« May 2011 | Main | July 2011 »

36 posts from June 2011

June 23, 2011

The 2011 NHL Draft Order

The Panthers currently have 10 picks in this draft, including seven of the top 91. Here is the complete draft order, with the Panthers selections in BOLD.

2011 NHL ENTRY DRAFT PICK SUMMARY (through June 21, 2011)

Round 1

Friday night from the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn. Starts at 7 p.m. on Versus.

1. Edmonton
2. Colorado
3. Florida
4. New Jersey
5. NY Islanders
6. Ottawa
7. Winnipeg
8. Philadelphia (from CBUS)
9. Boston (from TOR)
10. Minnesota
11. Colorado (from STL)
12. Carolina
13. Calgary
14. Dallas
15. NY Rangers
16. Buffalo
17. Montreal
18. Chicago
19. Edmonton (from LA)
20. Phoenix
21. Ottawa (from NSH)
22. Anaheim
23. Pittsburgh
24. Detroit
25. Toronto (from PHI)
26. Washington
27. Tampa Bay
28. San Jose
29. Vancouver
30. Toronto (from BOS)

Round 2: Starts at 11 a.m. on Saturday

31. Edmonton
32. St. Louis (from COL)
33. Florida
34. NY Islanders
35. Ottawa
36. Chicago (from WPG) *
37. Columbus
38. Nashville (from NJ)
39. Toronto
40. Boston (from MIN)
41. St. Louis
42. Carolina
43. Chicago (from CGY-TOR) *
44. Dallas **
45. Calgary (from NYR)
46. St. Louis (from BUF)
47. Florida (from MTL)
48. Chicago *
49. Los Angeles
50. NY Islanders (from MTL)
51. Phoenix
52. Nashville
53. Anaheim
54. Pittsburgh
55. Detroit
56. Phoenix (from PHI)
57. Calgary (from WSH-CAR-NYR)
58. Tampa Bay
59. San Jose
60. Vancouver
61. Ottawa (from BOS)

* Chicago will transfer pick # 36, 43 or 48 to Ottawa
** Dallas will transfer pick # 44 or 75 to New Jersey

Round 3

62. Edmonton
63. NY Islanders (from COL)
64. Florida
65. Anaheim (from NYI)
66. Ottawa
67. Winnipeg
68. Columbus
69. No selection
70. Chicago (from TOR)
71. Minnesota
72. St. Louis
73. Carolina
74. Edmonton (from CGY)
75. Dallas **
76. Florida (from NYR)
77. Buffalo
78. Montreal
79. Chicago
80. Los Angeles
81. Boston (from PHX)
82. Nashville
83. Anaheim
84. Philadelphia (from PIT) ***
85. Detroit
86. Toronto (from PHI)
87. Florida (from WSH)
88. St. Louis (from TB)
89. San Jose
90. Vancouver
91. Florida (from BOS)

*** Pick #84 is conditionally traded to Phoenix

Round 4

92. Edmonton
93. Colorado
94. Nashville (from FLA)
95. NY Islanders
96. Ottawa
97. Winnipeg
98. Columbus
99. New Jersey
100. Toronto
101. Minnesota
102. St. Louis
103. Carolina
104. Calgary
105. Dallas
106. NY Rangers
107. Buffalo
108. Winnipeg (from MTL)
109. Chicago
110. Los Angeles
111. Phoenix
112. Nashville
113. Montreal (from ANA)
114. Edmonton (from PIT)
115. Detroit
116. Philadelphia
117. Washington
118. Philadelphia (from TB)
119. San Jose
120. Vancouver
121. Boston

Round 5

122. Edmonton
123. Colorado
124. Florida
125. NY Islanders
126. Ottawa
127. NY Islanders (from WPG)
128. Columbus
129. New Jersey
130. Toronto
131. Minnesota
132. St. Louis
133. Winnipeg (from CAR-FLA)
134. NY Rangers (from CGY)
135. Dallas
136. NY Rangers
137. Buffalo
138. Montreal
139. Chicago
140. Los Angeles
141. Phoenix
142. Nashville
143. Anaheim
144. Pittsburgh
145. Detroit
146. Detroit (from PHI)
147. Washington
148. Tampa Bay
149. Winnipeg (from SJ)
150. Vancouver
151. Boston

Round 6

152. Toronto (from EDM)
153. Colorado
154. Florida
155. Phoenix (from NYI)
156. Ottawa
157. Winnipeg
158. Columbus
159. New Jersey
160. Toronto
161. Minnesota
162. St. Louis
163. Carolina
164. Calgary
165. Dallas
166. San Jose (from NYR)
167. Buffalo
168. Montreal
169. Chicago
170. Los Angeles
171. Ottawa (from PHX-ANA)
172. Nashville
173. Toronto (from ANA)
174. Pittsburgh
175. Detroit
176. Philadelphia
177. Washington
178. Tampa Bay
179. San Jose
180. Vancouver
181. Boston

Round 7

182. Edmonton
183. Colorado
184. Florida
185. NY Islanders
186. Ottawa
187. Winnipeg
188. Columbus
189. New Jersey
190. Toronto
191. Minnesota
192. St. Louis
193. Carolina
194. Winnipeg (from CGY)
195. Dallas
196. Phoenix (from NYR)
197. Buffalo
198. Montreal
199. Chicago
200. Los Angeles
201. Phoenix
202. Nashville
203. Toronto (from ANA) *
204. Ottawa (from PIT)
205. Detroit
206. Philadelphia
207. Washington
208. Tampa Bay
209. Pittsburgh (from SJ)
210. Vancouver
211. Chicago (from BOS)

* Pick #203 is conditionally traded back to Anaheim

Florida Panthers Have Third Selection -- For Now; Who Do They Take?

