« March 3, 2014 | Main | March 5, 2014 »

8 posts from March 4, 2014

March 04, 2014

A TALE OF THREE GOALIES: What Happens Next for the Florida Panthers Netminders?

TWITTER: @GeorgeRichards

BOSTON -- What's next for Florida's goaltending situation?

Well it's pretty obvious that Roberto Luongo is your guy for the foreseeable future.

But what happens to Tim Thomas? Scott Clemmensen?

Well, Thomas said Tuesday that he heard about the Luongo deal on the bus heading to the arena. So, as of Tuesday night, he hadn't spoken to Dale Tallon.

Thomas has a no-trade clause in the one-year deal he signed in September.

Does Thomas stay for the rest of the year? Will he waive his no-trade and move to a contender?

On Tuesday, Thomas said he hadn't thought about leaving until Luongo got here.

"That's something that hadn't been discussed until this point,'' Thomas said. "That needs some discussion before comment.''

Said Tallon: "This all came out so quickly, I'll sit down and talk to Tim and see what he would like us to do. Goaltending is pretty solid with those two guys. We have to talk to Tim and see what he would like to do and we'll do the best we can to make this work. You can't win without great goaltending and we'll see what direction it takes us. We'll have a conversation [Wednesday] with Tim and see where it leads. This is a business decision and we felt we had to do it. It came out of nowhere.''

One would think it is easy money to bet on Thomas leaving but Thomas doesn't always do what everyone thinks. He's his own guy. He smiled at the question of whether he and Luongo could coexist in South Florida.

Tallon said he would like to have both of them stay in Florida.

"I have to see the situation, see what they're thinking,'' Thomas said. "I would like to talk to Dale before I comment on anything.''

Thomas and Luongo could definitely be entertaining together. When the battled in the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals, Luongo seemed to take exception to something Thomas said about his style of play. Thomas responded with a now-famous line that he didn't know he was around to pump Luongo's tires -- which means stroke his ego.

Now the duo are teammates. For the time being.

"I have a line that probably someone else has thought of,'' Thomas said, almost beaming.

"It looks like Dale went kicking some tires and found one that needed pumping.''

Thomas then broke out laughing. When told of Luongo's tweet that said the two would "tear it up" in South Florida, Thomas nodded. Thomas wasn't told Luongo called him 'Tiny Tim.'

"It will be interesting, but I don't know how things will work out,'' Thomas said. "I am looking forward to it. It's going to be fun. It's like, I don't think it will be anything really. We're both old pros, have been in the league a long time and have a lot of experience.''

The future for Clemmensen is a little more murky.

Florida placed Clemmensen on waivers on Tuesday.

A few things can happen.

First, Clemmensen can be claimed by another team by noon and leave Florida.

Clemmensen could end up staying as Luongo's backup if Thomas is dealt, or, Clemmensen could be sent to AHL San Antonio if Thomas sticks around.

Tuesday, Clemmensen said he was just going to worry about what he could control.

"Instead of wracking my head, I'm going to wait it out,'' Clemmensen said. "I have no idea what's going to happen. I'm not going to try and figure it all out.''


DAY OF NEWS: Panthers Play on Ice Doesn't Warrant Any as Bruins Roll 4-1

TWITTER: @GeorgeRichards

BOSTON -- The big news came off the ice for the Panthers on Tuesday with Roberto Luongo coming back to town and Brad Boyes sticking around a little longer.

Good thing. Florida didn't do much on the ice.

The host Bruins scored twice within a four minute span in the first period and got a David Krejci hat trick en route to a 4-1 win over Florida. Boston has won seven straight against the Panthers.

"I think a lot of people are thinking, am I next, but those are excuses,'' coach Peter Horachek said of the pending trade deadline. "As professionals you can't let that go in. This is a business. Sometimes you will be traded, sometime not. You still have to play.''

Tim Thomas, who may have played his final game with the Panthers thanks to Luongo, made 35 saves. Boston opened the scoring at 7:29 of the first when Krejci picked off a Tom Gilbert clearing pass and beat Thomas. Not long later, Jarome Iginla got in front of Ed Jovanovski and sliced the puck through for a 2-0 lead.

