I've faced him twice [in 2009] and he was pretty good. He beat us 5-0. He was a wall in the net. We couldn't do anything about it. I remember that. He's going to be a great goalie for us.''

Anyway, more later...

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"He also has an air of confidence surrounding him. The kid is good and he knows it."

Is this something to be worried about? What if things don't go well for him for the first few months. He's shown he has a bit of a... I don't know the right word... attitude? Just thinking about that gold medal game in the world juniors a couple years ago...

I think it's good...he knows he's going to rochester, but that doesn't mean he's accepting of the fact...in other cases, some players have thought they deserved something they didn't and were disappointed to be sent to the minors...he seems to have the attitude that he has to earn his way and that's what he's going to do...time will tell...


He is the real deal. He will prove in Rochester he is good, then come trade deadline depending on where the Panthers are in the standings, comes the Vokoun trade rumors. With all the player changes and prospects should be an interesting year here and in Rochester. Now if the team would get rid of that ugly third jersey things would be looking good. I really hate that jersey.

sorry to ask you this, I know they are the funnest questions. Any chance that the Cats will sign Guerin.... 25 goals and a veteran leader could help. sign him for 1 or 2 yrs

I'd rather hear Markstrom talk like that than have another meek Bouwmeester-type. The kid is oozing with confidence and that's not a bad thing.

George, allow me to answer Matt. The answer to your question is a resounding, "NO!" The Panthers are not going to sign Guerin. The team isn't making the playoffs this year either. If Tallon's plan works, the team might make the playoffs 2011-2012, and that's a far reach too!

Markstrom is going to have to be "better-than-good" in order for the mgmt to 1) pass the baton from TVo to Markstrom; and 2) for the team to become actual winners.

As we've seen time and time again, Panthers goalies need to be very good in order for their low-budget, low-skill, low-scoring teams to be successful.

Also Guerin is a rightwing, Panthers have Frolik, Grabner and Bernier on RW two of which should be on the top two lines and the other fighting it out with Dvorak & Bitz for the 3RD & 4Th line. Grabner is a scorer at least he is projected to be and has to be on one of the top two lines to be effective. He can play either wing but leftwing is even more crowded. I don't see any room for Guerin with Frolik & Grabner. Panthers have more of a need for a center than a winger. Grabner was only traded because he can't break into the top two lines on Canucks with Burrows & Samuelsson. You want to give Grabner the opportunity to prove himself, he has the skill. Guerin is good but not at the expense of Grabner or Frolik. Would like to see center added but they are hard to come by. Hopefully Santorelli can prove himself but that is a longshot.

To my eye, Panthers were streaky last year but showed flashes of brilliance.

Puckbubba, why must Grabner play on the top two lines to be a scorer? Martin Havlat scored between 20 and 30 goals playing mostly third line under Jacques Martin in Ottawa. Grabner shouldn't be gifted a top line spot. Neither should Frolik. Competition makes people better or breaks them. If people are to be given roster positions on reputation alone, Markstrom should be the starting goalie for the Panthers opening night.

Mike - Markstrom hasn't played a single game in north america! you stated in the same post that players should not be 'gifted' roles with the panthers, so why would markstrom ever be gifted the starting job!?

GR FAN, you sir, evidently, demonstrate a complete lack of understanding and comprehension of sarcasm. Thank you and drive thru.

Mike if you read my post you would see
Frolik, Grabner and Bernier fighting for the top two spots and the one that doesn't get it fights with Dvorak & Bitz for 3 or 4TH line. That is competition! The one that loses the competition has to fight for a 3 or 4th line spot. Lets be real Dvorak & Bitz are not going to play on the top 2 lines. Although Bitz is a big body that is goood to have in front of the goalie. That is not gifting a top line spot. Read the post before you comment.

Puckbubba, that's not competition. That's gifting two top line roster spots to two very young, unproven guys. I see three names still listed as UFAs that have played long enough to be veterans and have proven an ability to score, but like Higgins need to prove they still belong. And all three can be had on the cheap, so if they don't perform, they can be dumped and no cost a lot. That's building competition. Not guaranteeing Grabner a top six roster spot.

That is not gifting. Those are the rightwingers. Frolik, Grabner, Bernier, Dvorak & Bitz. Only two can play on the top lines. Dvorak is the third liner and PK specialist. Frolik, Grabner, Bernier & Bitz will fight it out for top two and the fourth line slot and one will not make it. Frolik has scored 20 goals in both his first years. He will be even better next year. There are no great UFAs out there, I would rather see what the new guys can do than bring an old horse in. There is competition if Grabner can't make the team he will be in Rochester.

Booth, Stillman, Higgins and Olesz on leftwing.
No room for more except at center.

Can anyone tell me how these hurricanes are named?

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