EddieMINNEAPOLIS – In past winters, Jonathan Huberdeau and his family packed up their RV and headed south from Quebec. The last stop would be South Florida where they would take in a Panthers game, usually against their beloved Montreal Canadiens.

Along the route, the Huberdeau clan found places like parking lots at Wal-Mart or Cracker Barrel to crash for the night.

“We would stay everywhere, sleep everywhere,'' Jonathan Huberdeau said Thursday afternoon. “We wouldn't park at the [Sawgrass Mills] mall across the street because there were too many people always. We liked going there. There's a lot of people from Quebec in Florida around Christmas.''

The Panthers may just offer Huberdeau and his family nicer accommodations in the near future.

Jonathan Huberdeau could be the newest member of the Panthers if Florida takes the 6-foot-1 center with the third overall selection in Friday's NHL Draft at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn. There have been reports Florida was in talks with Edmonton to move up to the top selection and take Canadian center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins only that appears unlikely. The Panthers will select no closer than third.

If Nugent-Hopkins is gone – as is expected – the offensively challenged Panthers could take Huberdeau with their pick. The family Winnebago would find nicer digs in future trips.

“We could upgrade him from the Wal-Mart to the BankAtlantic Center if he becomes our selection,'' Panthers scouting director Scott Luce said with a grin. “We'll probably even paint their initials in the parking lot.''

The Panthers have the third pick for the second time in as many drafts. Florida selected brawny defenseman Erik Gudbranson at the Los Angeles selection show last June. Gudbranson, who isn't signed yet, will be given a chance to make the Panthers roster.

Whomever is taken with the third pick Friday will also get that opportunity.

The Panthers could also find players at this draft without actually drafting them. With general manager Dale Tallon running things – and Florida needing to spend $30 million to get to the league-mandated salary cap floor -- the Panthers are a wild card many teams want to converse with.

“We'll do whatever it takes to get better,'' Tallon said.

One rumor floating around Thursday was Florida trading the third pick to another team for a signed player and a lower first round pick. Tallon and assistant general manager Mike Santos have said they would move the third selection for the right price. With so much money to spend, and with teams trying to shed salary, the Panthers are expected to be busy this weekend. Florida has 10 picks in this draft including seven among the top 91.

“People know we're going to be aggressive,'' Tallon said. “We've positioned ourselves – painfully – to be in this position. We have to start to reap the benefits of it, make some good hockey decisions as we move forward.

“A lot of teams know where we're at. Some cap-challenged teams have been talking to us. It's interesting. Nothing has come to fruition has come yet, but there has been a lot of conversation, a lot of pondering. It's solid. It'll be an eventful 10 days. It's starting to percolate. This is the time I love.''

Another player the Panthers have targeted with the third pick is winger Gabriel Landeskog. A native of Sweden, Landeskog has been playing junior hockey in Kitchener, Ontario (where Pete DeBoer coached before coming to the Panthers) the past few years.

Both Huberdeau and Landeskog would give the Panthers more firepower. The Panthers have plenty of defensemen in their system after taking Dmitry Kulikov and Gudbranson with their first selections the past two seasons. Florida is looking for offense and hope to find it with the third pick.

Edmonton holds the first selection in the draft for the second straight year. The Oilers are expected to take Nugent-Hopkins. Colorado picks second and is thought to be leaning toward Landeskog.

The first round will be held Friday with the following six rounds coming Saturday.

“There are a lot of very good players, perhaps not players you could put the franchise label on right now,'' Luce said. “But in time, I think there's a lot of guys who can earn that.''

Schedule Is Released: Hello Winnipeg!

Winnipeg The NHL released the 2011-12 schedule on Thursday.

Looks like a ton of fun for your Florida Panthers.

The Panthers open the season Oct. 8 against the Islanders with the home opener coming on Oct. 15 against the Lightning. Four of Florida's first five games are on the road.

Other highlights: 

-- Even though Michael Yormark promised angry season ticket holders that the Canadiens would not be the New Year's Eve opponent, they are.

The Rangers are here on Dec. 30 with Montreal in Sunrise the following night to complete a very difficult double-dip. But that should be back-to-back sellouts. And that's nice.

-- The Winnipeg/Manitoba/Atlanta Moose/Thrashers/Vikings make their first visit to Sunrise on Halloween. Florida visits the Frozen Tundra for the first time since the 90s on Nov. 10. The Panthers play at Toronto on Nov. 8.