Boston basically ended things when Krejci got his second with 47.6 seconds left in the second period.

Boyes, who signed a two-year deal worth over $5 million earlier in the day, hit a few posts as Florida tried to come back. Florida got its lone goal from Brian Campbell with 7:13 left.

Krejci scored into an empty net with Thomas returning for the final 14 seconds.

BLOCKBUSTER RETURNS TO SUNRISE: Panthers Get Roberto Luongo Back, Tim Thomas Florida Future Decided Soon

TWITTER: @GeorgeRichards

BOSTON -- Roberto Luongo is coming home.

The Florida Panthers reacquired their former All-Star goalie on Tuesday almost eight years after trading him in what is considered one of the worst deals in NHL history.

Luongo originally came to the Panthers along with Olli Jokinen in a similarly lopsided deal -- this one in Florida's favor -- in 2000.

"It's nice, it's home,'' Luongo told reporters in shortly after the news broke.

"The new ownership is committed to winning and there are some good young players there. This is a good opportunity for me.''

Florida gave up goalie prospect Jacob Markstrom and forward Shawn Matthias for Luongo -- who still resides a few miles from the Panthers' training facility in northwest Broward County. The Panthers also got prospect Steven Anthony, a former linemate of Florida's reigning rookie of the year Jonathan Huberdeau.

Luongo, who is signed through 2022, is owed roughly $32 million with Vancouver paying 15 percent.

The Panthers are expected to re-introduce Luongo on Wednesday afternoon at BB&T Center.

"It's huge,'' general manager Dale Tallon said. "He's a big name down here. It sets the tone for our franchise. .-.-. [We] want to win the Stanley Cup but talk is cheap. We're acting and following up on what we said we would do.''

Last summer, Luongo requested a trade from Vancouver and the Panthers -- one of the few teams he would waive his no-trade deal for -- looked into making a deal.

With the team for sale and the Canucks wanting a lot for Luongo (reportedly including center Nick Bjugstad) nothing happened. Vancouver dealt Cory Schneider to New Jersey and Luongo, the Canucks' former captain, was Vancouver's starter again.

"Sometimes it takes years to get the right deal done,'' Tallon said.

So, on Monday. Tallon called Vancouver's Mike Gillis to "kick the tires'' and ask about Luongo again. Talks heated up Monday night and Tallon spoke to owners Vinnie Viola and Doug Cifu as well as new CEO Rory Babich to see if he could continue working the deal Tuesday morning.

"I was given the green light,'' Tallon said. "And here we are. I'm excited about. I think it's great for our franchise.''

Said Gillis: "Now that they've gotten new ownership .-.-. they were able to do things.''

Luongo, scheduled to start Vancouver's game in Phoenix Tuesday night, was taking his pregame nap when Gillis woke him with news of the deal.

"I thought my contract was untradable,'' Luongo said. "I wasn't expecting this to happen especially not today.''

Despite being traded by the Panthers' Mike Keenan in 2006 (for Todd Bertuzzi, Alex Auld and Bryan Allen), Luongo never left his home in Broward.

After all, he met his wife Gina while she was working at her father's Italian restaurant in Coral Springs just a mile from the Panthers rink. The Luongo's now have two children and lots of happy relatives waiting in South Florida.

"This is good for my family,'' said Luongo, who is originally from just north of Montreal.

Bringing back Luongo -- who lost his duel with new (if temporary) teammate Tim Thomas in the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals -- could be a game-changer for a franchise trying to fight its way back into South Florida's consciousness.

Former Panthers coach Kevin Dineen told Canada's Rogers Sportsnet that Luongo will pay on and off the ice.

"I'm a big believer in Roberto Luongo,'' said Dineen, fired by the Panthers in November. "He's going to his happy place. I think this is going to put him in a good frame of mind which he hasn't been in Vancouver the past few years. He's where he wanted to go. He's still a name in Florida, will bring fans to the building.''

For that, however, the Panthers may have paid a steep price.

Not only will Florida dole out a lot for Luongo in salary -- he'll make $6.714 million the following three seasons before it goes down considerably -- but Markstrom was considered the franchise's 'goalie of the future.'

