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Meet the 2011-12 Florida Panthers

FORWARDS

LW SEAN BERGENHEIM, 20

Ht., Wt.: 5-11, 200

Age: 27

Hometown: Helsinki, Finland

NHL seasons/With Panthers: 7/1

Remaining contract*: 4 years @ $2.75 million

Bergenheim busted out during his first taste of the playoffs last season, scoring nine goals as the Lightning came within a goal of the Stanley Cup Finals.

RW DAVID BOOTH, 10

Ht., Wt.: 6-0, 212

Age: 26

Hometown: Detroit, Michigan

NHL seasons/With Panthers: 6/6

Remaining contract: 4 years @ $4.25 million

Booth bounced back from his nightmarish 2009-10 season by playing in all 82 games for the Panthers last year. Booth scored 23 goals but was a minus-31; Florida is looking for big things this season.

LW MATT BRADLEY, 22

Ht., Wt.: 6-3, 210

Age: 33

Hometown: Stittsville, Ontario

NHL seasons/With Panthers: 11/1

Remaining contract: 2 years @ $950,000

Bradley didn't score many goals for the Capitals last season but was a fan favorite in the District for his intense style of play. He'll toughen up the Florida fourth line for sure.

C RYAN CARTER, 24

Ht., Wt.: 6-1, 200

Age: 28

Hometown: White Bear Lake, Minn.

NHL seasons/With Panthers: 5/2

Remaining contract: 1 year @ $750,000

Carter played for three teams last season as he was traded from Anaheim to Carolina before landing in Sunrise. The Panthers liked what they saw as Carter is one of the few 'tryout' players from last year to return.

LW EVGENY DADONOV, 63

Ht., Wt: 5-10, 180

Age: 22

Hometown: Chelyabinsk, Russia

NHL seasons/With Panthers: 2/2

Remaining contract: 1 year @ $875,000

Dadonov started last season with AHL Rochester, but after scoring eight goals in 24 games was brought to Florida where he showed playmaking ability and a skillful flair.

LW TOMAS FLEISCHMANN, 14

Ht., Wt.: 6-1, 192

Age: 27

Hometown: Koprivnice, Czech Republic

NHL seasons/With Panthers: 7/1

Remaining contract: 4 years @ $4.5 million

Fleischmann started last season with the Capitals but was traded and re-found his game with the Avs. Fleischmann had 21 points in 22 games before being shut down with blood clots. He's been cleared by doctors but it's a condition the Panthers will monitor.

C MARCEL GOC, 57

Ht., Wt.: 6-1, 205

Age: 28

Hometown: Calw, Germany

NHL seasons/With Panthers: 7/1

Remaining contract: 3 years @ $1.7 million

A strong puck moving center, Goc won't be asked to score a lot although he does have good hands and a knack for scoring timely goals. Goc had nine in 51 games with the Preds last season.

RW TOMAS KOPECKY, 82

Ht., Wt.: 6-3, 200

Age: 29

Hometown: Ilava, Slovakia

NHL seasons/With Panthers: 6/1

Remaining contract: 4 years @ $3 million

A two-time Cup champ with Detroit and Chicago, Kopecky was traded to the Panthers prior to the free agent spending spree began. Tough in front of the net, Kopecky should add to last year's 15 goals.

C SHAWN MATTHIAS, 18

Ht., Wt.: 6-2, 213

Age: 23

Hometown: Mississauga, Ontario

NHL seasons/With Panthers: 4/4

Remaining contract: 2 years @ $850,000

After suffering an ankle injury that cut short his season, Matthias had a strong camp after the team only offered him a two-way contract during the summer. Matthias has 13 goals in the past two years.

C MIKE SANTORELLI, 13

Ht., Wt.: 6-0, 189

Age: 25

Hometown: Vancouver, British Columbia

NHL seasons/With Panthers: 4/2

Remaining contract: 2 years @ $1.6 million

The Panthers got Santorelli on the cheap last summer and he proved to be a steal, scoring 20 goals and playing in all 82. Santorelli will start this season on the DL, however, after hurting his shoulder.

