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82 posts from September 2010

September 16, 2010

Pete DeBoer, Keith Ballard: Trade Wasn't Because of Tirades ... Allen, Booth Defend DeBoer's Coaching Style

Deboer Panthers coach Pete DeBoer refuted a report out of Vancouver that suggested that defenseman Keith Ballard was traded over the summer because the two had heated arguments during the course of last season.

Ballard, traded to Vancouver in June, told The (Vancouver) Province that he and DeBoer had a number of “screaming matches.’’

DeBoer acknowledged the arguments happened, but said they stemmed from the team’s lack of success as well as Ballard’s admitted disappointing season.

 “I don’t expect anyone to be happy with the season we had last year,’’ DeBoer said Thursday. “I would have more concern if players were saying I was fine with how things went and didn’t get in anyone’s face. It is what it is. The environment was the same for Keith the year before when he had one of his best years. It was a tough year on everyone but I make no apologies for my motivation tactics or for getting on top of people. That’s my job.’’

Ballard said Thursday he does not believe the trade stemmed from those arguments because both he and DeBoer are competitors who just wanted to win. Both DeBoer and Ballard said they were fine with each other after each cooled off.

The main factor in Ballard’s trade was likely the $21 million he had remaining over the final five years on a contract he signed upon arriving in South Florida in 2008. General manager Dale Tallon traded Ballard and Victor Oreskovich to Vancouver for the 25th overall pick as well as forwards Steve Bernier and Michael Grabner.

Ballard “He was trying to push me, get more out of me and I’m the first guy to say he should have done so,’’ Ballard said from Vancouver. “We raised our voices behind closed doors. We’re competitive people. I’m not the first player to get into a shouting match with a coach and I sure won’t be the last. This happens on every team. I enjoyed my two years in Florida. I had good teammates and the organization treated me and my family very well.

“Aside from us not making the playoffs, I have no complaints about my time with the Florida Panthers.’’

Added DeBoer: “We were both disappointed in how the year went in general. It wasn’t just about his play. I was excited about having the opportunity to getting him back to where he was the previous season. I admire a lot of qualities Keith has. He works hard, he’s a good teammate. He did a lot of things well. I never had an issue with him.

DeBoer has had his share of run-ins with players over the course of his two seasons (re: Nick Boynton, Scott Clemmensen and Ville Koistinen) as coach of the Panthers, but current players backed DeBoer in saying that such disagreements are common during a lengthy season.

The Province report – not offering any sources or quoting Ballard – said that DeBoer is “extremely unpopular with most of the Florida players because he largely treats them like juniors.’’

A number of Florida players stood up for DeBoer and his coaching style on Thursday, with forward David Booth saying “he’s the right coach for this team. He pushes us. Maybe some guys don’t like that, I don’t know. I personally love playing for him.’’

As far as players hating playing for DeBoer as The Province suggested, defenseman Bryan Allen said that was not the case.

“Did we all get along last year? No. The way things were going, we shouldn’t have, truthfully,’’ said Allen, Ballard’s roommate last season. “No one had a good year last year. It was frustrating for everyone, including the coaches, players and fans. Pete wasn’t happy and hates to lose. That shows. He has passion for the game and tried to get the best out of us.’’

MARKSTROM’S DEBUT

Highly touted goalie Jacob Markstrom made his first start of the preseason on Thursday and played throughout Florida’s 5-1 loss to Nashville in a rookie game held in Coral Springs. Markstrom faced 37 shots in the loss.

“I didn’t want to lose the game and I let in five goals. Of course I’m not happy with that,’’ the 20-year-old said. “I wanted to win this game and play my best. I didn’t. I just have to go home, have a good meal, a good sleep. Tomorrow is a new day.’’

(*) Panthers alternate governor Bill Torrey said the Panthers will likely host a four-team rookie tournament at their training facility next year.

Former Florida winger Martin Gelinas – now Nashville’s director of player development – confirmed the Predators will likely return. Atlanta and Tampa Bay have been mentioned as other teams that may be interested.

Torrey also said the Panthers would hold a weeklong rookie development camp next summer as well.

(*) THURSDAY’S ROOKIE GAME – Nashville 5, Panthers 1: Florida’s Corey Durocher kept the Panthers from getting shutout for a second straight day when he scored with 3:35 left. The Predators, who outscored Florida 10-1 over the two-day period, got two goals from Chris Mueller. 

Florida Panthers Training Camp Roster Set

The Panthers announced on Thursday afternoon that 12 propects will join the team for training camp when it begins on Saturday morning. The Panthers will have 51 players at the initial practice in Coral Springs.