Tallon says Luongo's track record trumped Markstrom's potential.

"We're getting a great goaltender, a proven commodity,'' Tallon said. "Jacob has great upside but we needed to make a statement. .-.-. You have to pay the price to get guys like this. You don't get Roberto Luongo for nothing.''

Florida could now move Thomas -- named the league's top goalie twice -- as early as Wednesday's trade deadline.

Tallon said he would talk to Thomas and see what he wants to do. Thomas has a no-trade clause, one he may now waive although he said he and Luongo could co-exist.

"I was surprised at first, like a lot of people, I didn't see that coming,'' Thomas said after Tuesday's 4-1 loss in Boston. "I don't know what their plans are right now, so I can't say much. I have to see the situation, see what they're thinking. I'm going to check in with Dale.''

The Panthers also gave up Matthias, the player they got from Detroit in the Bertuzzi (who played seven games with Florida) trade of 2007.

Matthias had three goals in Florida's previous two games.

"I think he may need a change of scenery,'' Dineen said.

-- Lost in the shuffle of the Luongo news were two other moves made by the Panthers. Defenseman Mike Weaver was sent to Montreal for a fifth round selection in the 2015 draft.

Before the Luongo news broke, Brad Boyes signed a two-year deal worth just over $5 million. Boyes, Florida's leading goal scorer, said getting Luongo trade bolstered his decision.

"We're not standing pat, it's not a rebuild,'' Boyes said. "We're going to win some games and I think we're going to do something really big next year. I want to be part of this.''


BLOCKBUSTER FROM SUNRISE: Dale Tallon Talks About Luongo Deal, Effect on Tim Thomas, Scott Clemmensen

TWITTER: @GeorgeRichards



As you well know, we had some talks last year. It just didn't come to fruition.

At 3:30 [Monday] afternoon, I had a brief conversation with Vancouver about it, you know, just making calls, kicking the tires asking if they had interest in Luongo. They said we could revisit it and we continued the conversation. We talked again at night, had good conversations [Tuesday] morning.

I talked to Vinnie Viola, Doug Cifu and Rory Babich this morning about the possibility and if I should continue to pursue this. I was given the green light to see what we could get done and we eventually got it done.

And here we are. I'm excited about. I think it's great for our franchise.


On Markstrom going back to Vancouver: We're getting a great goaltender, a proven commodity. Jacob has great upside but we needed to make a statement. Luongo's numbers are terrific. He's already been in this community and is very popular in South Florida. I just like what he brings to the table brining experience and a chance for us to win.

You have to pay the price to get guys like this. You don't get Roberto Luongo for nothing. You have to pay a price and we obviously paid a big price. Jacob is a great young goaltender with a lot of potential but that's what you have to pay sometimes to get value.


Have you talked to Roberto: He's excited, just over the moon about coming back to Florida. I spoke to him very briefly, had to get him on a flight. His family is here, his wife is from here. He's excited to be a Panther again and so are we. The past is the past and we have to worry about tomorrow.


Tim Thomas and can they coexist: This all came out so quickly, I'll sit down and talk to Tim and see what he would like us to do. Goaltending is pretty solid with those two guys. We have to talk to Tim and see what he would like to do and we'll do the best we can to make this work. You can't win without great goaltending and we'll see what direction it takes us. We'll have a conversation [Wednesday] with Tim and see where it leads. This is a business decision and we felt we had to do it. It came out of nowhere, [Monday] around 3, 3:30.


Shawn Matthias: It's time for a change, he's been here for a long time. He's had some great games and not so great games. Consistency has been the issue. I think he probably is welcoming a change, kind of intimated that this year -- his agent has. He has a lot of upside, a good guy who works hard, can skate and has a big shot. But he has to develop consistency. We're giving up two good young assets to get an outstanding goaltender.


The difference on dealing for Luongo this time around: We just couldn't get a deal done. We tried. Both teams didn't think it was a fair deal. Sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes you're the bug, sometimes the windshield. This time we got a deal done. Sometimes it takes years to get the right deal done. We've been going at it hard for a couple of years. We finally got it done.