-- The Blackhawks are here Nov. 3; Florida visits Chicago on Jan. 20 (and then back to Winnipeg on Jan. 21!)

-- The Thanksgiving Series: New Jersey (Monday), Rangers (Wednesday) and Lightning (Friday).

-- How's this for a road trip: Florida visits Tampa on Nov. 26, then goes to Carolina, Los Angeles and San Jose.

-- Nathan Horton and his Stanley Cup champion Bruins visit Sunrise for the first time on Jan. 16.

-- Here's the entire schedule:


Oct. 8 at N.Y. Islanders, 8:00 p.m.

Oct. 11 at Pittsburgh, 7:00 p.m.

Oct. 15 Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 17 at Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 18 at Washington, 7:00 p.m.

Oct. 20 Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 22 N.Y. Islanders, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 24 at Montreal, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 27 at Ottawa, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 29 at Buffalo, 7:00 p.m.

Oct. 31 Winnipeg, 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 3 Chicago, 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 6 Tampa Bay, 5:00 p.m.

Nov. 8 at Toronto, 7:00 p.m.

Nov. 10 at Winnipeg, 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 13 Philadelphia, 5:00 p.m.

Nov. 15 at Dallas, 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 17 at St. Louis, 7:00 p.m.

Nov. 19 Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 21 New Jersey, 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 23 N.Y. Rangers, 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 25 Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 26 at Tampa Bay, 7:00 p.m.

Nov. 29 at Carolina, 7:00 p.m.

Dec. 1 at Los Angeles, 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 3 at San Jose, 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 5 Washington, 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 8 at Boston, 7:00 p.m.

Dec. 9 at Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 11 at N.Y. Rangers, 7:00 p.m

.Dec. 13 New Jersey, 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 16 Calgary, 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 18 Carolina, 5:00 p.m.

Dec. 20 Phoenix, 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 22 at Ottawa, 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 23 at Boston, 7:00 p.m.

Dec. 27 Toronto, 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 30 N.Y. Rangers, 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 31 Montreal, 6:00 p.m.

Jan. 5 at N.Y. Rangers, 7:00 p.m.

Jan. 6 at New Jersey, 7:00 p.m.

Jan. 9 Vancouver, 7:30 p.m.J

an. 13 Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 16 Boston, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 18 at Colorado, 7:00 p.m.

Jan. 20 at Chicago, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 21 at Winnipeg, 7:00 p.m.

Jan. 24 Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 1 Washington, 8:00 p.m.

Feb. 3 Winnipeg, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 4 at Tampa Bay, 7:00 p.m.

Feb. 7 at Washington, 7:00 p.m.

Feb. 9 Los Angeles, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 11 at New Jersey, 1:00 p.m.

Feb. 12 at N.Y. Islanders, 3:00 p.m.

Feb. 15 Ottawa, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 17 Washington, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 19 Anaheim, 6:00 p.m.

Feb. 23 Minnesota, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 25 at Carolina, 7:00 p.m.

Feb. 26 Montreal, 5:00 p.m.

Feb. 28 at Toronto, 7:00 p.m.

Mar. 1 at Winnipeg, 7:30 p.m.

Mar. 3 Nashville, 7:30 p.m.

Mar. 4 Ottawa, 6:00 p.m.

Mar. 8 at Philadelphia, 7:00 p.m

.Mar. 9 at Pittsburgh, 7:00 p.m.

Mar. 11 Carolina, 5:00 p.m.

Mar. 13 Toronto, 7:30 p.m.

Mar. 15 Boston, 7:30 p.m.

Mar. 17 Buffalo, 7:30 p.m

Mar. 20 at Philadelphia, 7:00 p.m.

Mar. 21 at Carolina, 7:00 p.m.

Mar. 23 Edmonton, 7:30 p.m.

Mar. 25 N.Y. Islanders, 5:00 p.m.

Mar. 27 at Montreal, 7:30 p.m.

Mar. 29 at Minnesota, 7:00 p.m.

Mar. 30 at Columbus, 7:00 p.m.

Apr. 1 at Detroit, 4:00 p.m.

Apr. 3 Winnipeg, 7:30 p.m.

Apr. 5 at Washington, 7:00 p.m.

Apr. 7 Carolina, 7:30 p.m.

Draft Day is Almost Here: Busy Day in Minney ... 2011-12 Schedule Released around 2 p.m.

2011draft MINNEAPOLIS -- Good morning from a cool and overcast Minnesota. What a nice break from the 90-plus degrees we've been enjoying the past few months.

I may even have to wear shoes today.

Going to be a busy day here as the NHL Draft weekend kicks off. 

Heading over to the media hotel in a little bit and then will be talking to various prospects the Panthers -- who currently hold the third overall pick -- may take tomorrow night in St. Paul.

Now, I know a lot of people are talking about rumors regarding the Panthers trading specifically with Edmonton either to move up to the top pick or maybe add something to the roster and move down to 19 (the Oilers hold the Kings pick in that spot).

