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LATE NIGHT MEETING: No Coaching Change for Florida Panthers

TWITTER: @GeorgeRichards

Panthers management had a late night meeting following Tuesday's 4-3 overtime loss to Edmonton at the BB&T Center with GM Dale Tallon telling the Miami Herald the team would not be making a coaching change at this time.

"There will be changes though,'' Tallon said outside the arena. "I don't make rash decisions. None of us are happy. I have to fix this and I will. We're better than this.''

Doug Cifu, the team's new minority owner and alternate governor, has been around the team the past few days and was part of the meeting. Cifu left the arena around 11:30 p.m. with Tallon, assistant GM Mike Santos and hockey operations director Mike Dixon following suit around 10 minutes later.

Tallon was visibly upset -- as he usually is after a loss -- after Tuesday's loss to an Edmonton team that had not only lost five straight coming in, but were shutout by a 9-0 score to Detroit and Toronto over the weekend. The Oilers hadn't scored in almost three hours of play, yet put in two during a 30-second span during the second period to take a 3-1 lead.

Florida got two goals from Scottie Upshall -- his first two tallies of the season -- to at least force OT. Upshall took a tripping penalty, however, and the Panthers lost their sixth straight. Florida has a point in four of those six defeats with three coming in a shootout.

The Panthers have been let down by a number of their highest paid players this year with Brian Campbell and Tomas Kopecky ($10.1 million between them) yet to score a goal. Tomas Fleischmann and Kris Versteeg ($8.9 million combined) have five goals between them. Upshall has eight goals in two seasons and makes $3.5 mil.

Florida's leading goal scorer is Brad Boyes -- who signed a $1 million deal after a tryout during training camp. Boyes was playing on Florida's fourth line on Tuesday and has five goals so far.

The Panthers currently have the fourth-lowest salary cap number in the league with almost $12 million to reach the cap ceiling according to capgeek.com.

Dineen and the rest of his coaching staff are working on the final year of their contracts. Gord Murphy preceeded Dineen as he was on Pete DeBoer's staff in his final season; Craig Ramsay signed on soon after Dineen was hired by Tallon to replace DeBoer.

Tallon has made it clear in the past that Dineen and his staff isn't solely to blame for the teams struggles although some within the organization don't share that thought and figure a change at the top probably needs to be made.

Tallon likes Dineen and respects him as a person and coach; Tallon knows something is wrong with the team as it stands, however, he is apparently giving Dineen -- a former captain who spent close to 20 years playing in the NHL and comes from a respect line of hockey people in his family -- room to work this thing out.

Dineen has appeared frustrated the past few weeks and although he says there isn't any panic, things are getting salty around the team.

Florida will play eight of the next nine on the road with three coming this week with stops in Boston (Thursday), Ottawa (Saturday afternoon) and New York (Sunday). The Panthers return home to face Anaheim next Tuesday before embarking on a rough five-game trip to Minnesota, Colorado, Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary.

PHOTO: JOE RIMKUS JR./Miami Herald Staff


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And the song from "Sunrise Avenue" keeps on playing louder and louder:

"Fairytale Gone Bad"

This is the end, you know, the plans we had went all wrong
We ain't nothing but fight and shout and tears

2 years ago a lot of panther players had career years, it was a temporary fix until the youth was ready to lead.

The youth is not ready to lead and it is time to send them to the AHL to learn how to win and to get confidence back.

Markstrom has so many holes that it is no longer funny,

Huberdeau looks like he has no confidence in his game send him down to work on a complete game

Barkov looks like a big body who is adjusting to the NHL game, he doesn't know how to use his size to his advantage yet (he doesn't appear to hit anyone)

Bjugstad same as Barkov needs to learn to use his body.

Last night again we are outhustled to the puck, the d have the puck in the offensive zone and we have 3 forwards standing waiting for the puck behind the goal, then when the puck does come we still don't move and the other team gets the puck and an easy clear.

We need grinders willing to fight in front of the net and fight in the corners.

This season is over as far as playoffs, let the young guys succeed or fail in the AHL and get ready for next year when ownership put some money into this team (scouting, development and better players).

I don't know if it is coaching, the GM, scouting, or the prior lack of funds available

I hope Tallon was right in drafting Barkov over Jones, however Barkov is a very good player but Jones appears to be a stud.

The same scouting dept for the last 13 years says it all

Hank is close to the mark. The picks - starting with Sexton's only draft - have been fairly solid, it just seems the development is lacking.

they get beat on the half boards and get pushed around in front of the net. I cant believe Coach Dineen likes this half hustle play. we have no physical play in front of the net. we need barch or Gilroy there. they might be the only ones who can take it. Campbell is weak Kop is not bad but not enough. Versteeg play harder than you have. The defense is lackluster. stop being scared of being hit its part of the game.

They need to change period, dump Campbell and Kopecky as well as Versteeg and Flash.. To much money being wasted and they are not worth it. We need to play a lot more physical. Very Very weak on the defensive side.

Dineen played a physical and smart game during his time and yes his family is very respected in the business. I d clean house if I was him. The Panthers need to clean up the whole organization sales marketing. At least get people who actually love hockey I believe my salesman was fired, can we please get rid of Campbell as well he frustrates me with his I don't want to get hit play. At least Weaver does what he can put Gilroy back in and have hime stand in front of the net. Versteeg and Flash need to get going as well as the other young kids

Coach should fire his assistants asap. Put a fire under the expensive players and get going. Tampa is looking much better than us and as a season ticket holder for the last 4 yrs I feel robbed.

