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Dale Tallon Tears Down Florida Panthers Roster, Looks forward with Draft Picks and Plenty of Cash

If the Panthers blueprint for the future includes tearing things down before they can be built back up, general manager Dale Tallon just drove a bulldozer loaded with nitroglycerin through his team’s roster.

The NHL's trade deadline passed Monday afternoon and the Panthers, as expected, made plenty of changes. After trading Bryan McCabe and Cory Stillman in the days leading into Monday's trade deadline, Florida did more than just redecorate as the deadline approached.

Gone: Dennis Wideman, Radek Dvorak, Chris Higgins and Bryan Allen.

Still here: Tomas Vokoun, Stephen Weiss, Marty Reasoner and David Booth.

“We stuck to our plan. These were very hard decisions to make,'' Tallon said soon after the deadline ended, his Blackberry still ringing. “We kept our core together and kept our eye on the ball as far as the future is considered. We added picks, prospects and got younger. We really solidified our future.''

Florida’s moves gives Tallon a ton of money next year as the team has just $18 million in committed salaries. If the salary cap remains close to this year's ceiling of $58 million, that means Florida will have $40 million to remake things – if Tallon is allowed to spend close to the cap.

“We have lots of money to spend,'' Tallon said, eyes twinkling at the thought. “We have a lot freed up for next year. .-.-. We're going to be very aggressive on the free agent market. It's going to be hot-and-heavy come July.''

All told, the moves Florida started making on Thursday saved this year's bottom line close to $4 million in owed salaries. Nicklas Bergfors, who will likely be inserted into Florida's top lines, will make just $225,000 the rest of the season. Bergfors, as well as some of the other prospects picked up, will have a chance to make next year's roster.

Tallon said the Panthers direction is clear: Build through the draft, develop the organization's prospects and add free agents to compliment things.

Florida's moves started Thursday when Stillman went back to Carolina for a fifth round pick and Ryan Carter. On Saturday, Bryan McCabe went to the Rangers for a third round pick and Tim Kennedy.

On Monday, the Panthers and Thrashers kicked off deadline day with Florida getting the 23-year-old Bergfors (whose 29 points makes him Florida's fourth-leading scorer) and a veteran minor leaguer for Dvorak – the Panthers' all-time leader in games played for the franchise.

“When you see Stillman and McCabe go, you think to yourself 'I'm the next guy','' said Dvorak, drafted by the Panthers in 1995 and one of the few remaining members of the 1996 Eastern Conference champions still playing.

“It's something you have to live with and you move on. Atlanta is trying to make it to the playoffs. It's the business of hockey. Nothing you can do about it.''

The Panthers then made the second trade of the morning, sending Wideman – Florida's second leading scorer – to the Capitals for a third round pick and a big center prospect who is developing in the Single-A ECHL.

“I enjoyed everything here, was excited about moving forward but this is the nature of the business,'' Wideman said. “They are rebuilding here and Dale has a plan. They're going really young. That's the way it works.''

Florida then made a pure money move by sending Allen to the Hurricanes for winger Sergei Samsonov. Allen is signed through next season for $2.9 million; Samsonov makes comparable money, although his contract expires and he isn't expected to be invited back.

The fourth and final trade of the day surfaced after the deadline passed. Higgins, who has 11 goals but broke his thumb last week, was shipped to Vancouver for another third round pick and another prospect.

Florida now has 10 selections in next year's draft – including eight in the top 90. Florida did give up a fifth round pick in the Dvorak deal, but got more back as the day went on. Tallon says he's not through stockpiling draft picks.

“The future is most important for us. Draft picks, getting younger and better and moving forward, doing what we did in the past,'' said Tallon, who built the defending Cup champion Blackhawks.

The Panthers may be looking toward their future, but the present doesn't look too appealing. Before making roster moves Monday afternoon, the Panthers had five defensemen and holes on their forward lines.

Weiss, who could replace McCabe as the team's captain as early as this week, strongly denied Monday's early reports that he would only waive his no-movement clause to Toronto. Weiss has seen many a trade day go like Monday's and can only look on in envy to teams headed to the playoffs making moves to strengthen their current roster.