Boyes: We agreed to terms on a two-year deal.


Canucks taking 15 percent of salary: Yes I can.


How big is that: It's part of doing business in a hard cap and it's going to happen numerous times moving forward. You do what you have to do. It's part of the deal process. It made sense.


Assessment of Luongo's game: He's still one of the elite goaltenders in the league, was on the Canadian Olympic team. Won a Gold Medal. His numbers are phenominal, took his team to the Stanley Cup Finals and got beat in Game 7. He's a solid goaltender and can play a lot of minutes. You can't win without great goaltending.


Talking to Tim on no trade: He has a big game in Boston; we'll talk after the game [Tuesday] or [Wednesday] morning.


The splash of Luongo: It's huge. He's a big name down here. It sets the tone for our franchise. Vinnie, Doug, Rory and I want to win the Stanley Cup but talk is cheap. We're acting and following up on what we said we would do. We traded for Luongo, picked up [Brandon] Pirri and resigned Boyes. We're looking to get better every day in achieving our goal of the Stanley Cup.


Scott Clemmensen?: Clemm will probably have to spend some time in San Antonio. We'll see what happens next day and a half. We won't have that answer until 3 [Wednesday].


Weaver: We're going to get a good look at Petrovic, Roback and Racine; We have good young defenseman in our organization, in junior and college. We're looking to the future. Montreal was looking for a solid defensive defenseman. We felt it was a good thing for Mike Weaver to get into the playoff picture and have a good opportunity to win in Montreal. He's a great warrior, played his butt off for us. I wish him well.














LOUIE SPEAKS: Roberto Luongo Speaks to Media Following Trade Back to Florida Panthers

TWITTER: @GeorgeRichards


Well the deal is official, the Panthers are getting Roberto Luongo back. And, the Canucks are eating a portion of the salary -- as expected.


Below, in italics, is the Panthers' official release. Under than are comments from Luongo to media before he left for the airport for a flight to South Florida.


G Roberto Luongo Returns to Florida Panthers

Florida Re-Acquires Three-Time NHL-All Star & Vezina Trophy Finalist

SUNRISE, Fla. - Florida Panthers Executive Vice President and General Manager Dale Tallon announce today that the club has acquired G Roberto Luongo and F Steven Anthony from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for F Shawn Matthias and G Jacob Markstrom.

“Roberto is one of the game’s elite goaltenders and we are happy to welcome him back to South Florida,” said Tallon. “With this acquisition, we have solidified our goaltending depth with a top-tiered netminder for the next several seasons. Roberto is a three-time Vezina finalist, who has experienced tremendous success throughout his 13-year playing career, which includes six post-season appearances, including the Stanley Cup finals, two Olympic Gold Medals and three All-Star selections. We look forward to his contributions to our club on the ice as well as his continued philanthropic efforts in the South Florida community.”

Luongo, 34, has played in 789 career National Hockey League games for NY Islanders (1999-2000), Florida (2002-2006) and Vancouver (2006-2014) posting a 367-305-92 mark with a 2.51 GAA, a .919 save percentage and 65 shutouts. He ranks second among active goaltending leaders in wins (367), saves (21,487) and shutouts (65). He also places third among active goaltending leaders in games played (789).

The three-time Vezina Finalist (2004, 2007 & 2011) has played in 64 postseason games, all with Vancouver, posting a 32-31 mark with a 2.54 GAA, leading the Canucks to the Stanley Cup Finals during the 2010-2011 season. Luongo, was also awarded the William M. Jennings Trophy in 2011 (the goalkeeper(s) having played a minimum of 25 games for the team with the fewest goals scored against it).

The Montreal, Quebec native currently ranks first among Panthers’ goaltender leaders in several all-time categories including career games played (317), single season games played (75), career wins (108), single season wins (35), and career shutouts (26). He also own Florida’s single season records for most saves (2,303 in 2003-2004), most minutes played (4,304 in 2005-2006) and consecutive scoreless minutes (182:37 in 2004).

