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PANTHERS OFFER DEALS: Florida Tenders Markstrom and Matthias; Don't for Skille and Mueller

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The Panthers began their summer on Tuesday by officially offering contracts to restricted free agents Jacob Markstrom, Shawn Matthias and four others.

Florida did not tender offers to center Peter Mueller nor fourth-line winger Jack Skille. Although general manager Dale Tallon said the team would like to retain Mueller at the right price, Skille will not return.

The Panthers also tendered deals to Scott Timmins, Mike Caruso, Colby Robak and Jon Rheault.

"He has arbitration rights,'' Tallon said of Mueller, who made $1.725 million last year and scored eight goals and 17 points in 43 games.

"We're still negotiating with him and would like to keep him. It's just what the right price is as far as our budget is concerned. We're fearful if he went to arbitration, we might be be able to afford it.''

Tallon made Skille the seventh overall pick of the 2005 draft while with Chicago before bringing him to Florida in exchange for Michael Frolik in 2011. Frolik was traded from Chicago to Winnipeg on Sunday.

"I think for Jack, it's time to change things around,'' Tallon said of Skille, who had three goals and 12 points in 40 games last year. "We can't sit still as a team that was last overall. We need to make some changes, have to shake things up.''

Although Markstrom and Matthias remain property of the Panthers, they have not signed with the team.

Last year, defenseman Dmitry Kulikov -- also a restricted free agent at the time -- held out until just before the abbreviated 2013 season started. Kulikov eventually signed a two-year deal with Florida.

Both Markstrom and Matthias took big steps forward last season. Markstrom took over Florida's starting job in net and Matthias moved up to be Florida's top center once Stephen Weiss left with a wrist injury.

Matthias, 25, set career-highs with 14 goals despite the 48-game slate. Matthias was one of four Florida players to play in all 48 games. Matthias will be getting a nice raise from his $900,000 made last year.

"I'm excited to come back to the Panthers. I've said it before, I don't want to go anywhere else,'' Matthias said Tuesday. "I'm excited to show everyone last year wasn't a fluke and I can play at a high level. I can do a lot better. I don't think that's it. I have a lot more in the tank.

"With the work I've put in, there's no reason I can't keep the No. 1 center job. I'm going into camp focused to take it. I want it and that's what I'm working for.''

Tallon added Florida "holds out hope" to get a new deal done with Weiss, although it appears he will be able to talk to other teams starting Wednesday at midnight.

Weiss, the franchise's all-time leader in games played, Jose Theodore and Tyson Strachan are expected to be free agents come Friday.

"The consensus is they would like me back and I would like to be back,'' Weiss said after the season ended. "It's just a numbers game. Hopefully that works out over the summer, but it's a business. Sometimes those things don't fit and they don't make sense. I understand that. It's not a lost cause by any means.''

PHOTOS: JOE RIMKUS JR./Miami Herald

PANTHERS OFFER DEALS: Florida Tenders Markstrom and Matthias; Don't for Skille and Mueller

PANTHERS OFFER DEALS: Florida Tenders Markstrom and Matthias; Don't for Skille and Mueller

PANTHERS OFFER DEALS: Florida Tenders Markstrom and Matthias; Don't for Skille and Mueller

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Typical dodo panther move.I loved effort of Skille and Muellers offensive skillls.Team is a joke.

You gotta keep Mueller. He's young and a scoring threat anytime he's on the ice. Not many other Panthers are. Get it done. He isn't going to break the bank, and is that the sign you want to send the fans. We are the Florida "Marlins".

big mistake if they don't keep Mueller

I thought Tallon mentioned he was interested in Lecavalier, he can't even offer Mueller a raise.

I am really glad Matthias will be back. Unlike in the past, he was given decent minutes last year, and he produced accordingly. I think Mueller is a good player, but it basically comes down to not have enough roster spots (and money). As of today, my projected offensive lineup is as follows:

Flash-Huber-Versteeg
?????-Matthias-Kopecky
Bergenheim-Goc-Upshall
Shore-Bjugstad-Parros

I think Tallon wants to have youngsters Vincent Trocheck and Aleksander Barkov on the roster next season. Still Mueller would probably be better than both. I personally would like to pursue a UFA.

Kinda bummed that Strachan isn't going to be resigned. He was a physical presence on the ice last year.