The Panthers, eight points out of a playoff spot coming into Monday, will almost certainly miss the postseason for what will be an NHL record-setting 10th straight season. Florida hasn't been to the playoffs since 2000 and haven't won a playoff series since Dvorak's group went to the Stanley Cup Finals 15 years ago.

“It's a tough day seeing friends move away, but they get to play on a playoff team and hopefully do well,'' Weiss said. “We haven't given up, but it's a long shot and they're making moves to better the future. It was expected. We put ourselves in this position. We're close but we're not that close.''
 
TUESDAY: PANTHERS AT HURRICANES
When, Where: 7 p.m.; RBC Center, Raleigh, N.C.
TV/Radio: FSN; WQAM 560
The series: Hurricanes lead 46-35-11
The game: The Panthers get to see some old friends as Bryan Allen and Cory Stillman – traded to Carolina in the past week – square off against their former teammates for the first time. The Panthers are recalling Keaton Ellerby to replace Allen on defense. Carolina, which holds the last playoff spot in the east, have won three of five against the Panthers this season.

Comments

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Don't forget Frolik for Skille. Anybody like paying full price to see AHL players?

I love all the tough, physical players we picked up. Other teams are really going to be scared to play us now!

Yeah, I'm quaking in my skates to see Hugh Jessiman, Sergei Samsonov and Niclas Bergfors.

At the beginning of the season I predicted we would get pushed around by most teams and lose many 2-1 and 3-2 games. Now more than ever, I think my prediction was correct. I wish Lotto numbers were that easy to predict! Let's just tank what's left of this season and get a high draft pick, and see what Tallon can do for next year.

I think the word "tank" is an understatement for what is about to playout....

Good for Tallon making smart moves for picks. Dont sell away your best such as Weiss and Booth for nothing. Sounds like we made smart trades for picks. I hope that the plan includes raiding other team's rosters for RFAs cause I dont know what we are going to do with all of the third round picks (unless they are there to move up to the second/first round).

I am psyched in what Tallon has done (exactly what he said he would do). BIG HITTING players is what this team needed. Now we will solidify in drafts and pick up smoe goal scorers in free agency. As long as they are allowed to spend some cash, I am seeing everything I had hoped for.

George, please get your facts right. Allen is making 3.15 mil next year (2.9 is his cap, a number which other than getting to the floor is insignificant to the Panthers), and they have 7 picks in the top 90, not 8 (the 3rd rounder for Higgins is in 2013).

Thank you.

Eric, the biggest hard hitting grittiest player on the team Allen was traded for a tiny old Russian with a New England accent.

Haha. Allen was a personal fav, but when I said I was sorry to see him go on another forum I got shredded apart! I hear ya Puckbubba, I'm just tired of all the whining everyone else is doing when Tallon has done exactly what we expected at this point--blowing it up.

Tallon's comments remind me of 2002 when the panthers trade Pavel Bure for a bag of pucks. The front office said with the 10 million dollars saved we can get two very good free agents

9 years later still waiting those free agents and a playoff series win

Know we needed to clean house but don't trust the ownership and Yormark to spend the money

Now are you really going to go to games. How can you renew your season tickets in advance. We won't know any one.Yorkman is a joke. He could of landedus a few good players earlier to help when we where playing well.I'm tired of this loosing franchise.A goalie that gets beat everytime over his glove hand and has not cut down an angle all year. So will see young kids play.I watch on TV and save my hard earned money.

ALLEN GONE??????!!!!!!! What the F??!!

Should I ask for a partial refund on my remaining tickets because this is truly an AHL team now? Actually, I can live through 20 more crappy games...hey, we may even lose them all and get a #1 pick.

I'm glad the NHL has a minimum team payroll. I don't expect Cliff and Stu to spend more than the league minimum next season.

Want further proof that this organization is totally clueless? Just listen to the tag line on their ad touting that the NFL & NBA may not be around next year. "NEXT SEASON, THE FLORIDA PANTHERS AREN'T GOING ANYWHERE." Truer words have never been spoken.