Have spoken to a few people with the Panthers and they tell me no trade is imminent. The Panthers are not going to give up a lot to move up to the top slot. Will be speaking with Dale Tallon and Mike Santos later this afternoon so hope to have more then.

I will be trying to update this site throughout the day although it's not easy.

For the quickest way to get updates, consider following me on Twitter. I can update things there in seconds. To follow us on Twitter, visit twitter.com/onfrozenpond and click on follow.

It's going to be a long couple of days around here. Heck, make that weeks.

Summer vacation is over. 

-- Speaking of long summers, the Panthers and the rest of the NHL is expected to release the 2011-12 schedule around 2 p.m. today. Will have stuff on that when it comes out.



June 18, 2011

Tomas Vokoun's Agent to ESPN: Let's See What Happens July 1

Vokun12 Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com got a hold of Tomas Vokoun's agent on Saturday, with Michael C. Deutsch telling LeBrun that Vokoun hasn't ruled out returning to the Panthers. But, don't expect anything to happen until July 1.

You can read the entire story here. LeBrun also spoke with Dale Tallon. The Panthers GM said the Panthers could come to a deal with Vokoun before July 1.

Again, I would doubt it. Remember that Vokoun has never been a free agent before. This is his last chance for a big contract. He's going to weigh his many options. Of course, the best option could be with the Panthers.

Mike Santos told me last week that the Panthers would like to have something done on this front before July 1 when Vokoun is free to sign with anyone.

Why? Because once July 1 hits, the Panthers are going to start looking elsewhere. As much as both may want to stay together -- and I would call that lukewarm on both sides as it is -- once July 1 comes, each side has to look out for themselves. If the Panthers think they can do better, and Vokoun is still undecided, they will move on.

The Panthers will come in next season with Scott Clemmensen at the very least; Clemmensen is signed through the 2011-12 season. Expect Jacob Markstrom to start the season in the AHL.

Oh, and remember that story from the Czech Republic from last week?

From ESPN: Deutsch said Saturday that Vokoun denied speaking to the newspaper. "They weren't his quotes," Deutsch said.

June 17, 2011

Bruins Parade Televised Saturday ... Where Would Panthers Go?

Marlinsboat The Dallas Mavericks had their parade on Thursday. The Bruins will have theirs on Saturday morning (more below).

Let us gaze WAY into the future and ponder this: What IF the Panthers were to win the Stanley Cup? Where would the team hold the parade?

Since the Panthers play way out in the burbs, they really don't belong to any one major metropolitan center of South Florida.

When the Marlins won the World Series in 2003, they held a traditional parade in downtown Miami as well as a boat parade down the New River in Fort Lauderdale.

Kind of like that idea.

Of course, the Devils and Hurricanes both held their Cup parades in the parking lots of their home arena. The Carolina parade was pretty cool, the Canes starting the NC Canescup State football stadium before working their way back around the perimeter of the arena.

The Panthers could always hold the parade around the access road of the Sawgrass Mills Mall and then hold a rally in the arena parking lot across the street.

I doubt the Panthers would hold anything south of the Broward County line, so that means a traditional parade down Flagler Street in Miami is out. Downtown Fort Lauderdale -- maybe down Las Olas -- is more likely.

One thing is for certain: The parade will be sponsored by someone.

Of course, this is something no one is worried about right now. But, if you want to vote on your selection, have at it. A new On Frozen Poll is below.

As far as the Florida Bruins go, NHL Network will carry the NESN coverage of the Bruins' parade from TD Garden to Copley Plaza starting Saturday at 10 a.m. NHL.com will also stream the parade.


Your Florida Bruins and their new pal Stanley

Floridabruins Hey, look who it is!

It's Dennis Seidenberg, Gregory Campbell and Nathan Horton!

Wonder what they've been up to lately?

Congrats fellas.

(AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Panthers Hold 'See Red' Campaign throughout Broward County Friday

Bullsred If you happen to be out and about Broward County on Friday afternoon, odds are you are going to run into some red-clad Panthers employees.

The Panthers are calling it "Paint The Town Red.”

From the team: This grassroots marketing initiative will start Friday when every Panthers full-time staff member will blanket South Florida hot spots such as downtown Ft. Lauderdale, Sunrise, Plantation, and more.
They say that if you happen to be wearing red and are spotted by a Panthers person (wearing red) that you'll get a “We See Red” reward ticket. What's that you ask? Apparently that gives you the opportunity to win the new Panthers red home jersey, a t-shirt or a hat/

Friday’s festivities will culminate with the Panthers staff meeting on the Panthers Patio at Duffy’s Sports Grill in Plantation at 5 p.m.

Here's where the 'Panther Patrol' will be on Friday.