The prospects who made it are:

F Alain Berger, D Adam Comrie, F Evgeny Dadanov, F Cory Durocher, D Erik Gudbranson, F Quinton Howden, G Jacob Markstrom, F John McFarland, D Alexander Petrovic, D Colby Robak, F Scott Timmins and F Garrett Wilson.

The Panthers first on-ice practice is Saturday at 9 a.m. The team will host Hockey Day in South Florida, a day long fan festival which includes a free coaching clinic for youth hockey coaches conducted by the Panthers staff from 9-11 a.m. as well as the Blue-White scrimmage (followed by player autographs) from 2-3:15 p.m.

Here is the complete team roster.

#    POS    PLAYER    HT    WT    SHOOTS    BIRTHPLACE    BORN                                                    
3    D    Wilson, Clay    6'0"    195    Left    Sturgeon Lake, MN    4/5/1983  

4    D    Ellerby, Keaton    6'4"    200    Left    Strathmore, AB    11/5/1988   

5    D    Allen, Bryan    6'4"    226    Left    Kingston, ON    8/21/1980   

6    D    Wideman, Dennis    6'0"    196    Right    Kitchener, ON    3/20/1983   

7    D    Kulikov, Dmitry    6'1"    183    Left    Lipetsk, Russia    10/29/1990  

9    F    Weiss, Stephen    5'11"    191    Left    Toronto, ON    4/3/1983   

10    F    Booth, David    6'0"    212    Left    Detroit, MI    11/24/1984   

11    F    Peters, Andrew    6'4"    240    Left    St. Catharines, ON    5/5/1980   

12    F    Bitz, Byron    6'5"    215    Right    Saskatoon, SK    7/21/1984   

13    F    Santorelli, Mike    6'0"    189    Right    Vancouver, BC    12/14/1985  

14    F    Dvorak, Radek    6'2"    200    Right    Tabor, Czech Rep.    3/9/1977 

15    F    McArdle, Kenndal    5'11"    200    Left    Toronto, ON    1/4/1987  

16    F    Duco, Mike    5'10"    195    Left    Toronto, ON    7/8/1987   

17    D    Paetsch, Nathan    6'1"    198    Left    Leroy, SK    11/13/1984   

18    F    Matthias, Shawn    6'4"    225    Left    Mississauga, ON    2/19/1988  

19    F    Reasoner, Marty    6'1"    200    Left    Honeoye Falls, NY    2/26/1977   

21    F    Higgins, Chris    6'0"    205    Left    Smithtown, NY    6/2/1983   

23    F    Grant, Triston    6'1"    211    Left    Neepawa, MB    2/2/1984 

24    D    McCabe, Bryan    6'2"    220    Left    St. Catharines, ON    6/8/1975

26    F    Bernier, Steve    6'2"    216    Right    Quebec City, QC    3/31/1985   

27    F    Reinprecht, Steve    6'0"    200    Left    Edmonton, AB    5/7/1976   

32    F    Repik, Michal    5'10"    180    Left    Vlasim, Czechoslovakia    12/31/1988 

36    F    Cullen, Mark    5'11"    190    Left    Virginia, MN    10/28/1978   

37    F    Thomas, Bill    6'1"    185    Right    Pittsburgh, PA    6/23/1983   

38    D    Hudson, Carl    6'1"    210    Left    Smooth Rock Falls, ON    1/2/1986 

39    F    *Arnason, Tyler    5'11"    208    Left    Oklahoma City, OK    3/16/1979   

40    F    Grabner, Michael    6'0"    170    Left    Villach, Austria    10/5/1987 

41    D    Kostka, Mike    6'1"    210    Right    Etobicoke, ON    11/28/1985   

42    F    Howden, Quinton    6'2"    182    Left    Oakbank, MB    1/21/1992   

43    D    Weaver, Mike    5'9"    188    Right    Bramalea, ON    5/2/1978   

44    D    Gudbranson, Erik    6'4"    195    Right    Ottawa, ON    1/7/1992   

45    F    McFarland, John    6'0"    192    Right    Richmond Hill, ON    4/2/1992  

47    D    Robak, Colby    6'3"    210    Left    Dauphin, MB    4/24/1990   

48    D    Callahan, Joe    6'3"    220    Right    Brockton, MA    12/20/1982  

52    D    Garrison, Jason    6'1"    220    Left    White Rock, BC    11/13/1984

54    F    Durocher, Corey    6'3"    175    Left    Ottawa, ON    5/30/1992   

56    D    Comrie, Adam    6'4"    205    Left    Kanata, ON    7/31/1990  

57    F    Wilson, Garrett    6'2"    199    Left    Barrie, ON    5/30/1991   

61    F    Stillman, Cory    6'0"    192    Left    Peterborough, ON    12/20/1973  

62    D    Caruso, Michael    6'2"    191    Left    Mississauga, ON    7/5/1988   

