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Erik Gudbranson Doesn't Sign, Returns to Juniors ... Grabner Grabbed By Islanders ... Cats Raise $165K For Cancer

Erikguddraft2Defenseman Erik Gudbranson made the Panthers out of training camp, but he will not be playing for them this season.

Gudbranson, the third overall pick in the 2010 NHL Draft, did not come to a contractual agreement with the Panthers by Tuesday's 5 p.m. deadline and will be returned to his Canadian junior team in Kingston, Ontario.

Gudbranson practiced with the Panthers Tuesday morning in Coral Springs.

“Sometimes you just can't get a deal done,'' assistant general manager Mike Santos said Tuesday afternoon. “They worked at it and we worked at it. It's not over for us. We still have his rights for two more years. I'm confident we'll have him signed down the road.''

The key hangup for getting a deal done was the amount of money the Panthers were willing to pay Gudbranson in performance bonuses. As a young player signing an entry level contract, Gudbranson's base pay and signing bonus weren't going to be extravagant numbers. The performance bonuses, however, could bring his salary into the millions.

Gudbranson, who is now cleared to play for Team Canada at the world juniors later this year in Buffalo, was expected to start the season with the Panthers and then possibly be returned to Kingston.

The Panthers could have played him in nine games and then sent him back without the first year of his entry level deal being burned off. Last year, Dmitry Kulikov played the entire season after being drafted the summer before. As a result, Kulikov can theoretically become a free agent at the age of 25.

“If he was signed, I think he would have played in some games,'' Santos said. “I thought he played well in the preseason. He's only 18 years old. He's going to get better.''

General manager Dale Tallon said Tuesday the Panthers would likely start the season with the league-maximum of 23 players on the roster. That was with the thought Gudbranson would be on the team.

With the loss of Gudbranson, the Panthers have 24 players on the roster and would not have to cut anyone right now if Byron Bitz is placed on the injured reserve.

Keaton Ellerby could also be sent back to the minors as the Panthers are currently carrying eight defensemen. The Panthers have to have their roster set by 3 p.m. on Wednesday.

-- Winger Michael Grabner, who was waived by the Panthers on Sunday, was claimed as expected. He was awarded to the New York Islanders on Tuesday.

Grabner was thought to be a key part of the draft day trade with Vancouver in which the Panthers sent defenseman Keith Ballard and winger Victor Oreskovich to the Canucks in exchange for Grabner, winger Steve Bernier and the 25th overall pick in the draft.

“I was not surprised [Grabner was claimed], but he didn't have a very good camp and didn't earn a spot on our roster,'' Tallon said.

“I was disappointed with his play. He has a lot of potential but you have to earn your playing time here. Reputation doesn't mean anything to me. It gives an opportunity to someone else. We liked his speed and his skill. He didn't show any skill in camp. He can skate and has skill but didn't show any of it.''

-- A good number of injured Panthers returned to practice on Tuesday after missing time with nagging injuries. Defenseman Dmitry Kulikov, who has been nursing a bone bruise in his foot since taking a puck off his skate in a scrimmage on Sept. 18, returned as did winger Chris Higgins (groin).

Ellerby (shoulder) also practiced for a second straight day.

Bitz (lower body) and Marty Reasoner (knee) were both out.

-- The Panthers raised $165,000 for pediatric cancer at the team's annual kickoff luncheon on Monday in Coral Springs.



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Dale Tallon (Chicago) has officially joined Bryan Murray (Detroit) and Bill Torrey (NYI) as Architects of Stanley Cup Winning Teams who became idiots upon assuming the Post of Florida Panther General Manager!!!

i have reached a new low....

Glad to see Tallon did not try to keep Grabner just to keep his public perception in the good books. He kept his focus on hockey and what the best move would be for the team. Grabner looked awful so bad in fact he may not have even got playing time in Rochester. Sorry it did not work out but glad he is gone.

“I was disappointed with his play. He has a lot of potential but you have to earn your playing time here. Reputation doesn't mean anything to me."

So the message being sent here is what? If you have a reputation but don't produce you get waived but if you have a reputation and produce you don't get signed?

Wow. I was not expecting Guds to go unsigned. I hope the kid isn't bitter about this for the year.

As for waiving Grabner, I have to say I don't care. If he didn't make the team, he's gotta go. To hell with what public perception is (whether Tallon got fooled in the Ballard deal) if the guy doesn't play as well as the people in front of him, he doesn't get the spot. This is how it should be.

...this is getting weird.

This is a change in recent Panthers history and I for one like it. Past Panther GM's have caved to agents who represent stars (rookies and vets alike) and have been lambasted by fans for doing so. The Dale Tallon era is here and that crap just won't fly anymore . . . at least that's what I gather from this.

I hope this is a firm sign that we finally have a real GM. One that says what he means and means what he says and ain't going to take crap from any player and/or agent, no matter what the nay sayers think.

I like Erik Gudbranson and don't question his play. That said, if he's bitter, he better be bitter with his agent and not Tallon. Sometimes you have to give up a little cash to get the bigger payoff later. It's the same reason why some players will take less money to play for a winner rather than take the big bucks and play golf in April.

Same goes for Tallon. By doing this he's showing players throughout the hockey world that in spite of the fact that the Panthers suck now, he's still not going to be pressured into a bad deal for the team. Meaning, if and when the Panthers don't suck and players are wanting to come here, they (and their agents) will know better than to try to make absurd demands.