Coral Springs (Coral Square Mall)
Coral Springs (The Shoppes At Heron Lakes)
Cooper City (Tijuana Flats Plaza)
Cooper City (Publix Plaza)
Cooper City (WalMart Plaza)
Cooper City (Countryside Shops)
Davie (Cinemark Plaza)
Davie (Tower Shops)
Ft. Lauderdale (Broward Community College)
Ft. Lauderdale (Downtown - 2nd Ave)
Ft. Lauderdale (Galleria Mall)
Ft. Lauderdale (Harbor Shops)
Ft. Lauderdale (Nova Southeastern University)
Plantation (Fountains Shopping Center)
Plantation (Westfield/Broward Mall)
Pembroke Pines (Pembroke Lakes Mall)
Pembroke Pines (Shops At Pembroke Gardens)
Sunrise (Flamingo Shopping Center)
Sunrise (IKEA)
Sunrise (Publix Plaza)
Sunrise (Starbucks Plaza)
Weston (Weston Town Center)

Tomas Vokoun: Moving Out?

Vokoun It's hard to believe, but goaltender Tomas Vokoun has never been a free agent.

Nashville picked him up in the expansion draft after Montreal gave up on him, then signed him to a four-year deal before shipping him off to the Panthers.

Well, that four-year deal is over. It sounds like Vokoun is ready to move on from the Panthers.

Vokoun spoke to the Czech paper/site iDENZ.cz -- you can read a Google translated version of the story right here -- where there is speculation that Vokoun will be in play either in Philadelphia (if Ilya Bryzgalov doesn't work out), Phoenix (which traded Bryzgalov to Philly) or Colorado.


"Under certain circumstances I would be willing to go to Florida,'' the translated Vokoun text reads, "but the other possibility is too tempting. So get into the team, which is strong and has a chance to win the Stanley Cup." That "Stanley Cup" team reads like the Avs.

Yeah, must be lost in the translation.

The Edmonton Journal first spotted this story -- there has been talk the Oilers are interested in Vokoun -- and hinted that Vokoun had been talking with the Flyers and Coyotes.

That would be tampering since, as Vokoun pointed out to the paper, the only team that can make any offer to him right now is the Panthers. And no team would dare tamper with another team's property, right? Right?

On July 1, however, that all changes.

Officially, of course.

As far as the Colorado thing goes, one person close to the Panthers mentioned the Avs as a potential landing spot for Vokoun just last week. And Adrian Dater in Colorado seems to think something is up.

Hey, the last time a Panthers goalie was a free agent, the Avs came calling. Why not now?

June 08, 2011

Looking Back: Florida Panthers Trades of 2010

Tallonring Dale Tallon was hired to be the general manager of the Panthers in May. It didn't take Tallon long to put his fingerprints all over the Panthers.

In the days leading up to the 2010 draft, Tallon dropped a blockbuster on the NHL landscape by trading Nathan Horton and Gregory Campbell to Boston in exchange for defenseman Dennis Wideman and the 15th overall pick.

At the draft, Keith Ballard was sent to Vancouver along with Victor Oreskovich for Steve Bernier, Michael Grabner and the 25th overall pick.

With Bernier being let go by the Panthers -- he is a restricted free agent who won't get an offer from the team -- what does Florida have left from these two big trades?

Some strong prospects and financial mobility.

Let us look at the trades one by one:

Horton1 HORTON TRADE: Tallon moved Horton because, as he said, Horton didn't want to be here anymore. Campbell was thrown into the deal for varying reasons. One, I think, was a warning shot to then-coach Pete DeBoer. Campbell was one of Pete's guys. And he was thrown into this deal. Just my opinion.

"Sometimes you have to make these moves looking forward to the future,'' Tallon said then.

"[Horton] was obviously frustrated in what had happened in the past. He wanted me Campbellbos to see what was out there for him. He felt it might be better if he could go somewhere else. Nothing surprises me in this business. We have to do what's best for the Florida Panthers period.''

Said Horton: "I think it's time. It's been a great time in Florida, but it hasn't worked out well for anyone who has been there the past couple of years. It might be good for change.''

The trade definitely worked out for Boston. Until being blindsided in Game 3 on Monday, Horton was having a very strong postseason and became the first player to score three game-winning goals in one postseason. Campbell has also fit in very well in Boston and was a nice addition to the Bruins.

Florida got Wideman in the deal and dealt him to Washington at the deadline. It was always an adventure when Wideman had the puck, but he could score. He was one goal away from tying the Panthers record for power play goals by a defenseman in a season by the time he was dealt.

Wideman Florida got almost nothing in return for Wideman, but they did erase his money off the books. The Panthers took spare parts and some picks for Wideman but literally would have taken a bag of pucks to dump that contract.

Wideman will make $4 million next year -- a lot more than the Panthers wanted to pay for him.

So, Boston got two nice pieces to a team that is playing for the Cup. The Panthers dumped a ton of money and ended up trading the 15th overall pick for the 19th. Tallon & Co. took future center Nick Bjugstad with that selection.

Bruins WINNER: Boston, although the Panthers aren't crying about this one. Horton has obviously benefited from the change of scenery although Campbell should have stayed.

BALLARD TRADE: The Panthers liked Ballard when he was here, but Tallon rolled his eyes when he saw the contract Jacques Martin signed him to. After JM the GM traded Olli Jokinen for Ballard, the Panthers signed the high-energy defenseman to a six-year deal that didn't kick in until the 2009-10 s Ballard season. Ballard's cap hit over the six year deal was $4.2 million per.