63    F    Dadonov, Evgeny    5'10"    178    Left    Chelyabinsk, Russia    3/12/1989  

67    F    Frolik, Michael    6'1"    185    Left    Kladno, Czech Rep.    2/17/1988   

72    D    Petrovic, Alexander    6'4"    193    Right    Edmonton, AB    3/3/1992   

73    F    *Berger, Alain    6'4"    205    Right    Burgsdorf, Sweden    12/27/1990   

75    F    Timmins, Scott    5'11"    191    Left    Hamilton, ON    9/11/1989   

78    F    *Foster, Adrian    6'0"    205    Left    Lethbridge, AB    1/15/1982   

85    F    Olesz, Rostislav    6'1"    214    Left    Bilovec, Czech Rep.    10/10/1985   

GOALIES

29    G    Vokoun, Tomas    6'0"    205    Right    Karlovy Vary, Czech Rep.    7/2/1976

30    G    Clemmensen, Scott    6'3"    205    Left    Des Moines, IA    7/23/1977  

33    G    Markstrom, Jacob    6'3"    178    Left    Gavle, Sweden    1/31/1990  

35    G    Plante, Tyler    6'3"    203    Left    Milwaukee, WI    4/16/1987   

*-Indicates player is in training camp on a tryout                                                   

LIVE! Rookie Game 2: Predators 5 @ Panthers 1 (FINAL)

MarkstromrookWe're now LIVE! and operational from the Coral Springs Incredible IcePlex on the edge of the Everglades with some exciting rookie hockey game action on a beautiful Thursday afternoon.

Got the Diet Coke flowing, TSN SportsCentre on the big screens and Jacob Markstrom in net for the Panthers.

If you are in the hood, come on by. Don't cost nothin. If you are far away, stick around. LIVE! coverage throughout the afternoon.

You can also follow us on Twitter. @OnFrozenPond

Again, that don't cost nothin either.

-- Markstrom gives up his first goal as a Panther (not really) as Chris Mueller knocks one through at 5:19 of the first. Preds have now outscored the Panthers 6-0 in this rookie series.

-- Ryan "Ain't Nothin' But A" Thang puts the Preds up 2-0 in the first period, scoring at 15:30 of the first. Almost this entire first period has been played in the Florida zone.

-- Also, Brady Calla in for Chris Clackson today...

-- Just as I type that, Calla fills Clackson's role by fighting Michael Latta...

END ONE -- END ONE -- END ONE

Stats

Goals: NSH Chris Mueller (Mark Santorelli, Austin Watson) 5:19 1st; NSH Ryan Thang (Ryan Ellis, Taylor Beck) 15:30 1st

Shots: NSH 12, FLA 11

Goalies: NSH Anders Lindback 11-11; FLA Jacob Markstrom 10-12

PP: NSH 0-0; FLA 0-0

Pens: NSH Michael Latta (fight maj) 17:10; FLA Brady Callas (fight maj) 17:10

START SECOND -- START SECOND -- START SECOND

-- Preds make it 3-0 just 39 seconds into the period, Mueller bangs one in for his second goal of the night.

-- Gabriel Bourque makes it 4-0 for the Sabretooths...

END SECOND -- END SECOND -- END SECOND

Stats

Goals: NSH Chris Mueller (Mark Santorelli, Austin Watson) 5:19 1st; NSH Ryan Thang (Ryan Ellis, Taylor Beck) 15:30 1st; NSH Mueller (Roman Josi) :39 2nd; NSH Gabriel Bourque (Latta, Ryan Flynn) 5:59 2nd

Shots: NSH 30, FLA 23

Goalies: NSH Anders Lindback 21-21; NSH Chet Pickard 2-2; FLA Jacob Markstrom 26-30

PP: NSH 0-1; FLA 0-0

Pens: NSH Michael Latta (fight maj) 17:10; FLA Brady Callas (fight maj) 17:10; FLA Erik Gudbranson (trip) 10:52 2nd; FLA Gudbranson (fight maj) 19:54 2nd; NSH Blake Geoffrion (fight maj) 19:54

THIRD -- THIRD -- THIRD

-- Taylor Beck drives in on Markstrom, slides puck through...Preds lead 5-0 midway through the third...third goal in this series for Beck; he had two last night...

-- Got to hear Mitch's 'Panthersssss..." goal call for the first time as Corey Durocher breaks the scoreless streak for the Cats as he knocks in a puck....Only a few minutes left in this one...

STATS WHEN I GET THEM -- FOR THOSE WHO CARE

-- Panthers also lose five-shot bonus shootout 2-0....goals from NSH: Roman Josi and Bourque....

September 15, 2010

Nashville's Linus Klasen OK

Linus Nashville winger Linus Klasen was knocked cold late in the Predators 5-0 victory over the Panthers in a rookie game Wednesday night in Coral Springs.