Luongo has represented Canada numerous times on the international stage, appearing in the last three Winter Olympics (2006, 2010 & 2014). He won the Gold Medal at both the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics. During the 2010 Winter Games, Luongo posted a 5-0 mark with one shutout and a 1.76 GAA. He also won Gold at the World Championships (2003 & 2004) and World Cup (2004).

Luongo was drafted by the NY Islanders with their first choice (fourth overall) in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft.

Anthony, 22, was drafted by Vancouver in the seventh round in 2009 NHL Entry Draft. A Hailifax, Nova Scotia native, Anthony played his junior hockey with the Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL). He most recently spent time playing for the Kalamazoo Wings (ECHL) and St. Charles Chill (CHL).

Roberto Luongo’s Career Statistics:

Season Team Lge GP Min GA EN SO GAA W L T Svs Pct


1995-96 Val d'Or Foreurs QMJHL 23 1199 74 0 0 3.70 6 11 4 534 0.878

1996-97 Val d'Or Foreurs QMJHL 60 3305 171 0 2 3.10 32 21 2 1571 0.902

1997-98 Val d'Or Foreurs QMJHL 54 3046 157 0 7 3.09 27 20 5 1390 0.899

1998-99 Acadie-Bathurst Titan QMJHL 22 1342 74 2 0 3.31 14 7 1 690 0.903

1999-00 Lowell Lock Monsters AHL 26 1517 74 1 1 2.93 10 12 4 733 0.908

1999-00 New York Islanders NHL 24 1292 70 2 1 3.25 7 14 1 660 0.904

2000-01 Louisville Panthers AHL 3 178 10 0 0 3.38 1 2 0 111 0.917

2000-01 Florida Panthers NHL 47 2628 107 6 5 2.44 12 24 7 1226 0.920

2001-02 Florida Panthers NHL 58 3030 140 4 4 2.77 16 33 4 1513 0.915

2002-03 Florida Panthers NHL 65 3627 164 7 6 2.71 20 34 7 1847 0.918

2003-04 Florida Panthers NHL 73 4251 172 7 7 2.43 25 33 14 2303 0.931

2005-06 Florida Panthers NHL 75 4305 213 4 4 2.97 35 30 9 2275 0.914

2006-07 Vancouver Canucks NHL 76 4490 171 3 5 2.28 47 22 6 1998 0.921

2007-08 Vancouver Canucks NHL 73 4233 168 3 6 2.38 35 29 9 1861 0.917

2008-09 Vancouver Canucks NHL 54 3181 124 5 9 2.34 33 13 7 1418 0.920

2009-10 Vancouver Canucks NHL 68 3899 167 4 4 2.57 40 22 4 1748 0.913

2010-11 Vancouver Canucks NHL 60 3590 126 3 4 2.11 38 15 7 1627 0.928

2011-12 Vancouver Canucks NHL 55 3162 127 2 5 2.41 31 14 8 1450 0.919

2012-13 Vancouver Canucks NHL 20 1197 51 0 2 2.56 9 6 3 500 0.907

2013-14 Vancouver Canucks NHL 42 2418 96 0 3 2.38 19 16 6 1061 0.917


Steven Anthony’s Career Statistics:

---Regular Season --- ---- Playoffs ----

Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM


2007-08 Saint John Sea Dogs QMJHL 55 6 8 14 38 10 1 1 2 2

2008-09 Saint John Sea Dogs QMJHL 67 19 29 48 47 4 1 2 3 4

2009-10 Saint John Sea Dogs QMJHL 61 18 23 41 28 5 0 0 0 6

2010-11 Saint John Sea Dogs QMJHL 61 23 37 60 23 14 5 7 12 12

2011-12 Kalamazoo Wings ECHL 34 8 12 20 28 -- -- -- -- --

2012-13 Kalamazoo Wings ECHL 41 3 8 11 10 -- -- -- -- --

2013-14 St. Charles Chill CHL 33 4 10 14 10



I was not expecting it. Go figure, right? I'm really out of words right now. This caught me off guard. This is good for myself and my family, but I'm a little sad to be leaving Vancouver.


It's nice, it's home. It's going to be a little tough to get in this season but we'll have to deal with that. The new ownership there is committed to winning and there are some good young players there. This is a good opportunity for me.