So when the Panthers traded Ballard, it was more to get rid of the final five years of that contract than for anything else. Keep that in mind.

Oreskovich, another Pete guy, was thrown into this deal. Interesting.

Bernier was a money swap; the Panthers took his bad money to help make the deal. Bernier Florida hoped Bernier would bring more to the table than he did, although Bernier was never the same after getting butted in the eye by Minnesota's Brent Burns in November.

Grabner? The Panthers would love to take this one back. Even though DeBoer has taken some blame for this one, it was Tallon who put Grabner on waivers hoping he would slip through and make it to Rochester. That, obviously, didn't happen as Grabner -- a player The Hockey News predicted would have a breakout year for the Panthers -- was snared by the Islanders Grabs and was a ROY finalist.

Florida did end up with the 25th pick, taking Quinton Howden with it. Howden looks like he'll be with the Panthers in a few years.

WINNER: Panthers. Although it's still early, the Panthers did what they Sticks wanted to do in this trade by dumping a large contract and getting a good prospect. They made a mistake with Grabner and Bernier didn't do much in his one season in Sunrise, but Ballard has struggled in Vancouver thanks to injuries and such. If the Panthers don't make this deal, they would have started the season spending over $8 million on Wideman and Ballard. That's too much for a team like the Panthers.

Former Panthers DJ Slinging Beer on iTunes

NB_LOGO Some of you may remember Panthers DJ Brian Owen from games over the past few years.

Not only does the guy like his tunes, but he also likes his beer.

His new business interest is banking that you do as well.

Nearbeer2 Brian Lenihan, who is the president of AboveGround Applications, helped develop this iPhone application to allow users find the cheepest beer in town -- wherever the user is.

To check out the app, visit the iTunes store here.

I also have a handful of free codes, so if you have an iPhone and want the app gratis, send me an email at OnFrozenPond93@yahoo.com

“We feel strongly that NearBeer fills a large area of want for iPhone users,'' he said. "Equal parts fun, convenient and practical, NearBeer appeals to beer enthusiasts and casual consumers alike.''

Some of the features include: Locating the closest, best deals; Social gaming allows for users to earn points and build a “Cap Collection”; Users can also compete for titles at their favorite joints.


Craig Anderson Goalie Camp in Pembroke Pines

Andy Sometimes you can take the goalie out of South Florida, but you sure can't take the South Florida out of the goalie.

It was true with Broward County resident Roberto Luongo -- although he's in Boston right now on business -- and it's also the case with Craig Anderson.

Anderson, who recently signed a four-year pact with Ottawa, will hold his goalie summer camp in Pembroke Pines in August.

The former Panthers netminder will be holding the camp at Pines Ice Arena (on Taft Street just west of Flamingo Road) on Aug. 1-4.

Cost of the camp is $500. For more information, contact Pines Ice Arena or call Brian Schilling at 866-585-1380. Only the first 48 goalies will be allowed to participate.



Panthers Assistant GM Mike Santos: No Worries on Erik Gudbranson; No Talks with Mike Santorelli; Panthers Like Tomas Vokoun and More

Guds Spoke with Panthers assistant general manager Mike Santos on Tuesday afternoon and have a number of updates regarding the Panthers.

The biggest news is that Santos has refuted various reports that say prospect Erik Gudbranson isn't happy with the Panthers, saying Brian Skrudland talks to him “regularly.''

That said, the Panthers and Gudbranson's camp don't appear close to having a contract done.

“We've had some discussions with his representatives off and on this summer. I can't say we're close. It's  really up to his people. I spoke to his agent in the past week. It's nothing bad on either side. We're just trying to get the right deal done. Sometimes it takes longer than you would like.

“But he's coming to camp regardless of whether he's signed or not.''

Santtorelli -- Restricted free agent Mike Santorelli is not close to signing, although the Panthers don't seem all that concerned.

But how about this: “There have been no discussions with him or his agent since the end of the season. I contacted them in January to see if we could get something done. There has been no movement, no communication. I don't know what's going on.''

Santos adds he doesn't care whether Santorelli files for arbitration or not.

“If he wants to file, at least I know I'll get a deal done. Sometimes that's a good thing. Of course, I would hope we could negotiate a deal. So far, that hasn't happened.''

Santos has been Santorelli's biggest fan (Santos worked the deal to get Santorelli out of Nashville for a low draft pick last year) and seems confused by the lack of communication.

“We acquired him, gave him an opportunity he never had before. He played well, and the expectations for him aren't completely fulfilled. He needs to get out there and keep playing. He could be a very good player in the NHL. He's had one decent year.''

Gordmurphy -- Santos said Gord Murphy was retained after the Pete DeBoer firing because he had one year left on his contract. Whether new coach Kevin Dineen keeps Murphy is up to him.
“We always said it was up to the new coach whether he wants to keep [Murphy],'' Santos said. “I don't know if they've talked. It's up to Kevin and I don't know if he's started looking to fill his staff. I don't think he's in any hurry. The draft is a convenient place to look for guys. I would like to have things filled by the first week of July.''