Glad to see our GM finally did what should have been done a long time ago. We are only 11 points out of 30th place with 20 games left, we can easily end up dead last without much effort and go #1 in the draft.

One of the third rounders Florida picked up is in 2013. I believe that was the Canucks pick in the Higgins deal. A third rounder in 2013 is like an undrafted Junior player in 2011. So sad.

All Tallon got was late picks and no-chance prospects (a few aside).

We lost: Frolik, Salak, Stillman, McCabe, Dvorak, Higgins, Allen and Wideman.

We got (of value): Bergfors, Skille and Kennedy.

Blowing it up doesn`t mean you aren`t allowed to get anything in return.

Blueprint, what did the guys you mentioned get us over the years aside from mediocracy??

Everyone here said blow it up and start over...well finally after 10 yrs we are....we got 27 mil to reach the floor; it;; be a whole new team come october...

Who pays full price to see Panthers games? My season ticket per game price is cheaper than the AHL team's tickets where I used to live.

lol at the GR/Yormark twitter fight! Yormark's such a tool!

EPIC FAIL YORMARK!
For being a PR guy, you would think he'd have known that saying something like that on Twitter, even a small slight, is going to get blown up and be pretty ugly. Especially when guys like Bob McKenzie are on it lol. It's no secret this team is headed down the tank and it's tough to watch, having been a diehard fan since I was 7 in 1995.

Yorkman is a joke and the dedicated Panther fans support our team despite his nonsense. Thank you GR for all the clips, info, and tweets you provide to us, the hardcore fans. Glad Mac had your back, you deserve better from the Panther organization. If nothing else, Yorkie needed to just not say anything at all. Just another blemish on an organization that's missed the playoffs for 10 years. Oh yeah, through all the management change, guess who's been the 1 constant? (wink wink)

Giving Tallon money to spend is NOT always a good thing. Just look at the Brian Campbell contract he saddled Chicago with. Hossa, while more productive, wasn't a smart contract with all the young talent the team had coming up for RFA's.

Unless Tallon finds a way to have a farm system the Panthers make ALL the decisions for, develop the talent the way they expect the kids to play in Pantherland, all the second and third round drafts picks are worthless. Panthers don't need more projected third line talent on the farm. It needs top line players, who can score.

panthers aren't going to have the Amerks next year anyway so there goes the development of our draft picks.

Florida Panthers EPIC FAIL.

Perhaps without rochesters whining, and a farm team in FL, the panthers will develop better....

Tallon doesn't have to worry about the RFA status of talented young players here like he did in Chicago, and at least he has the gusto to sign guys like Campbell and Hossa, both considered top FA at their positions, versus the complete ineptness here over the past decade.

I don't know what kind of signings to expect, but at least you're going to see a Tallon type of team very shortly here. It's gonna be 2-3 years before this team is competitive without signing a couple top 6 forwards. Problem is there aren't too many of those out there this year in free agency. It's not the best crop. What I could see is Tallon starting to package picks to bring in guys via trade.

For a long time Panther boards were screaming for a radical roster change and accountability, here we are, now the talk is why did he have to do that?
Panthers Fans are a sad bunch hard to please.
All I know, come draft day it will a very exciting time for us, with so many picks and cash on hand.

Just out of curiosity, cause I don't like to praise or criticize without ALL of the facts, WHO ARE the best UFA forwards once this season ends?