Klasen was down on the ice for a few moments but eventually came to and was helped off the ice by a pair of teammates.

Klasen, 24, is apparently doing OK in the Predators locker room. A Panthers spokesman said he suffered lacerations on his tongue and chin and is being stitched up on site. A trip to the ER is not expected.

Florida rookie Chris Clackson, in camp on a tryout, hit Klasen hard in the slot in the Chrisclack Florida zone.

Clackson is the son of former NHL tough Kim Clackson (106 NHL games and 271 more in WHL during the 1970s).

Chris Clackson played a very physical game on Wednesday and was involved in the lone fight of the game early on.

More updates if/when I get them.

Kimclack Thanks for visiting.

See you tomorrow at noon for the second game in the series and the final action of Panthers rookie camp. Training camp opens for real on Friday with physicals and Saturday on ice in Coral Springs.

Freshmen Fun: Panthers vs. Predators Rookie Game 1 ... NSH 5, FLA 0 (FINAL)

RookiesWelcome to the Coral Springs IcePlex where the Florida Panthers welcome the Nashville Predators in a rookie game.

The two teams meet up again Thursday at noon. Admission appears to be free.

Marc Cheverie is in net.

-- Nashville takes a 1-0 lead on the first shot of the night, Ryan Ellis whipping a shot from 30 feet away past 'Sawgrass' Chevy.

Just a few moments later, the first fight broke out, with Florida's Chris Clackson battling it out with Ryan Flynn. The two may have a history: Clackson played at Western Michigan last season, Flynn was a Golden Gopher.

Those two teams did not play last year, but who knows....

-- Old pal Martin Gelinas (now the director of player development for the Preds) is here and says hello.

Stanley Steve Goldstein and Billy Lindsay are also here. They decline comment on the group hellos. "I have to know the person to say hello and really mean it,'' Goldie didn't say.

-- NASHVILLE makes it 2-0 on a Taylor Beck power play goal at 3:50 of the first period.

-- Erik Gudbranson just manhandled Beck, tossing him to the ground. He's going to the box to sit by himself. Don't know if he feels shame. NSH power play @ 8:52.

-- The Chevy has warmed up: Cheverie playing very strong in net right now -- and he's getting bumrushed. Welcome to Florida.

-- If they told Gudbranson he needs to play physical, he got the message.

--Still 2-0, 4:50 left in the 1st...

END OF FIRST -- NASHVILLE 2, PANTHERS 0 -- STATS COMING UP NEXT!

Shots: NSH 21, FLA 8

PP: NSH 1-2; FLA 0-1

Goals: NSH Ryan Ellis (U) 1:17; NSH Taylor Beck (Ellis, Blake Geoffrion) 3:50

Goalies: NSH Chet Pickard 8-8; FLA Marc Cheverie 19-21

START OF SECOND -- START OF SECOND -- START OF SECOND

-- Same goalies in for the second...

-- NSH makes it 3-0 as Beck gets his second of the night. Both teams switch goalies.

-- Cheverie gave up three goals on 26 shots; Brian Foster took over just after the halfway mark of the second.

NSH counters with Anders Lindback...

END OF TWO -- END OF TWO -- END OF TWO

Still NSH 3-0....stats in a moment...Marlins are losing to PHL 6-1 for those who care....

Shots: NSH 30, FLA 21

PP: NSH 2-3; FLA 0-2

Goals: NSH Ryan Ellis (U) 1:17 1st; NSH Taylor Beck (Ellis, Blake Geoffrion) 3:50 1st; NSH Beck (Geoffrion, Chris Mueller) 8:09 2nd

Goalies: NSH Chet Pickard 16-16, NSH Anders Lindback 5-5; FLA Marc Cheverie 23-26, FLA Brian Foster 4-4

START OF THIRD -- START OF THIRD -- START OF THIRD

-- NSH makes it 4-0; Michael Latta with a goal at 2:22 of the period....

-- SCARY MOMENT: Preds Linus Klasen knocked out in the slot, apparently by Chris Clackson...he seems to be OK, sitting up and moving around...team docs from both teams attending to him...

-- Blake Geoffrion now has a goal with two assists as the Plantation native makes it 5-0 for the Preds...time winding down (thank goodness)....

-- It's a FINAL --- Stats when I get them, eh....

-- In the bonus exhibition shootout, Panthers lose 2-1..five shots for both teams....

Panthers get goal from John McFarland; NSH gets goals from Austin Watson and Mark Santorelli...

-- Don't forget, we'll be back here tomorrow at noon Miami Time for the second game in this preseason rookie classic. You can find us on Twitter (@OnFrozenPond) or become a friend of the fan page at Facebook (On Frozen Pond) or just come on up to the Breakaway Bar & Grill atop the Iceology.com Plex and say hello....