LW JACK SKILLE, 12

Ht., Wt.: 6-1, 205

Age: 24

Hometown: Madison, Wisc.

NHL seasons/With Panthers: 4/2

Remaining contract: 2 years @ $825,000

Drafted in the first round by Chicago, Skille was reunited with Dale Tallon in a midseason trade last year. Skille brings size and speed to the lineup – and an ability to score a bit as well.

RW SCOTTIE UPSHALL, 19

Ht., Wt.: 6-0, 200

Age: 27 (birthday on Friday)

Hometown: Fort McMurray, Alberta

NHL seasons/With Panthers: 7/1

Remaining contract: 4 years @ $3.5 million

Upshall is a player the Panthers are really counting on to provide some scoring punch. In 82 games between Phoenix and Columbus last season, Upshall put in 22 goals.

LW KRIS VERSTEEG, 32

Ht., Wt.: 5-10, 180

Age: 25

Hometown: Lethbridge, Alberta

NHL seasons/With Panthers: 5/1

Remaining contract: 1 year @ $3.1 million

One of Tallon's favorite players from the Chicago days, Versteeg (with three 20-goal seasons on the resume) was traded to Toronto after the Hawks' championship and ended last season with the Flyers. 

C STEPHEN WEISS, 9

Ht., Wt.: 5-11, 180

Age: 28

Hometown: Toronto, Ontario

NHL seasons/With Panthers: 10/10

Remaining contract: 2 years @ $3.1 million

The Panthers top line center, Weiss led the Panthers in scoring last season although it wasn't his greatest of moments. Weiss got beat up last year and is looking to come back strong.

DEFENSE

BRIAN CAMPBELL, 51

Ht., Wt: 5-11, 185

Age: 32

Hometown: Strathroy, Ontario

NHL seasons/With Panthers: 10/1

Remaining contract: 5 years @ $7.14 million

The Panthers acquired this top defenseman at the draft for Rostislav Olesz. Campbell should bring strong defense while helping out on the offensive end – especially on power plays.

KEATON ELLERBY, 4

Ht., Wt.: 6-4, 200

Age: 22

Hometown: Strathmore, Alberta

NHL seasons/With Panthers: 3/3

Remaining contract: 1 year @ $787,000

Ellerby, the 10th overall pick in the 2007 draft, really picked up his game after a disappointing rookie season. Ellerby is much stronger, assertive and plays with a bit of a mean streak.

JASON GARRISON, 52

Ht., Wt.: 6-2, 220

Age: 26

Hometown: White Rock, British Columbia

NHL seasons/With Panthers: 3/3

Remaining contract: 1 year @ $675,000

An undrafted free agent signing by Jacques Martin, Garrison has been a great find and has quietly become a top defenseman for the Panthers. In a contract year, expect more big things.

ERIK GUDBRANSON, 44

Ht., Wt.: 6-4, 195

Age: 19

Hometown: Ottawa, Ontario

NHL seasons/With Panthers: 1/1

Remaining contract: 3 years @ $900,000

Gudbranson is expected to make his NHL debut in Florida's season opener Saturday against the host New York Islanders. The third overall pick in 2010, Gudbranson is quick and big and can play.

DMITRY KULIKOV, 7

Ht., Wt.: 6-1, 183

Age: 20

Hometown: Lipetsk, Russia

NHL seasons/With Panthers: 3/3

Remaining contract: 1 year @ $375,000

A victim of the dreaded sophomore slump, Kulikov's game seemingly got stronger as the season went along and Florida gave him more responsibility. Expect the Panthers to keep doing that.

ED JOVANOVSKI, 55

Ht., Wt.: 6-3, 218

Age: 35

Hometown: Windsor, Ontario

NHL seasons/With Panthers: 16/5

Remaining contract: 4 years @ $4.15 million

The first overall selection in the 1994 draft by the Panthers, Jovanovski comes back to the Panthers after being traded away in 1999. 'JovoCop' only played in 50 games last year but had a strong camp.