Not an exciting list of forwards... from CapGeek:

Richards, Brad » F DAL 30 $7,800,000 2011 (UFA)
Gagne, Simon » F TBL 31 $5,250,000 2011 (UFA)
Kovalev, Alexei » F PIT 38 $5,000,000 2011 (UFA)
Nylander, Michael » F WAS 38 $4,875,000 2011 (UFA)
Connolly, Tim » F BUF 29 $4,500,000 2011 (UFA)
Arnott, Jason » F WAS 36 $4,500,000 2011 (UFA)
Selanne, Teemu » F ANA 40 $4,500,000 2011 (UFA)
Ryder, Michael » F BOS 30 $4,000,000 2011 (UFA)
Handzus, Michal » F LAK 33 $4,000,000 2011 (UFA)
Sullivan, Steve » F NAS 36 $3,750,000 2011 (UFA)
Stillman, Cory » F CAR 37 $3,533,333 2011 (UFA)
Sturm, Marco » F WAS 32 $3,500,000 2011 (UFA)
Ponikarovsky, Alexei » F LAK 30 $3,200,000 2011 (UFA)
Hejduk, Milan » F COL 35 $3,000,000 2011 (UFA)
Frolov, Alexander » F NYR 28 $3,000,000 2011 (UFA)
Vrbata, Radim » F PHO 29 $3,000,000 2011 (UFA)
Cole, Erik » F CAR 32 $2,900,000 2011 (UFA)
Langenbrunner, Jamie » F DAL 35 $2,800,000 2011 (UFA)
Knuble, Mike » F WAS 38 $2,800,000 2011 (UFA)
Clark, Chris » F CLB 34 $2,633,333 2011 (UFA)
Fleischmann, Tomas » F COL 26 $2,600,000 2011 (UFA)
Samsonov, Sergei » F FLA 32 $2,533,333 2011 (UFA)
Prospal, Vaclav » F NYR 36 $2,480,000 2011 (UFA)
White, Todd » F NYR 35 $2,375,000 2011 (UFA)
Kobasew, Chuck » F MIN 28 $2,333,333 2011 (UFA)
Miettinen, Antti » F MIN 30 $2,333,333 2011 (UFA)
Brunette, Andrew » F MIN 37 $2,333,333 2011 (UFA)
Upshall, Scottie » F CLB 27 $2,250,000 2011 (UFA)
Laich, Brooks » F WAS 27 $2,066,667 2011 (UFA)
Zherdev, Nikolai » F PHI 26 $2,000,000 2011 (UFA)
Moreau, Ethan » F CLB 35 $2,000,000 2011 (UFA)
Forsberg, Peter » F COL 37 $2,000,000 2011 (UFA)
Recchi, Mark » F BOS 43 $1,950,000 2011 (UFA)
Modano, Mike » F DET 40 $1,750,000 2011 (UFA)
Dvorak, Radek » F ATL 33 $1,700,000 2011 (UFA)
Jokinen, Jussi » F CAR 27 $1,700,000 2011 (UFA)
Tanguay, Alex » F CGY 31 $1,700,000 2011 (UFA)
Larose, Chad » F CAR 28 $1,700,000 2011 (UFA)
Higgins, Chris » F VAN 27 $1,600,000 2011 (UFA)
Draper, Kris » F DET 39 $1,583,333 2011 (UFA)
Grier, Mike » F BUF 36 $1,500,000 2011 (UFA)
Ward, Joel » F NAS 30 $1,500,000 2011 (UFA)
Dupuis, Pascal » F PIT 31 $1,400,000 2011 (UFA)
Ruutu, Jarkko » F ANA 35 $1,300,000 2011 (UFA)
Niedermayer, Rob » F BUF 36 $1,250,000 2011 (UFA)
Madden, John » F MIN 37 $1,250,000 2011 (UFA)
Prucha, Petr » F PHO 28 $1,200,000 2011 (UFA)
Modin, Fredrik » F CGY 36 $1,200,000 2011 (UFA)
Glencross, Curtis » F CGY 28 $1,200,000 2011 (UFA)
Kopecky, Tomas » F CHI 29 $1,200,000 2011 (UFA)
Weight, Doug » F NYI 40 $1,150,000 2011 (UFA)
Reasoner, Marty » F FLA 34 $1,150,000 2011 (UFA)
Marchant, Todd » F ANA 37 $1,125,000 2011 (UFA)
Fiddler, Vernon » F PHO 30 $1,100,000 2011 (UFA)
Talbot, Maxime » F PIT 27 $1,050,000 2011 (UFA)