-- Santos said he hasn't heard anything regarding a possibility of former Thrashers GM Rick Dudley helping the Panthers out during the draft – or beyond. Dudley, the Panthers former GM and coach, worked closely with GM Dale Tallon on Chicago.

-- The worst kept secret among the Panthers? The future of Byron Bitz and Steve Bernier. Both are restricted free agents. For now. They'll be free to sign anywhere else soon enough. “You can assume that's true,'' Santos said. “I'm not expecting them back.''

Vokounweiss -- Santos said there is interest in bringing Tomas Vokoun back and thinks the veteran goalie wants to return to South Florida.

“We're going to try to do the best we can at the goaltender position,'' Santos said. “At the end of the day, it could be Tomas Vokoun. That would be terrific. He's a guy we know. But we're going to get the best goalie we can. And it may just be him.

“We haven't spoken in a few weeks, maybe even a month. And that meeting was nothing real involved, just a general discussion. And none of us talked about July 1. If we were going to do something, it would be before July 1, though. You never know. It wouldn't be a long term deal, no longer than three.''

-- On Mark Cullen: “It's a two-way contract, same he had last year. Unfortunately he had the injury that kept him off ice until February. He played well when he came back. He can be a good depth guy.''

-- By signing Cullen, you have to assume the Panthers will have their own AHL team next season. It won't be in Rochester, but I'm hearing places like Portland, Maine, and Norfolk, Va., could be in play for the Panthers.

“We're expecting to have an AHL affiliate, I just don't know where it will be,'' Santos said. “I am confident we'll have a place of our own, and I wasn't confident of that earlier this summer. There are many things in play right now.''

-- Pete DeBoer is still under contract to the Panthers, but don't expect to see him doing any side work for the franchise.

“He was let go without cause,'' Santos said. “We're just paying out his contract.''

Beezer -- And finally, the red jerseys. Santos, Tallon and Bill Torrey aren't fans of the alternate JetBlue uniforms although they'll be around this year.

The Panthers have to wear them for another season to fulfill their contract with Reebok and the NHL. After that, they will likely disappear into the night.

Santos is excited about the return of the red.

“If you look through the history of this organization, every time the Panthers made the playoffs, they wore red,'' he said. “Look through the history of the NHL. You will see that more teams Tiger have won the Stanley Cup with a red sweater than any other color.

“Think of it this way: Tiger Woods used to wear red on Sundays. He didn't wear blue.''

June 06, 2011

Florida Panthers: Everyone is Seeing Red

Lbj The Panthers new rebranding took place Monday afternoon as their official website turned into a sheet of red as the team's new marketing campaign was unveiled.

It's simply: 'We're Seeing Red'.

The new red jerseys are coming, but won't be unveiled today. They'll likely be brought out for the first time at the draft later this month.

Here's a link to the official team video.

If you notice near the end, there is a black-and-white clip of the JetBlue thirds being washed over in red. Perhaps we have seen IMG_1275 the last of those after all.

Here is the release from the team:

Sunrise Sports & Entertainment today announced “We See Red” – the Florida Panthers’ marketing campaign which launches today, June 6, and will continue through the 2011-12 NHL season.

Video link: http://video.panthers.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=892&id=117041
“We See Red” signifies the Panthers’ passion, aggressiveness, new blood, attitude, desire and commitment to winning under the leadership of General Manager Dale Tallon and now, Head Coach Kevin Dineen. Coinciding with the campaign, the Panthers will also unveil a new home jersey at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft on IMG_0794 June 24. The jersey will feature the Cats’ “true colors” and will be worn by the team’s first pick – currently No. 3 overall.   
“‘We See Red’ is one of the most aggressive and fitting marketing campaigns this franchise has ever had,” said Panthers president & COO Michael Yormark. “Red represents passion, desire, commitment and aggressiveness and that’s exactly the type of team GM Dale Tallon is building here in South Florida. It also represents our franchise’s desire to achieve success on and off the ice, to win, and to build a team and a franchise that our fans and the South Florida community can be proud of.”
That stage was set last summer when Cliff Viner took over as General Partner of the organization and hired Tallon to build the franchise into a consistent winner and contender. Tallon subsequently reshaped the hockey operations department with top notch hires in the front office and behind the bench, implemented a new attitude and environment around the locker room, and set the Panthers up to be aggressive in remaking their roster during the critical 2011 offseason. Tallon and his staff have made no secret of their goals: to build a consistent playoff team and to eventually bring a Stanley Cup to South Florida. “We See Red” signifies the desire and commitment to achieving those goals.  
“We See Red” is a fully-integrated marketing campaign developed by Zimmerman Advertising and will be activated through radio, television, print and online over the course of the campaign. The campaign was officially launched today through the “We See Red Manifesto” video on FloridaPanthers.com and linked here: http://video.panthers.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=892&id=117041.
As part of the campaign, the Panthers also announced a special “We See Red Pack” for new ticket buyers. All new full season of half season ticket buyers in the lower bowl or Lexus Club Level will receive a new replica Panthers home jersey, a 2011-12 team signed stick, an invitation to an exclusive 2011-12 New Florida Panthers Welcome Party, entry in a Panthers fly away road trip contest, and more.