 

Fun with Freshmen: Panthers vs. Predators Rookie Game 1 (Kinda LIVE!)

RookiesWelcome to the Coral Springs IcePlex where the Florida Panthers welcome the Nashville Predators in a rookie game.

The two teams meet up again Thursday at noon. Admission appears to be free.

Marc Cheverie is in net.

-- Nashville takes a 1-0 lead on the first shot of the night, Ryan Ellis whipping a shot from 30 feet away past 'Sawgrass' Chevy.

Just a few moments later, the first fight broke out, with Florida's Chris Clackson battling it out with Ryan Flynn. The two may have a history: Clackson played at Western Michigan last season, Flynn was a Golden Gopher.

More as the night goes on.

Rookie Game v Preds: Party On


Rookie Game v Preds: Party On

Rookie Game v Preds: Party On

Rookie Game v Preds: Party On

Rookie Game v Preds: Party On

Rookie Game v Preds: Party On

OnFrozenFilm: Just a Little Hockey Practice

OnFrozenFilm Returns: Chuck Weber, Rochester Americans Coach

More from Day 4

A little news from rookie camp today. The main news is that Jacob Markstrom practiced and is likely to start tomorrow's noon game against the Preds. He will not play tonight.

Will have more stuff tonight from atop the Coral Springs IcePlex as well as the grand triumphant return of On Frozen Film AKA The Cat Cam.

You Rochester fans might want to tune in. Got something special just for you!

Scott Clemmensen's New Masks

Uploaded these from my iPhone; seems to have cut off the picture. To see the full pic, click on each one.

Scott Clemmensen's New Masks

Scott Clemmensen's New Masks

Scott Clemmensen's New Masks

Scott Clemmensen's New Masks

Scott Clemmensen's New Masks

Camp Day 4


Camp Day 4

Camp Day 4

Camp Day 4

Camp Day 4

September 14, 2010

Miami Herald Interactive Hockey: Facebook, Twitter and iPhone App

PanthersscreenWith the hockey season underway, I figured I would re-introduce some of the things we have running which should make it easier for you to follow your Florida Panthers.

First off, we have this little blog. You know this because you are reading it. I will likely put up at least one post each day throughout the season -- but it will likely be more.

For instance, during the preseason, I will post something regarding what happened in camp that day and also offer a LIVE! blog during the exhibition games (save for the one in Montreal since I will be back in South Florida for that. Sorry JM.)

For those who like their news when it breaks, follow me on Twitter. I can send a text message to that and it pops up immediately.

Follow: @OnFrozenPond

You can also follow us on Facebook. Become our friend, won't you? That fan page is called, funny enough, On Frozen Pond.

And we have a new iPhone/iTouch app this year. It's kind of like last year's but there is much more interactive stuff to do. There's a message section and you can put up your own photos. It's neat-o! And since I now have an iPhone, you have instant (well, kinda) access to me.

It's a free app, but you have to pay a subscription to it after the first 30 days. Yes, I have to pay it too.

Here is the description and the website. See you tomorrow, eh.

LINK

Attention Cats fans, this is the MUST-HAVE application for you!

Free for the first 30 days of access; subscriptions are available for 1, 3, 6 or 12 months.

Follow the NHL’s Florida Panthers with exclusive 24/7 coverage from The Miami Herald and around the web.

Features include:

- Miami Herald beat reporter George Richard's blog, "On Frozen Pond." Read and comment on exclusive reports, analysis, insider information and opinion

- Exclusive daily beat coverage of the team from Miami Herald Sports reporters

- Photo reports: Relive the game action with in-depth photo galleries and exclusive Miami Herald photo coverage

- Fan chat: Voice your opinion and connect with other Panthers fans in an exclusive chat room available only on the application

- Panthers daily schedule, NHL scores and standings

- Team and NHL leaders

- Panthers roster

- Video: Watch the Panthers' YouTube videos directly from the application

- Wikipedia: Tons of information on the team and its history accessed via Wikipedia

- Get news, view headlines and read stories from around the web, including FloridaPanthers.com, NHL.com, Yahoo!'s Puck Daddy Blog, Kuklas Korner, Bleacher Report, cBS Sports, ESPN, Fox Sports, Sun-Sentinel, Topix.com and Yahoo! Sports

* Not associated with the Florida Panthers, Sunrise Sports & Entertainment, or NHL Enterprises, L.P.

Erik Gudbranson: Making a Name ... Jacob Markstrom Misses Day 3 ... Baby Panthers vs. Nashville on Wednesday

Gudbranson One reason the Panthers open assistant coaching job was appealing this summer was the young defensemen the new coach would help mold.