Rissmiller, Patrick » F FLA 32 $1,000,000 2011 (UFA)
Voros, Aaron » F TOR 29 $1,000,000 2011 (UFA)
Bradley, Matt » F WAS 32 $1,000,000 2011 (UFA)
Torres, Raffi » F VAN 29 $1,000,000 2011 (UFA)
Fedotenko, Ruslan » F NYR 32 $1,000,000 2011 (UFA)
Jones, Ryan » F EDM 26 $975,000 2011 (UFA)
Eager, Ben » F SAN 27 $965,000 2011 (UFA)
Rupp, Michael » F PIT 31 $825,000 2011 (UFA)
Sutherby, Brian » F DAL 29 $812,500 2011 (UFA)
Gordon, Boyd » F WAS 27 $800,000 2011 (UFA)
Leino, Ville » F PHI 27 $800,000 2011 (UFA)
Svatos, Marek » F OTT 28 $800,000 2011 (UFA)
Hordichuk, Darcy » F FLA 30 $775,000 2011 (UFA)
Goc, Marcel » F NAS 27 $775,000 2011 (UFA)
Nichol, Scott » F SAN 36 $760,000 2011 (UFA)
Godard, Eric » F PIT 30 $750,000 2011 (UFA)
Eaves, Patrick » F DET 26 $750,000 2011 (UFA)
Belanger, Eric » F PHO 33 $750,000 2011 (UFA)
Sjostrom, Fredrik » F TOR 27 $750,000 2011 (UFA)
Morrison, Brendan » F CGY 35 $725,000 2011 (UFA)
Winchester, Brad » F ANA 30 $700,000 2011 (UFA)
Bergenheim, Sean » F TBL 27 $700,000 2011 (UFA)
Asham, Arron » F PIT 32 $700,000 2011 (UFA)
Andersson, Jonas » F VAN 30 $675,000 2011 (UFA)
Miller, Drew » F DET 27 $650,000 2011 (UFA)
Wellwood, Kyle » F SAN 27 $650,000 2011 (UFA)
Boulton, Eric » F ATL 34 $650,000 2011 (UFA)
Ellis, Matt » F BUF 29 $625,000 2011 (UFA)
Carter, Ryan » F FLA 27 $625,000 2011 (UFA)
Murray, Andrew » F CLB 29 $625,000 2011 (UFA)
Shannon, Ryan » F OTT 27 $625,000 2011 (UFA)
Glass, Tanner » F VAN 27 $625,000 2011 (UFA)
Mayers, Jamal » F SAN 36 $600,000 2011 (UFA)
Parrish, Mark » F BUF 34 $600,000 2011 (UFA)
Hall, Adam » F TBL 30 $600,000 2011 (UFA)
Cullen, Mark » F FLA 32 $600,000 2011 (UFA)
Janssen, Cam » F STL 26 $600,000 2011 (UFA)
Halpern, Jeff » F MTL 34 $600,000 2011 (UFA)
Konopka, Zenon » F NYI 30 $600,000 2011 (UFA)
Lundmark, Jamie » F NAS 30 $600,000 2011 (UFA)
Frischmon, Trevor » F CLB 29 $575,000 2011 (UFA)
Koci, David » F COL 29 $575,000 2011 (UFA)
Hilbert, Andy » F NYI 30 $575,000 2011 (UFA)
Belak, Wade » F NAS 34 $575,000 2011 (UFA)
Green, Josh » F ANA 33 $575,000 2011 (UFA)
Guite, Ben » F CLB 32 $575,000 2011 (UFA)
Brent, Tim » F TOR 26 $575,000 2011 (UFA)
Porter, Chris » F STL 26 $562,500 2011 (UFA)
Zeiler, John » F LAK 28 $558,333 2011 (UFA)
Segal, Brandon » F DAL 27 $550,000 2011 (UFA)
Whitfield, Trent » F BOS 33 $550,000 2011 (UFA)
Persson, Niklas » F TBL 31 $550,000 2011 (UFA)
Ondrus, Ben » F EDM 28 $550,000 2011 (UFA)
Conner, Chris » F PIT 27 $550,000 2011 (UFA)
Conboy, Tim » F BUF 28 $550,000 2011 (UFA)
Begin, Steve » F NAS 32 $550,000 2011 (UFA)
Scatchard, Dave » F STL 35 $550,000 2011 (UFA)
Krog, Jason » F ATL 35 $550,000 2011 (UFA)
Lessard, Francis » F OTT 31 $550,000 2011 (UFA)