We're still negotiating with him and would like to keep him. It's just what the right price is as far as our budget is concerned. We're fearful if he went to arbitration, we might be be able to afford it

Are you f_cking kidding me? Can't afford what? You're like 50mil under the cap

Of course they're under the cap, they always will be. But there's an internal cap, it's not like the Panthers are selling out the building every night. It's a business on their end as well.

I hope Mueller comes back thou. Wouldn't be surprised if Skille went back to Chicago.

We have to stay on our budget..??Isn't that why there is a salary cap to even things out? If ownership can't afford players--sell the team to someone who cares and will pay to the cap and take a loss for a few years until the fans return.
Let's face it--no free agent really wants to come here, we are always rebuilding. The ones that do come are either rehabbing, old, or on the way down and looking for a paycheck. Dale said he is waiting until August--meaning after the good ones are gone--he will get another off the scrap heap. One thing I do know if the team is competitive fans will show up. Fans around the league are just counting the days until we end up moving to Seattle, Quebec, etc... They laugh at us. Every expert in hockey had Barkhov rated 4th. Tallon takes him 2nd..so the apologists around here call Tallon bold. What a joke. This franchise from the top on down is lost.

There is no doubt Shawn Matthias was the most improved player and if he gets the same ice time and can do the same there he should get a big raise. Would like to keep Mueller and Weiss but understand it depends on the money. That said how do they explain give $3.5 to Upshall? If they don't buy him out or trade him then you can't use money as an excuse for Mueller or Weiss when Upshall has done nothing for his contract. Upshall is a bust no other way to describe him. Skille was a good fourth liner but would rather see Quinton Howden take his spot he has more upside... As for taking Barkov that was a great move. Joe Sakic said before the draft that there are 3 forwards that are just too good to pass up and Tallon and Yzerman agreed. That is why they are GMs and Pierre McGuire does TV. Barkov will be an offensive star in this league and if he plays on a line with Huby it will be fun to watch. I like what they are doing so far but it is early.

On other point on the so-called experts who thought Seth Jones should for first over-all. TSN's Craig Button was one of the worst GMs Calgary ever had. It took years to recover from his mess and most would agree that Pierre McGuire is a parrot who knows less that most on TV. Joe Sakic told the truth MacKinnon, Barkov and Drouin are elite forwards that no team should pass up on. Seth Jones is a great defenseman but look back and remember Panthers could have had Rick Nash and instead took an elite defenseman in Boumeester, who would you rather have had in hindsight?

ha, good point me.yahoo.com/a/SUtiizZyquIGAhZDVGhU7DUaRboV8A--, lol.

I don't think they'll move now honestly. The team may not make money, but SSE is with all the concerts/events at BB&T.

they paid Upshall based on potential after he came off a (not gonna look it up) 23? goal season? that didn't work out and I agree they need to ax him, but they don't like paying dead money to people who aren;t on their roster anymore and he's probably untradable with the salary cap coming down. So that didn't work out. But Flash has. Goc has, Jose did for a year. The Campbell trade has...remember, after all those signings, they won their first EVER Division crown.

I thought they should have taken Jones actually, but I think the Top 5-6 are can't miss. So hopefully Barkov is the real deal. We do need offense, and I guess you don't want to have 2 Top D "developing" with Jones and Guds. They may have figured if they take a guy who needs 2-3 years to really make an impact, they may not be around to realize that players potential on the ice, lol.

So maybe this pick was shortsighted, but hopefully it pays off. Now I just hope the kid's shoulder is ok...

Lobstahman... I understand your frustration even though I think it is a little misdirected. Spending to the cap limit is no guarantee for success as has been proven time and again. Look at teams like Boston, Wild, Penguins and Philly, just to name a few, how they have to juggle every year to stay under the cap. There is no consistency and team feeling and their collective success is limited. If you want a long term solution you build from within adding UFA pieces to fill holes just like Tallon did in Chicago.
I don't know if "everyone is laughing at us", on the contrary we have one of the most talented group of players coming in and trust me when I say... no one is laughing about that. The consensus is that we will be a very good team depending on how well we develop the talent we have. All teams makes mistakes with players and hindsight is 20/20 but considering we have a man who built Chicago into what it is, I would not through the team and management under the buss just yet. I have a feeling you will be looking pretty stupid if and when Barkov turns out to be a franchise player.

Matthias was resigned for 2 more years at $1.75M each season. Good for him and good for the Cats.

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