“They are the future of the franchise,’’ Gord Murphy said soon after taking the job in July.

That future is on display in Coral Springs this week, with one of those top young d-men front and center.

Erik Gudbranson, the Panthers top pick at the June Draft, has looked good in his three days of rookie camp practice and knows Murphy – the Panthers defensive assistant – isn’t the only one paying attention.

Gudbranson says his goal in the coming weeks is to play so well the Panthers have no choice but to sign him and put him on the opening day roster.

“I expected this to be difficult and I can’t sell it short. It’s been a grind,’’ said Gudbranson, 18, the third overall pick of the 2010 Draft behind ‘can’t miss’ prospects Taylor Hall (Edmonton) and Tyler Seguin (Boston).

“The Panthers wouldn’t have drafted me if I wasn’t in their plans. I came here on par with everyone else, just trying to make the team. My time will come. Hopefully I make it this year. I’m going to work hard to impress my coaches and our GM.’’

When the Panthers took Gudbranson, the talk was how he was expected to challenge for a roster spot. At the time, the Panthers blue line wasn’t very deep and with Dmitry Kulikov making such an impact after being taken 14th overall in 2009, things looked good for the 6-foot-3, 200-pound Gudbranson.

General manager Dale Tallon threw a curve at Gudbranson’s chances to make the team this year as the summer went along. When Panthers camp officially opens Saturday, there will be seven NHL defensemen – not counting Keaton Ellerby, who played in 22 games last year -- vying for playing time.

The Panthers will likely carry seven into the season, playing six each night.

Murphy, an original member of the Panthers who played in Florida from 1993-99, says Gudbranson shouldn’t worry about “trying to hit a home run” on each shift and play within himself. The Panthers are excited to have him in the fold; if he deserves a chance to play, he will.

“I see a big, strong, athletic, competitive, mean defenseman in him,’’ said Murphy, who spent the past seven seasons as an assistant in Columbus. “He has a lot of qualities that would lead you to believe he’ll be a good defenseman in the league. He shouldn’t look too far down the road, just stay in the moment. It’s going to come. He has the ability. We’re going to be smart with him and develop him the right way.’’

Gudbranson is expected to see plenty of playing time in the two rookie games held Wednesday and Thursday against visiting Nashville in Coral Springs as well as preseason games which begin Tuesday in Carolina. Gudbranson is scheduled to start Wednesday’s game alongside Colby Robak.

“I think he’s looked good. He’s getting better and better,’’ said coach Pete DeBoer, who begins his third season. “Him and Robak were outstanding today. They’re like men even though they’re really just teenagers. I’m excited to see what they do against the big guys in the big camp.’’

Gudbranson could start the season with the Panthers and be sent back to his junior team in Kingston, Ontario. Florida can play him in nine games and then send him back without burning his first contract year.

For now, however, Gudbranson says he’s focusing on getting better. The Panthers have a solid core of veterans who will help him along as he goes through his first big league camp. That can be daunting for a young player, although Gudbranson’s maturity has impressed.

“He’s from my hometown and I’ve heard nothing but good things about him,’’ said assistant captain Bryan Allen. “There’s pressure on him and that’s not a bad thing. But you don’t want it to seem like it’s now-or-never. I think you give him the opportunity. The door isn’t closed to anyone, but you can’t force anything.’’

Markstrom MARKSTROM OUT

Heralded rookie Jacob Markstrom was not on the ice Tuesday morning and didn’t participate in the rookie scrimmage due to an undisclosed injury DeBoer described as minor.

Markstrom is not on the initial lineup for Wednesday’s game against the Predators. Marc Cheverie, who played at the University of Denver last season, will start in net for Florida.

Here are the lines for the Panthers in the opening game against the Preds:

Forwards

Jenks-Timmins-Dadonov

McFarland-Howden-Birkholz

Wilson-Clackson-Berger

Selleck

Defense

Robak-Gudbranson

Comrie-Petrovic

Fast-Baier

Goalies

Cheverie; Foster

Calender WEDNESDAY'S SCHEDULE

The rookies will be back on the ice at 9 a.m. at the IcePlex, scheduled to go until 11. Then the veterans take over, with -- if they do it like today -- two sessions. The first group today went for about an hour and consisted of most of the regulars. The second group had a few regulars (David Booth, Rostislav Olesz, Michael Frolik) but I don't know how they decide who goes when.

THE ROOKIE GAMES

Preds -- What: Panthers Rookies vs. Nashville

-- When: Wednesday, 7 p.m.; Thursday, noon.

-- Where: Coral Springs IcePlex, 3299 Sportsplex Drive, Coral Springs (1 mile east of Sawgrass Expressway on Sample Road)

-- Admission: $5 donation to Panthers Community Foundation.