June 05, 2011

Sunday Funday: My Nieces Enjoying Technology, Talking on an iPhone

Girlspanthers Since there isn't much to talk about regarding the South Florida hockey team right now, thought I would share a couple of cute videos.

The first video is of my 18-month-old niece Addie having a conversation with her grandma.

The second is of Izzie's reaction to the first video as she basically talks to video self.

The other little girl in the videos is Izzie's older (by less than a minute) sister Addison (as in 'the corner of Clark and Addison').

Wrigley I think it's pretty cute, but I'm naturally biased when it comes to these kids. They're the best. And they enjoy hockey. They love coming to practice with me. Next season they're going to get to some games so that will be nice.

Anyway, will be back this week with likely updates on the new jerseys, the Panthers free agents and hopefully more from new coach Kevin Dineen.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend folks.


June 04, 2011

Michael Yormark: 'Educating the Media Through Twitter'

Yormarktwitt A few hours ago, Panthers president Michael Yormark sent out a text message through Twitter (if you would like to follow him, he's @PanthersYormark) that he was "Starting a series of did you know facts to better educate the media on the health of the panthers.''

Naturally, my interest was piqued. 

The last message came across around 7:15 Saturday night. 

Here's what we've seen the past few hours. Yormark's comments in italics, mine follow. 

Don't forget, you can follow me on Twitter as well. @OnFrozenPond. It's free, and sometimes it's even fun.

PanthersYormark - Michael Yormark: "Did you know that our sponsor revenue is in the top 3rd of the NHL??" 

GR: I did not know this little nugget of information and find it hard to question it. With all the advertising plastered on every nook and cranny of the arena, the Panthers should be in the top three of the league and not just the top third. Heck, the Panthers even have an appliance store in their arena in case you want to buy a washer or drier in between periods. So, yes, not questioning this one.

PanthersYormark - Michael Yormark: "Did you know that the panthers WERE NOT in the top ten teams in the NHL in comp tickets this season?" 

GR: I did notice the free ticket vouchers had all but disappeared around town. Of course, the Panthers did give season ticket holders a 2-for-1 deal before the 2010-11 season started; the team doesn't consider those giveaway tickets as giveaways. Hence, a cut down on comp tickets but there were plenty of freebies regardless. The Panthers also had a fun deal where you could put $1 down and get tickets. Or so they said. The Panthers also tried a pricing plan based on the model of how airlines price tickets. Never heard how this one went. No one I ever spoke to spent more money for certain games than they did for others, although I could see some paying a lot more for Canadiens tickets than the other 41 homes games.

Twitter PanthersYormark - Michael Yormark: "Another fact, the bankatlantic center is the fourth ranked entertainment venue in america for concerts and shows.''

GR: The Panthers arena is usually very highly rated by people who rank such things such as PollStar.com. The Sunrise arena is very active and is one reason the Panthers aren't going anywhere any time soon. The Panthers are in a very different situation than the Thrashers were, and I'm guessing the ATL situation is a reason why Michael Yormark is hitting the Twitterverse with such verve today.

FUN FACT (from a friend in Atlanta): Philips Arena was ranked No. 2 by PollStar.com at the time the BAC was No. 4. That high ranking didn't seem to help the Thrashers.

PanthersYormark - Michael Yormark: "Another fact, we played at close to 90 percent of capacity this season.''

Fall2010 564 GR: Well, this one we can debate a bit. According to ESPN.com, the Panthers were ranked 22nd in the league, averaging 15,685 per home game (which is well above the 14,000 mandate for revenue sharing). The 15,685 is 81 1/2 percent of the capacity in Sunrise. Well, the true capacity of the BAC.

The Panthers put up tarps in the upper deck, reducing capacity at the arena. The arena went from a capacity of 19,250 (with no tarps) to just over 17,000 with full tarping.

It's hard to know what the Panthers use as an official capacity since some games had full tarps, some tarps or no tarps. Some games (17,825 v NJ on 1/15/11 and 17,328 v TB on 1/21/11) were declared sellouts even though there were plenty of seats to be sold. Florida declared its home opener to be sold out although announced attendance was just 17,040.

By comparison, the Canadiens game on 12/31 was a true sellout at 20,072. Since capacity doesn't count toward revenue sharing, it really doesn't matter. But the Panthers did not average close to 90 percent capacity -- save for select games.

Michael Yormark also mentioned that he has an "interview on cbc.ca with eliot friedman.'' So check that out if you want.

He also said there is a "major team branding announcement on monday. Its all about NOW and our bright FUTURE!''

Louiehorton I would guess this has to do with the Red-themed marketing campaign.

Anyway, I'll stay up on Twitter this weekend and keep you up to date on things. 

Enjoy Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals between your Florida Bruins and Vancouver Panthers.