Kearns, Bracken » F PHO 29 $550,000 2011 (UFA)
Stewart, Gregory » F EDM 24 $550,000 2011 (UFA)
Rypien, Rick » F VAN 26 $550,000 2011 (UFA)
Adams, Craig » F PIT 33 $550,000 2011 (UFA)
Moore, Greg » F CLB 26 $550,000 2011 (UFA)
Stuart, Colin » F BUF 28 $550,000 2011 (UFA)
Taffe, Jeff » F CHI 30 $550,000 2011 (UFA)
Durno, Chris » F TBL 30 $550,000 2011 (UFA)
Pinizzotto, Steve » F WAS 26 $537,500 2011 (UFA)
Keller, Ryan » F OTT 27 $525,000 2011 (UFA)
Thomas, Bill » F FLA 27 $525,000 2011 (UFA)
Crabb, Joey » F TOR 27 $525,000 2011 (UFA)
Mink, Graham » F STL 31 $525,000 2011 (UFA)
Fritz, Mitch » F TBL 30 $525,000 2011 (UFA)
Ortmeyer, Jed » F MIN 32 $525,000 2011 (UFA)
Willsie, Brian » F WAS 32 $525,000 2011 (UFA)
Mair, Adam » F NJD 32 $515,000 2011 (UFA)
McGrattan, Brian » F ANA 29 $515,000 2011 (UFA)
Williams, Jeremy » F NYR 27 $515,000 2011 (UFA)
Perrault, Joel » F ANA 27 $510,000 2011 (UFA)
Grant, Triston » F FLA 27 $510,000 2011 (UFA)
Mills, Brad » F NJD 27 $505,000 2011 (UFA)
Jaffray, Jason » F ANA 29 $500,000 2011 (UFA)
Beaudoin, Matt » F PHO 26 $500,000 2011 (UFA)
Peters, Andrew » F VAN 30 $500,000 2011 (UFA)
Mauldin, Greg » F COL 28 $500,000 2011 (UFA)
Giroux, Alexandre » F EDM 29 $500,000 2011 (UFA)
Jessiman, Hugh » F FLA 26 $500,000 2011 (UFA)
MacDonald, Kirk » F BOS 27 $500,000 2011 (UFA)
Daoust, Jean-Michel » F MIN 27 $500,000 2011 (UFA)
Zigomanis, Mike » F TOR 30 $500,000 2011 (UFA)
Moran, Brad » F EDM 31 $500,000 2011 (UFA)
Wiseman, Chad » F NJD 29 $500,000 2011 (UFA)
Potulny, Ryan » F OTT 26 $500,000 2011 (UFA)
Craig, Ryan » F PIT 29 $500,000 2011 (UFA)
Walter, Ben » F COL 26 $500,000 2011 (UFA)
Yablonski, Jeremy » F NYI 30 $500,000 2011 (UFA)
Pisani, Fernando » F CHI 34 $500,000 2011 (UFA)
Spina, Dave » F STL 27 $500,000 2011 (UFA)
Gillies, Trevor » F NYI 32 $500,000 2011 (UFA)
Darche, Mathieu » F MTL 34 $500,000 2011 (UFA)
Tambellini, Jeff » F VAN 26 $500,000 2011 (UFA)
McCormick, Cody » F BUF 27 $500,000 2011 (UFA)
Williams, Jason » F DAL 30 $500,000 2011 (UFA)
Trevelyan, T.J. » F SAN 26 $500,000 2011 (UFA)
Reich, Jeremy » F BOS 32 $500,000 2011 (UFA)
Ebbett, Andrew » F PHO 28 $500,000 2011 (UFA)
Ross, Jared » F ATL 28 $500,000 2011 (UFA)
Comrie, Mike » F PIT 30 $500,000 2011 (UFA)
Johnson, Ryan » F CHI 34 $500,000 2011 (UFA)
Dwyer, Pat » F CAR 27 $500,000 2011 (UFA)
Sterling, Brett » F PIT 26 $500,000 2011 (UFA)
Van Der Gulik, David » F COL 27 $500,000 2011 (UFA)
Morin, Travis » F DAL 27 $500,000 2011 (UFA)
Conroy, Craig » F CGY 39 $500,000 2011 (UFA)
Smith, Wyatt » F BOS 34 $500,000 2011 (UFA)
Hollweg, Ryan » F PHO 27 $500,000 2011 (UFA)
MacIntyre, Steve » F EDM 30 $500,000 2011 (UFA)
Ryan, Michael » F PHI 30 $500,000 2011 (UFA)