Camp Day 3


Camp Day 3

Camp Day 3

Camp Day 3

Camp Day 3

September 12, 2010

Fan Fotos: Day 1

Since I'm finishing up vacation, Dr. Amir Cukierman filled in for me and took some iPhone photos for me. Here are some of them.

Also, on our new and improved iPhone app, you can upload your own photos and talk about whatever is on your mind. One caveat on the photos: Keep them clean. Unless they are good. Just kidding. Keep 'em clean.

Thanks Doc.

Fan Fotos: Day 1

Fan Fotos: Day 1

Fan Fotos: Day 1

Fan Fotos: Day 1

Rookie Daze


The Panthers rookies are on the ice Sunday morning as the 2010-11 season officially kicks off.

After practice today, all rookies will be available for autographs and whatever witty banter you toss their way.

I'm still in Ohio but will be there Tuesday. Our daily reports will begin then and go until they are done -- in June, perhaps?

OK, here's the sked for the next few weeks. All practices at Incredible IcePlex unless noted:

Sept. 12-14 – Rookie camp: daily practices: 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. (on-ice followed by off-ice workouts)

Sept. 15 – Florida rookies vs. Nashville rookies: 7 p.m.

Sept. 16 – Florida rookies vs. Nashville rookies: Noon

MAIN CAMP

Sept. 18 – Practice: 9 a.m. – Noon.

Sept. 19 – Practice: 1 p.m – 1:45 p.m.; Intra-Squad scrimmage: 2 p.m.

Sept. 20 – Practice: 9 a.m. – Noon

Sept. 21 – Morning Skate: 11 a.m. – 11:45 a.m at IcePlex.; Depart for Carolina: 1:30 p.m.; Game in Carolina: 7 p.m.


Rookie Daze

September 09, 2010

Panthers Tickets on Sale Friday: Changes Coming to Home Games ... Bill Murphy OUT (Kinda)

ScalperThe Panthers announced on Thursday that single game tickets to the 2010-11 season will go on sale Friday at noon.

And they are quick to point out that "fans are encouraged to purchase tickets now,'' what with the new dynamic pricing structure and all.

Remember, a few months ago the team announced that not only was it putting tarps on the top six rows of the upper deck to reduce capacity to just 17,040, but that -- like airlines -- prices of tickets would fluctuate depending on the demand to various games.

Let the Panthers do the explaining (because I don't feel like getting into it:

Under the dynamic pricing structure, all Panthers games will be classified in one of four categories: bronze (least expensive and below 2009-10 prices), silver, gold and platinum (most expensive).

However, as demand increases for specific games, its pricing structure will increase as well, allowing games that begin under the bronze, silver or gold classification to move all the way up to platinum should sales demand it.

Pricing structure classification cannot decrease, so to get the best value fans are encouraged to purchase season ticket packages now, or buy single game tickets as soon as they are released tomorrow.

So there you are. Do with this information what you will. I'm just relaying the message.

-- The team also announced that it's going to have a number of different promotions, from everything to Bill Torrey Tribute Night (Oct. 23 vs. the Islanders) to Power 96 after parties and postgame concerts on Friday nights.

The Panthers will also have a 'Thanksgiving Feast' for the three Thanksgiving games (duh), Holiday Spectacular (Dec. 27 vs. Boston and Dec. 31 vs. Montreal), Family Fitness Day (March 6 vs. Washington), Throwback Nights (red jerseys?) and Fan Appreciation Night (April 9 vs. Washington).

-- Other big changes coming including a total revamping of the in-game experience with popular public address announcer Bill Murphy being reassigned. From how I hear it, he's going to roam around and do Murphyrandi stuff on the video board during timeouts and such.

Randi Ross is out as the in-house personality as well, but there will be another young lady taking her place. The music of Brian Lenihan has also been scrapped as he has been replaced too. 

So who's the new voice of the Panthers in Sunrise?

South Florida radio personality Mitch Phillips -- the voice of the 'Have you been drinking tonight, sir?' DUI ads that run just about every three seconds.

You can also hear Phillips' voice on the new '72 Dolphins radio spots airing on 560-WQAM.

Anyway, I know some of you all could care less about this stuff -- but there are some of you who do.

So there you go.

Thoughts?

September 08, 2010

Indy Car leaving Homestead-Miami after 2010 Race

Homesteadindy The Indy Car Series will end its 2010 season at Homestead-Miami Speedway, crowning its season champion in South Florida for the second straight year.

After that, however, the future of open wheel racing in South Florida looks murky.

On Thursday, Indy Racing League CEO Randy Bernard said in an e-mail that Homestead would not have an IRL race in 2011 – much less the league's championship.

