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Florida Panthers Notes: David Booth has Minor Hip Injury; Dvorak, Stillman and Olesz Return ... Thomas Clears Waivers

Laptopice Just a couple of quick notes as I have fired up the laptop here in Coral Springs:

The Panthers will have three of their injured forwards back in the lineup Friday against the Canadiens, but could be without one of their biggest offensive guns.

David Booth suffered what is deemed to be a minor hip injury during Monday's loss to the Bruins. Booth was crunched into the back boards and limped off the ice, only to return for his last shift of the third and two shifts of overtime. Booth, who was not one of Florida's top three choices to compete in the shootout, did not practice the past two days.

“The trainers don't think it's serious and it's better [Wednesday] than it was [Tuesday],'' coach Pete DeBoer said. “It's more maintenance days than anything. I would expect by Friday that if he keeps progressing, he'll be fine.''

The Panthers made another roster move on Wednesday, sending forward Bill Thomas back to Florida's AHL affiliate in Rochester, N.Y., to help make room for the three returning wingers.

Thomas was placed on waivers on Tuesday and cleared Wednesday. Like Keaton Ellerby, he flew to Cleveland for Wednesday night's game at Quicken Loans Arena.

Radek Dvorak (shoulder) and Cory Stillman (back) found themselves back on a familiar third line alongside center Marty Reasoner on Wednesday; Rostislav Olesz (finger) was on a fourth line with center Shawn Matthias and Steve Bernier.

The Dvorak-Reasoner-Stillman trio had a lot of success earlier in the season before the injuries started to mount.

In the first 18 games – when the three were almost exclusively together during 5-on-5 play – they combined for 11 goals and 15 assists. Dvorak has been out since Dec. 4 after injuring his shoulder against Phoenix. Stillman has been out since Nov. 27.

“They are really experienced players and we all compliment each other,'' Reasoner said. “We have familiarity so it'll be fun to be back. We want to make a difference in games like we did earlier in the season.''

Said DeBoer: “They were our best line and set the tone whether it was after goals or late in the game. We need an identity line like that. We've missed them.''

With Thomas back to Rochester, Florida wouldn't have to make a roster move even if Booth plays Friday.

-- The Panthers are moving around the radio dial this weekend because of conflicts with the University of Miami football and basketball. Friday's game against the Canadiens will start at 5 p.m. on WFTL 640-AM; Sunday's 5 p.m. game against the Rangers will be on WKIS 99.9-FM.

Radio voice Randy Moller said Sunday's game is one of three this season to be broadcast on the country station and it is believed this is the first time the team has ventured over to the FM side of the radio spectrum.

-- The Panthers continued their work in the community on Wednesday as Chris Higgins visited patients at the Chris Evert Children’s Hospital in Fort Lauderdale during the afternoon.

Three others were to host a holiday dinner in Coral Springs for more than 50 underprivileged children.

“Everyone remembers being that age. I have a little brother who is 16, so it wasn't that long ago that he was that age running around,'' said Higgins, who has no children of his own. “These are the events you want to sign up for and look forward to doing. They're enjoyable. Kids are a lot of fun. They're always smiling and you never know what's going to come out of their mouth.''

Jason Garrison, Rostislav Olesz and Stephen Weiss were scheduled to be on hand at the team's training facility for a meal as well as an open skate. The children from SOS Children’s Villages and Family Central of Broward County were to join the Panthers, as well as the team's junior hockey squad, on the ice.


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I hope we are able to keep Thomas. He has been an excellent call up. It would not surprise me if one of the teams he scored against and beat in the corners picked him up.

Why, oh why, did they not waive Olesz? 99.99% chance he would not have been claimed and would have been getting top line minutes in Rochester in the slight chance he could prove he could become a consistent goal scorer while Thomas could have remained here as a useful performer on the third and fourth lines?

I said the same thing about Olesz in an earlier post today (sorry, I'm too lazy to retype & too computer dumb to know how to repost-just go to the immediate prior story & check out the posts).

Olesz will clear waivers since no one will want to pick up his salary. Maybe if he plays on a top line against AHL opposition he'll score some goals & rate some interest. If we try to bring him back through reentry waivers someone will hopefully claim him & we'll only be stuck for 1/2 of his salary (I don't know about the cap hit).

Olesz won't accomplish anything on the 4th line. He's not a grinding type of player, & he isn't going to drop his gloves. He'll probably take a hard check & then be out for 1-2 months, since he seems to take so long to recover from any injury that he sustains. It must be nice to have a long term, guaranteed contract.

IM so sick of all this losing.. Make a move owners !!! no smart people pay to go to your games... the amount of free tickets is abundant.. Make a trade for some decent players already.. We are the clippers of the NHL.. but even they have blake griffin.. lol.

I guess this Olesz bashing is just an old habit since he's been one of our best forwards this season. Do you guys even watch the games?

thomas cleared waivers wednesday

Rich, I am glad someone besides me actually watches the games.

I havent been on the boards in awhile, but I wanted to say that it was nice to see the BAC filled to capacity against the Bruins. Nice crowd, it was louder than a dolphins game.

Well, it looks like the Panthers are doing what I expected them to do. The Panthers get on some nice win streaks in December...And since that happened they then send almost all the kids back that helped them get there. I would have let Dvorak, Stillman, and Oslez sit for a few games until someone deserved a benching.

As always, the reason for sending the kids back was.....we are buidling for the future, etc. etc. etc. I am sure that will be the same reason when Dadonov is sent packing in two games after being scratched.

P.S. Olesz was creating the most scoring chances on the team before being injured. He doesn't deserve the bashing. If you want to bash someone: Booth -6; Wideman -13

Olesz is an excellent defensive forward.He just does not possess any offensive skill.He really does not deserve the bashing.Fault Martin for overpaying him as well as Reinprecht.Olesz is a big part of the defensive puzzle.Bash Reinprecht who contributes very little defensively.

Olesz has 2 goals in 17 games (& one of those was a fluke). He's not being paid 3 mil/yr to be a defensive specialist. Remember, Olesz was supposed to be the next Jagr. The last thing that the Panthers (who are the definition of Offensively Challanged) need is a 4th line defensive specialist who will get 12 TOI against the other teams plow horses. Maybe some playoff bound team would look at him as one of their missing pieces, & would pick him up for 1/2 price on reentry waivers.

I don't blame Olesz for taking the money, but it's obvious after 6 years that he doesn't have a future with the Panthers.


I watch the games, have watched them since 1993 and I can tell you that Olesz is the biggest waste on this team. I watched him, 17 games 9 points, ehh its ok, he's a bum. He won't have more than 20 points this season because he's extremely inconsistent. JM gives the BUM a huge contract after accomplishing NOTHING.

Panthers organization is to blame. And Thomas gets sent down because this 7th overall BUST is back in the lineup. I hate this move, Olesz should have been traded or let go 3 years ago.

and if Dadonov was sent down for Olesz, that would have been the worst move they have made since not trading Bouwmeester at the trade deadline.

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