Panthers assistant general manager Mike Santos said Wednesday that the delay in signing center Shawn Matthias comes down to something simple: "He and his agent can't wrap their heads around us not offering a one-way deal.''
Santos said that the restricted free agent is getting a two-way deal and that's it. Matthias is competing with the likes of Ryan Carter, Tim Kennedy and Evgeny Dadonov for a spot. Therefore, "I can't give him a one-way,'' Santos said. "I have to leave spots open for competition.''
That said, Matthias doesn't have much leverage and is going to have to bite this bullet and eventually sign.
-- PS: Dadonov looks to be in great shape and great spirits during informal workouts. Look for a strong camp from him.
-- Santos threw a shot at defenseman Dmitry Kulikov on Wednesday, saying "I wouldn't say Kulikov is guaranteed a spot. He's eligible for the AHL too.''
I don't see Kulikov going anyway. Like Ellerby, it looks like Kulikov has added at least 10 pounds of muscle during the offseason. After a rough sophomore season, I expect a lot of good things out of Kulikov this season -- and it'll start when training camp does.
-- The Panthers unofficial workouts in Coral Springs will continue through training camp.
A bunch of players have been there so far this week, but plenty more are expected by Friday and through next week.
Players such as Jack Skille, Dadonov, Kulikov, Scott Timmins, Mike Weaver, Ed Jovanovski, Jose Theodore, Scott Clemmensen and Matt Bradley have already been out there. Stephen Weiss, David Booth and Jacob Markstrom should be there soon.
Workouts usually begin around 10 a.m. each morning on the Panthers ice sheet.