"While Homestead has been a good track, currently our objectives are not aligned,'' Bernard wrote. “IndyCar must do what is in the best of interest of IndyCar going forward, and we are confident the partners and promoters we have will work very hard to help advance the series. We are confident fans will continue to enjoy the IZOD IndyCar Series championship and its new home.”

Homestead appears to fall victim to not only poor attendance, but a divorce between rival racing factions. The Homestead track is one of four Indy Car circuits owned by NASCAR-run International Speedway Corp.

Kansas, Chicago and Watson Glen are the other ISC tracks that ran Indy Car races in 2010 that aren't expected to host races when the 2011 schedule is announced on Friday.

According to the Indianapolis Star, the Milwaukee Mile will return to the schedule. Indy Car also plans on running a road race in downtown Baltimore for the first time next season. There have been rumors circulating for the past few months that the two racing leagues weren't going to be working together. Some within Indy Car feel the NASCAR-owned tracks don't do much by way of local promotion for their races.

In May, however, Daytona International Speedway shipped the Harley J. Earl Trophy to Indianapolis as Chip Ganassi was attempting to become the first team owner to win both the Daytona 500 and Indy 500 in the same year. After Ganassi's Dario Franchitti won the Indy 500, both he and Ganassi posed with both the Earl and the Borg-Warner trophies the following day on the front straightaway at Indy.

It was the first time the Earl Trophy had left Daytona Beach.

"IndyCar is entering a new exciting era,'' Bernard wrote. “Fortunately this brings opportunities with new venues and promoters that are fully aligned with our strategy moving forward. We have chosen to move away from Homestead. We are committed to working with our partners and listening to our fans on what they want.

“We want to partner with tracks that are willing to promote and market IndyCar as we grow our sport.''

Bruton Smith, who owns Speedway Motorsports has been very critical of NASCAR and its placement of its championship weekend in Homestead, will host at least six Indy Car races at his tracks around the country.

Smith owns such notable tracks as Charlotte, Texas, Las Vegas, Atlanta and Bristol.

Smith recently said South Florida had no business hosting the NASCAR and Indy Car final weekends, calling the region “north Cuba,'' trying to sway NASCAR to move its championship race to his track in Vegas.

A spokesman from Homestead Miami refused to comment saying the track would respect the Indy Car process and wait until the full schedule is released.

Helio Castroneves, one of many Indy Car drivers who make South Florida their home, also declined comment until Friday.

"To me, it's a shame,'' Tony Kanaan, who lives in Miami, told the Associated Press. “It's like losing my home race. It's the race all my friends get to see. It's the only race a lot of people here can afford to go see. It's the only opportunity I have to invite people to watch.''

South Florida has had a long relationship with open wheel racing, dating back to CART races held on the streets of downtown Miami. When Homestead Miami was completed in 1995, CART races moved there. In 2001, the IRL moved to Homestead and that race served as the IRL season opener through 2008. The struggling CART series also ran street races in Miami after Homestead had been built.

In 2009, the IRL moved Homestead from first on the schedule until last. That gave Homestead the distinction of being the first track to crown all of North America's major racing champions.

The 2010 Miami Indy 300 will be held in Homestead on Oct. 2.

Homestead began hosting NASCAR's championship weekend in 2003, with the truck series as well as the two stock car champions being crowned. NASCAR recently announced that Homestead would serve as the championship site again in 2011.

-- For those hockey folks still reading, the Panthers are expected to take part in some team-building exercises at the track when Indy Car makes a visit toward the end of training camp.


September 07, 2010

Panthers Training Camp Information

Deboer Hockey season is almost here.

This is the Panthers upcoming schedules:

ROOKIE CAMP, Sept. 12-16; Coral Springs Training Facility

-- First practice, Sunday Sept. 12 at 9 a.m. (autograph session to follow)

-- Rookie games vs. Nashville: Weds., Sept. 15 at 7 p.m.; Thurs., Sept. 16 at noon

-- Panthers game-used equipment sale on Sept. 15 from 6-10 p.m.

TRAINING CAMP, Sept. 18-21; Coral Springs

-- Free open viewing of Panthers first training practice (Saturday: 9 a.m-noon)

-- Panthers Party Patrol set-up outside (Saturday: 8:30-noon; Sunday: Noon – 4 p.m.)

-- Ice Dancers/Alumni car wash (Saturday, 8-noon)

-- WQAM remote (Saturday, 10-1 in Sports Bar)

-- Equipment sale (Saturday, noon-4)

-- Coaching clinic for youth coaches (Sunday, 9-11)

-- Hockey Day in South Florida White-Blue Scrimmage (Sunday, 2 p.m.-3:15)

-- Autograph session to follow

-- Tuesday, Sept. 21: Panthers at Carolina Hurricanes, 7 p.m.; morning skate held in Coral Springs