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CATS MAKE MOVES: Panthers Sign Scott Clemmensen, George Parros and Filip Kuba for Two Years Each ... Jason Garrison Gone to Canucks


ClemBY GEORGE RICHARDS grichards@MiamiHerald.com

TWITTER: @GeorgeRichards 

The Panthers weren't as busy at the onset of the free agency market opening on Sunday afternoon as they were last season – although no one expected them to be.

Things were slow for much of the day as the biggest free agents on the market, not including Florida's Jason Garrison, remain out there going into Day 2 on Monday.

The Panthers did make some moves. Florida signed goalie Scott Clemmensen to a two-year contract before he could become an unrestricted free agent at noon. The Panthers also added veteran defenseman Filip Kuba and bottom six forward George Parros.

Florida didn't improve its offense on Sunday, something general manager Dale Tallon said he hopes to address as the summer rolls on – and perhaps as early as Monday.

Once top free agents Ryan Suter and Zach Parise sign, the market should open up.

“We made solid hockey moves with guys who want to come here,'' said Tallon, who signed an unprecedented eight players on the first day of free agency last summer.

“We're still not done, have a few things in the fryer right now and are waiting for some guys to get back to us. This is a work in progress. We're moving forward.''

GarrisonnycFlorida replaced Garrison by signing Kuba to a two-year deal worth $8 million. It's believed the Panthers were offering Garrison – a free agent who scored a career-high 16 goals last season – around $4 million per season.

Garrison, from British Columbia, signed a six-year deal with Vancouver worth an average of $4.6 million per season.

“Based on the numbers they are at and the numbers we are at, we are happy with Filip,'' Tallon said of Garrison. “We kept our solid defense in place with his acquisition.''

Kuba, 35, was drafted by the Panthers in 1995 and played in 18 games for Florida from 1998-99. He's Kubaplayed in 776 since for Minnesota, Tampa Bay and Ottawa. Last year, paired with Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson, Kuba had 32 points off six goals and was a team-best plus-26 in 73 games.

Clemmensen, who turns 35 this month, just completed a three-year deal with the Panthers. Financial terms were not available; Clemmensen made $1.5 million last season on a contract that averaged $1.2 million.

Florida has both of last year's goalies under contract as Jose Theodore is signed for one more season. The Panthers are said to still be in the running for Vancouver's Roberto Luongo – Florida's goalie from 2000-06 who still lives in Parkland – and reportedly inquired about New Jersey's Martin Brodeur.

“It's been fun, I've really enjoyed my time in South Clemm3Florida,'' said Clemmensen, who has made 70 of his 124 career starts with the Panthers. “I want to be a Panther. I'm very excited about it. Florida was on the top of my destination list. Talks were always positive. It's just nice to get it done.''

BradleyhurtThe Panthers' final big move of Sunday was signing Parros away from Anaheim to replace Matt Bradley. Florida officially bought out Bradley's final year on Saturday.

Bradley suffered a season-ending concussion in February, coincidentally, after missing on a full-speed check of Parros and going head-first into the stanchion by the Panthers bench.

Parros2Parros is known for his thick mustache (which has its own Facebook page) and tough play. He said he saw how Florida coach Kevin Dineen used players such as Krys Barch and Bradley last season and figured he will get more playing time with the Panthers.

“They had a great season last year and have great management. I'm excited to be a part of it,'' said Parros, who played in just 46 games last year because of various injuries and being scratched for 11 of Anaheim's final 16 games.

“Being out west for so long, you don't see that division a whole lot. But this past year, Florida impressed a lot of people. They were on everyone's radar. We all saw that. The guys out west took notice.''

Although Florida kept Clemmensen around, it lost out on Mikael Samuelsson.

SamuelssoncupThe Panthers acquired Samuelsson in the David Booth deal with Vancouver last October; Samuelsson missed a big chunk of the season with various injuries (sports hernia, concussion) but played strong down the stretch and was a key veteran leader during the postseason.

The Panthers made an offer to Samuelsson to stay, yet Sunday afternoon, he returned to Detroit – where he won the Cup in 2008 – and signed a two-year deal worth $6 million. “We tried and were in the mix,'' Tallon said.

() Florida will open its week-long developmental camp Monday afternoon at the Coral Springs Iceplex. The first group will hit the ice at 1:30 p.m. with the second going on at 2:30. Admission is free.

() The Panthers also announced the signing of Greg Rallo and Dov Grumet-Morris to two-way deals. They'll be in San Antonio.

MEET THE PANTHERS

Who: Filip Kuba, defenseman

Age, hometown: 35; Ostrava, Czech Republic

Experience (past teams): 13 seasons (Florida, Minnesota, Tampa Bay, Ottawa)

Scouting report: Kuba is a smooth skating defenseman who had a strong offensive season last year. Kuba is consistent and should be a top-four guy in Florida.

Who: George Parros, left wing

Age, hometown: 32; Washington, Pa.

Experience (past teams): 7 seasons (Los Angeles, Anaheim)

Scouting report: At 6-5 and 230 pounds, Parros is big, strong and intimidating. Parros isn't much of an offensive threat, but he's not a liability either.

 

 

 

 

Comments

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Yawn.

What's the word on Luongo?

Screw Luongo.

Get some scoring. We are 15 TONS under the cap.

I THINK WE WILL REGRET LOSING GARRISON.i WAS HOPING THIS FRANCHISE WOULD HOLD ON TO PROMISING YOUNG TALENT.

Well, at least Garrison is in the West...If he didn't want to be here, hasta la vista. I agree that without Being paired with Soupy, his numbers will dwindle. Say hi to J-Bo out west.

So Markstrom still won't be starting?

I still feel Doan is coming this way--leadership, Ellerby's cousin if I'm not mistaken, Jovo's teammate, etc....

Good points made, Eric. And Vic, you are kinda arrogant, obviously the Panthers tried to keep Garrison. In the end, he wanted to play for the Canucks, nothing for the Panthers to regret.

Garrison payed his dues, and deserves his payday, whether it be with The Cats or whomever.

I wish him and his family nothing but the best of luck for a prosperous future in a truly beautiful city with passionate, knowledgeable, and EXPECTANT fans, lol.

Re-signing Clemmenson was BIG, IMO. The alternatives for "back-up/spot-starter" were not promising. Now I think the focus goes to Semin, and a possible trade for a Center. If you go off the assumption that Huby will be coming on board to be the 1st or 2nd line LW, then all that's really missing is a 1st or 2nd line Center.....

Flash Weiss Versteeg

Huby ????? Semin/Upshall

Bergy Goc Kopecky

Parros Matthias Skille

Who knows, maybe they(Tallon and Co.) know something
we don't(like Bujgstad saying that he's ready to jump
to the pro's), but I think it's more likely that some sort of trade my be on the horizon....or......*gasp*.....We may be preparing for the second coming of The Great Jokinen!!!! Rejoice villagers...Rejoice.

Vic, Garrison isn't young, and 4.7 is big money for a one year wonder.

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