DTV, we're an extremely easy bunch to please. All they have to do is win.

When you're rebuilding, you want younger guys too. Say ~30 yo max. which makes a thin crop thinner. So, you're looking at this as young(ish) forwards:

Richards, Brad » F DAL 30 $7,800,000 2011 (UFA)
Connolly, Tim » F BUF 29 $4,500,000 2011 (UFA)
Ryder, Michael » F BOS 30 $4,000,000 2011 (UFA)
Ponikarovsky, Alexei » F LAK 30 $3,200,000 2011 (UFA)
Frolov, Alexander » F NYR 28 $3,000,000 2011 (UFA)
Vrbata, Radim » F PHO 29 $3,000,000 2011 (UFA)
Fleischmann, Tomas » F COL 26 $2,600,000 2011 (UFA)
Kobasew, Chuck » F MIN 28 $2,333,333 2011 (UFA)
Miettinen, Antti » F MIN 30 $2,333,333 2011 (UFA)
Upshall, Scottie » F CLB 27 $2,250,000 2011 (UFA)
Laich, Brooks » F WAS 27 $2,066,667 2011 (UFA)
Zherdev, Nikolai » F PHI 26 $2,000,000 2011 (UFA)

and maybe a few others further down the list: Leino, Jussi Jokinen.

Some interesting bits and pieces in there. I'm not sold on Richards as a big time star. I'm not sure he produces enough points for the amount of quality ice time he gets. But, he does produce points, and he does manage to stay on the ice (not generally injury prone). He is a stud compared to the rest of this group. Thats more a comment about the group, and not Richards.

Richards would seem the obvious target. Aside from him, I really like Brooks Laich, Ville Leino, and Jussi Jokinen.

There are some good Dmen available... and you can go a little older with Dmen.

Hey Dave, thanks for the info! Very much appreciated!

here is Pierre LeBrun's view of the panthers

"Really depends on how you view it, right? Is Dale Tallon on his way to rebuilding the Panthers like he did the Blackhawks, stripping them bare and starting over, or is he simply shedding salaries because his owners don't want to spend money anymore? Probably a bit of both. Tallon has a keen eye for young talent, so Panthers fans should be encouraged that he's aggressively started the rebuild. But the instability at the ownership level and penny-pinching ways are a major, major red flag"

My guess is that it is to peny pinch otherwise Yormark wouldn't have acted like he did

What's all the stuff about Yormark? I've been too busy at work to follow that part of the story. What happened?

If your a decent UFA what would possess you to want to come to the Panthers? Besides in the past when we were told that a trade or letting someone go was going to free up money so we can get someone next year--Who did we get? Me thinks it is still a long way to compete.

If you throw enough money at people in this cap-strapped league, they will come.

Out of that list of FA forwards, and beside the obvious pick in Brad Richards, I would take:

Fleischmann
Miettinen
Upshall
Laich
Glencross
Kopecky
Leino
Darche

I would also bring back Steve MacIntyre because the dude throws bombs.

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