We need to fire some people and trade players now. Campbell should be long gone by now. Soft as heck if you ask me. Flash is no Flash I know that. Season tickets no way this year. Not worth it right now. I will say that Coach needs to do something and now. The Division isn't as easy as it was before, we are lucky we won a title, thank God that the caps were nuts that year. Go Panthers and fire some people

Dineen will be fired within the next two weeks if things don't improve. The fact is, he's doomed by horrific goaltending and players that show serious lack of confidence for long periods of time. Too many soft goals put the team behind, and even though the battle back most of the time, it goes for naught. Just imagine how the players feel.

Tallon says "we are better than this". No they are not. They are what their record indicates. Markstrom couldn't stop a puck from going into a waste paper basket, and the problems continue from there. Very sad and frustrating.

It's not the coaching staff. We need defensemen that play like Jovo did in '96. They need to hit and be able to move guys from infront of the net. Gudbranson is getting the idea but he has a lot to learn. Soupy is good at moving the puck but we need more gritty D-men who have no respect for the other team. And we need more grinders up front like Winchester to make some room for huby and steeger. Goaltending is the biggest problem. Cut marky and clemy get Jose theodore back until Thomas is healthy. A theo/thomas tandem would work. They also need to spend the rest of that cap money on a goal scorer...find somebody putting up big numbers in the KHL!

Dare I say that maybe Tallon's blueprint has failed?

First of all. Theo isnt coming back to be a backup.My sources tell me Dineens constant yelling at his players is causing them to lose respect.Someone please tell me why was Skille who hustled was not retained?The real problem is cheap ownership who wont pay for players like Weiss to stay.This new ownership is just waiting around for the gambling referendum next year.They keep the sweetheart deal with rent and make money off the concerts.Hockey on the cheap wont work here and Yormarks constant noisy diversions make the hockey game an afterthought.He tries to sell us the BS line that its about the total entertainment experience.Thats great if you are a 12 year old not a hockey fan.I have 6 friends who over the past 4 yrs have not renewed and I only bought one ticket this year and I wont renew next year.Wake up new owners!

Tallon made a big boboo last year by naming Jovo captain in addition to picking Dineen who has no clever strategy...muscle only won't replace smarts !

Campbell and Weis were disgusted with the Jovo captain pick-it all went down from there last year and this year was the TT mistake and not getting rid of Markstrom.

Dump this guy, Dump that guy, and who will take them. Campbell makes like 7 Mill$, who will take him and all you will get is another 2nd round draft choice that Tallon will screw up. Have you ever seen such a team of misfits. Markstrom should be learning in the AHL and not written off by stupid fans. If the team is lousy so be it, but, what pisses me off--the lack of effort!!! We'll try one game and take the next three off. Dineen and Tallon are near the end of their contracts and my best guess is that they will both be gone before the end of the season, filled by temporary guys until ownership picks their own guys. And then we start all over again.

I heard mexico is looking for a hockey franchise. Andalé, gatos!

Yeah changing the coach really is the answer. I swear you people have no clue. This is the worst organization in ALL OF SPORTS. No stability, no talent, no goaltending, I hate this Fuccking team. Great teams have stability, so now lets bring in the 13th head coach in 20 years. Real smart. Dineen isn't the problem, he brought this team to their first playoff in more than a decade, now you want him gone????? It's on Tallon, he's drafted like shyt, brought in a bunch of bums with that 30 million to spend, now lets find someone else to blame. You people are so blind and it starts with George Richards. I've been saying this for years, this organization is headed towards another rebuild.

Gudbranson hasn't panned out, Huby and Barkov are inconsistent, and for the 1st time in 20 years they don't have a goalie. I'd rate Jacques Martin higher than Tallon. At least his teams were competitive and could score goals. There is no excuse this year, can't use the injury bug as one. Tallon is an idiot, he's made no effort to make this team any better. Building through the draft doesn't work unless you get a guy like Kane, Crosby, Ovechkin. You can't build teams with bums like Gudbranson, Bjugstad and Howden. Howden isn't even on the radar anymore, this "BLUEPRINT" is a complete failure.

George, I told you this would happen, but I'm labeled as Mr. Negative. Sorry but most people hate the guy who's right, especially when it's negative.

Fans, continue to buy season tickets, the organization will continue to lie to you. It's sad, they haven't had a superstar since Pavel Bure, that was 13 FUCCKING YEARS AGO. They are content with losing, feel free to keep giving them your money, they don't care about the product they put on the ice, all they care about is advertising and promotions.

When Whinchester is your best player, you know something isn't right. Barkov has gone to sleep btw, I bet he's already turned off playing in the states on one of the worst teams in NHL history.

Once again the Florida Panthers bring young guys into a bad situation. If you think this won't hurt their potential you are dead wrong. Playing in a losing environment is the worst thing until they walk during FA or get traded. Just look at Nathan Horton. Goes from a guy who coasts and is turned off in Florida to the Boston Bruins leading them in the playoffs to a cup and leading the team last year in points during the post season. Hate to say it but no one wants to play here, they will never build a consistent playoff team here. They can't hold onto their own, they can't bring in top FA, they don't have any will to win. It's a complete mess.

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