Im happy with the result, Gudbranson does not need to be around the old laziness of this team.
I see a captain in Gudbranson, maybe he will be captain as early as next year since Mcabe will probably be gone.
Weiss and Booth have never been able to really define themselves as leaders of this team, which is why Mcabe has been it.

Captain next year? After playing in juniors? Come on even Sid the kid had to wait.

Your forgetting the major dump of veterans next season....Stillman, McCabe, Allen, Dvorak.....Who is going to be left. We are talking about a major salary dump of epic proportions at the trade deadline and end of season by the Panthers.

Also, Weiss and Booth are probably going to avoid the "C" due to the previous well documented problems of Mr. Jokinen.

Georgia Panther,

by georgia, i think you've got Tallon figured out!!!

This guy gets way too much credit for "building" the hawks cup winning team...

His teams finished out of the playoffs for 9 out of 10 years, yet despite the perennial high draft picks, and throwing tons of money at UFAs, his teams still struggled. It was only until Scotty Bowman arrived & installed a bona fide nhl head coach that the team's fortunes changed.

Tallon is clueless.

The incompetence continues!One thing we needed is a player with speed now the islanders have him.Letting Gudbranson go back to juniors will be a HUGE mistake.This was motivated by money which means Yormark is still running things.What a joke the Panthers are-Vancouver got the best of the deal for the 2nd time in recent history

Too bad the Isles picked up Grabner. I'll say it again, trading Ballard was a salary dump, and it was a salary dump of a decent player! What a shame!

Ballard was a salary dump and not signing Gudbranson was about money only.

Gudbranson is better off in juniors this year as it gives Tallon a chance to get rid of the rest of the country club before bringing in Gudbranson.

This is another clue that Yormark will pull the rug out from under Tallon when the time comes to put up.

Tampa will be the better franchise as they have the better owner who hired the better people under him.

Yzerman has brought credibility to Tampa, the panthers still don't have credibility.

If reputation means nothing, then how can Reinprecht still be on the team?

He hasn't done anything right since 2009 and probably won't for this season either...

I'm not in the Tallon column yet. Please can anyone point out a good move yet? Any GM could have come in here and dumped Horton and Ballard and probably got more. I agree with Season Ticket holder except, Gudbranson would have been better off here learning from vets. Going back to the juniors to pound 16 and 17 year olds MAY even regress him. Kulikov came in here last year and made lots of mistakes early, but, vastly improved as the season went on. Even though Gudbranson is not the same type of defenseman as Kulikov you could expect the same type of improvement as the season went on. Gee, your 3rd overall pick wanted some incentives. Isn't this guy supposed to be eventually the franchise guy? Ownership continues to show stupidity and cheapness.


I would agree with you except for one thing, which vet on the panthers would he learn from?

Watch Grabner become the next former Panther to burn us down the road. Tallon traded for the guy, so Tallon screwed up in his scouting this kid, who was touted as having "top 6 forward" potential. LOL to that now. This one is on management for not doing their homework.

Also, Grabner came to a new team, with a new coach, new system, etc., and he gets 6 pre-season games to show his skills? The Panthers played 1 game with their opening night roster players, so why not give the kid a chance to work his way in? Frolik had a slow start in his rookie year (granted he was and is younger than Grabner), but it took him some time to adjust and he potted 21 goals. Grabner had a hat-trick last year during his 20-game callup for the 'Nucks, so the kid obviously has some skill. I'm just not sure why the organization traded for the kid, then gave up on him so quickly.

Olesz stinks, but oh that's right, accountability and earning a roster spot ends when you have a 3 million a year contract. LOL Rhino went from our 2nd line center to the 4th line in camp, yet he's earned a spot? I think it's ridiculous that Guds earned his spot and didn't get signed over the bonus incentives. Maybe the Panthers can hold a fundraiser to sign their 1st round picks next year?

This organization is a joke. Gudbranson was the one reason to watch this team. Now I don't know if I have the stomach for this group.

Great job giving up on Grabner!!!

Organization is a FAILURE!

So now Paetsch is on waivers?

What is going on up there/ Does ANYBODY know?

...SOOOoooOOOoo....anyone watch the Heat game last night??;)

Just saw LeBrun's tweet that Paesch was waived. Hmm. I guess this is a too-many-bodies problem.

Season tix since
Allen and McCabe would probably be the only two on the Panthers, but, learning from NHL coaches, plus watching really good defensmen from other teams he would learn more in florida than back against younger players

watch Grabner score 30

Paesch had the markings of another Koistenen. Good move by Tallon.

I am hoping that this is leaves room for McArdle.

...and now Peters to the Canucks for Hordichuk?!?!

I liked Hordy. Glad to see him back. But still....whaaat?

Thought Hordichuck retired--nonetheless, at LEAST we have someone who'll QUICKLY drop gloves (and win a fight!).

Ballard was mostly a salary dump. He's a respectable dman and some teams can afford to overpay a few guys when they bring in revenue and are close to being contenders, but the Panthers can't afford it... So it's a numbers game and Tallon made the right move getting rid of a LENGTHY overpayement in Ballard... Nice move.. The Panthers didn't need Bernier, but you have to make the numbers work out.. Grabner was probably overrated--great skater but not an overall player..

No reason to knock Tallon here.. I'm sure if he could've found someone to take Olesz, Rhino, Stillman, Allen, etc, he would've done so... With Guds, somewhat unfortunate but I think it's for the best... Send a message not to be desperate. Maybe they give in if that's possible last minute... But either way, I like what I hear about Weaver, Garrison.. Let's hope McCabe, Wideman, Allen can come through..

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