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Florida Panthers Lose to Streaking Devils 2-1 ... Bryan McCabe "wasn't wanted" ... New Captain After Trade Deadline? ... Hello Hugh Jessiman

Mccabejersey DEVILS 2, PANTHERS 1

With the Panthers trading veterans Cory Stillman and Bryan McCabe in the past few days – with a good many more trades likely coming on Monday – coach Pete DeBoer was asked about his team's general mood.

“What would you guess,'' DeBoer asked sarcastically. “We're professional and battled through. But it's not easy days when you see guys walking out who you know can help you win games.''

The Panthers may have let the trade rumors affect their play in bad losses to the Islanders and Senators last week, but if some players were worried about Sunday being their last as a member of the Panthers, it didn't really show.

The Devils were just the better team on Sunday. The Devils, who have now won 17 of 21 games to get back in the postseason conversation after being left for dead just weeks ago, took a two-goal lead Sunday and held on for a 2-1 win over the Panthers at BankAtlantic Center.

The Panthers, a team everyone around the league will be watching as the trade deadline approaches Monday at 3 p.m., have lost 14 of 19.

“We kept playing hard, just needed a break at the end,'' said Marty Reasoner, who scored Florida's lone goal late in the third period and could be headed to a contender on Monday. “They play really well when they have the lead. We had opportunities and just didn't cash in.''

Said Mike Weaver: “Everyone says it doesn't bother them, but it affects guys in different ways. But on the ice, you're not thinking about it, you're focused on the game itself.''

The Panthers had numerous chances against Martin Brodeur in the opening period but failed to connect. Darcy Hordichuk, a fourth line grinder, missed a shot in front of the net just moments before he couldn't put a loose puck into an empty net as Brodeur was splayed on the ice.

Brodeur didn't offer up many more such golden opportunities.

After a scoreless first, the Devils opened things up in the second, with David Clarkson and Brian Rolston scoring less than four minutes apart. Rolston's goal came with Weaver in the penalty box and was only the fourth power play goal the Panthers excellent penalty kill has surrendered since Feb. 1.

Florida cut into the lead when Reasoner one-timed a pass from Michal Repik – one of five American Hockey League players in the Panthers NHL lineup on Sunday – with 4:29 remaining. The Panthers then came fast and hard at Brodeur but couldn't put the equalizer through.

“We did a lot of good things considering,'' DeBoer said. “The guys emptied the tanks and gave us what they had. But it wasn't enough.''

McCABE: I WASN'T WANTED

McCabe spent the past two seasons as the Panthers captain and said Sunday morning that he wanted to stay with the Panthers “and be part of the process.''

McCabe said he waived his no-movement clause and accepted Saturday's trade to the Rangers after “it was made very clear over the past few days that I wasn't going to be part of their plan for next season.''

Assistant general manager Mike Santos said the Panthers had not spoken to McCabe regarding any specific role with the team.

“He asked us if we would resign him to a new contract,'' Santos said. “Both Dale Tallon and I both told him that we would look at that in the summer. We just weren't willing to sign him now.''

Said DeBoer: “He's a great pro, a great captain. I couldn't ask for a better guy in the room, as a young coach coming into the league, than him. He bought in from Day 1 and never wavered. He was the first to arrive, last to leave and played through pain.''

-- The Panthers played without a center on Sunday with Reasoner, Stephen Weiss and Bryan Allen serving as alternate captains. DeBoer said he would wait until Monday's deadline before deciding on who Florida's next captain may be.

“We'll see what happens [Monday] and see who is here and what we have,'' he said.

-- Hugh Jessiman made his NHL debut on Sunday, a long time coming for the former first round draft pick. Jessiman, 26, became the final first rounder from the Class of 2003 to play in the NHL. Jessiman, acquired from Chicago earlier this month as part of the Michael Frolik trade, said he's been waiting a long time for Sunday.

“It finally hit me. It was almost the perfect day and would have been had we won,'' he said. “It was just a great experience. It was pretty intense.''

