PANTHERS NOTEBOOK: Svatos Ready to Roll ... Gusbranson Skates, Still Suspended ... Tallon Works on Kulikov ... Kostitsyn Not Coming
After working out in Denver during the lockout, winger Marek Svatos is in South Florida as he prepares to try and make the Panthers. Svatos, like 39-year-old Alex Kovalev will be in camp without a contract.
"I've struggled in the past with some injuries and that's why I took last year off,'' said Svatos, who scored 85 goals from 2005-09 but just 11 in his past two seasons.
"I'm glad I'm here and I'm going to try my best right now. I'm healthy right now. I don't have much time to show off so it's going to be hard and physical.''
-- GM Dale Tallon said that he reached out to the agent for former Canadiens and Nashville winger Andrei Kostitsyn but hadn't heard a response.
Kostitsyn signed a one-year deal with Chelyabinsk Traktor in the KHL and told sportbox.ru he would stay there through the end of the season.
-- Tallon said defenseman Erik Gudbranson continues to be suspended by the team after injuring his shoulder while wakeboarding over the summer in Canada.
"He will be until he's cleared to play,'' Tallon said. "You live and learn. He's a young guy and that's part of life. It'll make him stronger.''
Gudbranson needed surgery but is working out with his teammates and will be evaluated by the team's medical staff on Sunday.
-- Dmitry Kulikov is one of a half dozen Florida regulars who hasn't practiced locally in the past few days. Kulikov spent the lockout in Russia and is said to be on his way back. He has business to attend to as he remains an unsigned restricted free agent.
The Panthers cannot sign Kulikov until the CBA is ratified.
"We're still talking,'' Tallon said. "We want him in our lineup and we're doing everything in our power to get him here. We've talked to his agent the past three days. We're on top of it.''
-- The Panthers will have another unofficial practice Friday at 10 a.m. The workouts are held at the Coral Springs Iceplex and are free and open to the public.