MIKE WEAVER, 43

Ht., Wt.: 5-9, 186

Age: 33

Hometown: Bramalea, Ontario

NHL seasons/With Panthers: 10/2

Remaining contract: 1 year @ $900,000

Weaver has proven himself to be a top-end defender as he uses his long reach to pick off pucks and he always seems to be in the way. Last year's 11 assists were a career high.

GOALIES

SCOTT CLEMMENSEN, 30

Ht., Wt.: 6-3, 205

Age: 34

Hometown: Des Moines, Iowa

NHL seasons/With Panthers: 9/3

Remaining contract: 1 year @ $1.2 million

Clemmensen was having a strong camp and was in competition to start Saturday's season opener against the Islanders before having minor knee surgery. Clemmensen should be back later this month.

JACOB MARKSTROM, 25

Ht., Wt.: 6-3, 178

Age: 21

Hometown: Gavle, Sweden

NHL seasons/With Panthers: 1/1

Remaining contract: 2 years @ $875,000

With Clemmensen on the shelf, Markstrom – Florida's 'Goalie of the Future' – gets an early taste of NHL life. Markstrom is big and doesn't scare easy. Good characteristics for a goalie.

JOSE THEODORE, 60

Ht., Wt.: 5-11, 181

Age: 35

Hometown: Laval, Quebec

NHL seasons/With Panthers: 14/1

Remaining contract: 2 years @ $1.5 million

A past Vezina and Hart winner while with Montreal, Theodore is eager to prove his best isn't in the past. Theodore had a strong season with the Wild last season before signing on with Florida in July.

(*) Salary numbers are based on cap hits (average over length of contract) and not actual money paid out by the Panthers with exception of rookie (Gudbranson, Kulikov, Markstrom) contracts which have higher cap hits.

 

Comments

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Geez. Can anyone see the Panthers finishing outside the bottom 5 or even the bottom 3?

I love some of the pickups they had this summer, but ultimately they were a bunch of third, MAYBE 2nd line guys if paired with the right players. The goaltending situation is the scariest...Theodore has looked awful. Panthers fans need to hope Markstrom is the real deal!

Yes Mark, I can see the Panthers finishing outside the bottom 3 or 5. I actually expect to see them between 6-8 in the East. We have a scary defense and tons of talent up front. You call them 2nd line guys? Flash was a point per game roll before the blood clots last season, is a PPG player not a top line player? Booth can most definitely reach the 30 goal mark with more talent surrounding him.Is 30+ goals not 1st line talent? Versteeg looked Pretty darn good next to Weiss in preseason and I expect both of those to have break out seasons. Dadanov will continue to succeed. We have a tough as nails 4th line in Bradley-Matthias-Carter. Kulikov-Campbell, Jovo-Gudbranson,Garrison-Weaver/Ellerby looks outstanding as a D. Tons of grit, scoring ability, and toughness to protect the net. Yes, our goaltending situation looks shakey with Theo bombing in preseason and Clemmer out with a minor injury but I am not worried. I am sure Markstrom will get a start or two before Clemmer comes back, he may even take over depending on how Theo does. Theo does bring success, so let's give him some time. Plus, if all else fails, San Antonio signed Manny Legacy, so he could become an option ( if we need him)
Ultimately, the Panthers went from top 10 goalie and no real offense, to an NHL caliber team, tons of offense, amazing defense and better coaching( hope) and a mediocre goaltender. I wouldn't count the Panthers out. I expect the playoffs and can't wait for the season.

well said dave!

Best news Ive heard today: Henne's out for the season!

The Cats are much improved - except in net - and thats a big exception, if you ask me. Hope the team can find a groove and gel as a squad. But, lets hope that its sooner than later - cant afford to botch the start of the season and miss out on big points.

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