-- Dmitry Kulikov was surprisingly back in the lineup Sunday. Out for the past two weeks with an ankle injury, Kulikov had been skating on his own for three days.

Comments

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It's hard enough to find players that want to be apart of this mess, so Santos and Tallon basically slap McCabe in the face and tell him he's not wanted for the future of this Mickey Mouse bogus blueprint.

Vokoun should be calling Tallon right now asking for a trade, same with Weiss. Get out while you can. Two years from now we won't get the return we could get now for Weiss so they might as well trade everyone.

Does anyone on this team really deserve to be captain? Sure, you can make the case for Weiss, but him, really?

As far as Sunday's game aainst NJ, it only got exciting for Panthers fans in the last 3 minutes.

Maybe if the bridge isn't burned and he's still available, we bring back McCabe on a short-term deal during free agency?

McCabe was expendable. Our defense is stacked. Weaver is solid and back next year. Allen is decent. And the young guns Garrison, Kulikov, Ellerby, Gudbranson and possibly Sulzer if he does well will be very solid for the future on the back end.

nice article george keep up the good work man!
get some more films in there there awsome!

Cohen/Yormark are still giving the orders here folks.McCabe was traded to cut salary just like Frolik.This blueprint should be renamed the cheap print.Panthers will be at minimum cap of 43 million for next 3 years of misery coming up.The whole thing is just a marketing scam to get salary down to a bare minimum.As long as Cohen owns this team and Yormrk controls the pursestrings we are going nowhere.Tallon was brought in because building the team thru cheap draft picks is the best way to keep salaries down to NHL minimum.Only reason Cohen bought this team was to build a big hotel/gambling/business center around the hockey team.The real estate crash nixed those plans now Cohen has told Yormark to cut all expenses(one radio announcer,expensive veterans dumped,scouting budget slashed etc).Cliff Viner is just a figure head and Tallon will leave in 2-3 years just like everyone else.The marketing madman Yormark will create a new storyline how we will build for the stanley cup after Tallon leaves.Santos will be made the new G.M. in 2015.Florida Panthers will finish below 12th the next 5 years.And the beat goes on and on nd on.

Not sure I agree with the salary dump theory. You have UFA's so why play them, the season is officially over. Dump the team, get the picks, free up salary and hit free agency. I will wait on my season ticket renewal until after July 1st because like any blueprint it's better to put your money in after ground has been broken to start the build. Until then, it's just a piece of paper.

Tallon is putting his stamp on this team, emotions be damned. Mcabe gave his all, was a great professional and wanted to be here... that wasn't enough because we didn't win.

I like Booth and Weiss. They are good players who work hard and from what I've been reading, Weiss wants to stay. It won't matter. We haven't won with this team and more changes will happen as Tallon completely changes it.

We cannot complain both ways. We want to win, and haven't with what we had so this is the expected result.

omy u people r so stupid why is everyone so negative please tell me how mccabe could stay... next year playing on D for sure is wideman allen kulikov ellerby garrison and gudbranson and sulzer is a prety dam good 7th d.... so please tell me wher mccabe fits into this.... and what is the point of keeping guys like stilman dvo and mccabe when ther ufas... id be happy getting a 7th rounder for each... its better than nothing... other gms arent stupid there not going to give up legitimant prospects for rentals tallon is doing the right thing... if your gunna be neagtive go be a leaf fan or smething... i guarantee you this team makes the playoffs in 2 years and goes at least to the 2nd round

They should play with 3 alternate captains for the remainder of the year an let the new coach next year choose his captain.

I agree, I see Tallon leaving in 2-3 years. Leave this organization in shambles.

weiss captain allen reasoner assisants

Dvorak to ATL( + 5th round pick) for Bergfors and Rissmiller. Not bad

It's so hard to watch this. It really is. I understand that things needed to be done, but it just never seems that we get anything back for the few talented players we give up. And if we do, we give them away a year or two later. I only hope that with all of these draft picks we can load up with a talented draft like this past year. I just wonder if there will be any fans left in the seats when they finally make it to the NHL.

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