I didn't know what was going on at all. I was actually taking a nice pregame nap getting ready to play. It was kind of weird.


Listen. I thought my contract was untradable. It hurt I didn't play in that game but I was ready to play tonight. I moved on, was ready to go. I wasn't expecting this to happen especially not today.


Things happen and I've had to deal with them. To be quite honest, I felt really good today, felt like I was going to have a good game. I think I did a good job of putting things behind me and moving on.


Obviously a lot of great things happened here. We had a great run and unfortunately fell a little short. That's the one that's going to hurt me for a while. I wish we could have done more to win that game. All in all, it was a great run. There was a lot that happened in between, but nothing but good things to say about the fans who were really supportive -- especially at the end. It didn't go unnoticed. This organization took me to another level. It's all positive stuff.


On Tim Thomas: Yeah I did. We'll see how that goes, right?


It's tough for everyone, involved in this process. They had tough decisions to make. I can understand that. I understand management has tough decisions to make. When they were made, I tried to handle them as best I could. And right when I let my guard down, what do you know, a trade happens. That's the way it goes.


I spoke to a few guys, but obviously I have a flight to catch. They play in Florida in a few weeks, so I'll see you there.


I haven't had a chance to think about it but it's going to weird for sure. I don't know how else to put it. It's going to be weird. I've played with a lot of these guys for seven, eight years. To be playing against them will be weird.


Nothing out of the ordinary. It really caught me off guard.


TWITTER: @GeorgeRichards

BOSTON -- Things just got real for the Florida Panthers

Roberto Luongo is coming home.

Luongo has confirmed that the Canucks have traded him back to the Panthers. Luongo, who continues to reside a few miles north of Florida's training facility in Coral Springs, had been working on coming back to the team for some time.

Under Mike Keenan, the Panthers traded Luongo to the Canucks in a lopsided deal on the eve of the 2006 NHL Draft being held in Vancouver. Florida got Bryan Allen, Todd Bertuzzi and Alex Auld in that deal.

The Panthers reportedly are sending Jacob Markstrom -- long considered their goalie of the future -- to Vancouver.

Luongo and Tim Thomas, who famously battled it out in the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals, are now teammates. Scott Clemmensen, put on waivers on Tuesday, may be headed to San Antonio.

More as we move along....


BOYES IS STAYING: Panthers Sign Leading Goal Scorer to Two-Year Deal

TWITTER: @GeorgeRichards

BOSTON -- The Panthers traded Mike Weaver on Tuesday afternoon but kept one of their top unrestricted free agents in the fold later in the day.

Brad Boyes, who came to the Panthers on a training camp try out, signed a two-year deal with the Panthers worth an average of $2.65 million.

Boyes, who leads the Panthers in goals and is second in points, said last Saturday after the loss in Columbus that he was hoping to be able to swing a deal and stay in South Florida.

Done and done.

More later.


MIKE WEAVER: Off to Montreal (via California) as Florida Panthers Make Move

TWITTER: @GeorgeRichards

BOSTON -- Mike Weaver shook hands and said goodbye to a few teammates before leaving Boston Garden after Tuesday's morning skate, then went back to the team hotel and saw most of them anyway.

Weaver, in his final year of his second two-year contract with the Panthers, was traded to Montreal not long after Florida's workout at the Garden. The Panthers got a fifth round pick in the 2015 draft for Weaver.

Weaver went back to the team hotel to gather his belongings and tie up little things like turning in his team-issued iPad. Weaver apparently left the charger for it at home in South Florida.

Montreal is currently on a west coast swing so Weaver, 35, was catching a flight out of Logan on Tuesday evening and meeting his new team in Anaheim. The Canadiens lost the opener of the trip Monday in Los Angeles.

"I'm still trying to wrap my mind around things, still kind of in shock,'' said Weaver, who was in his fourth season with the Panthers and one of their team leaders.

"I'm meeting the team in Anaheim and going on the west coast trip we were supposed to be going on later in the month. I'm excited about the opportunity. We have a great team.

"This could be fun. The energy inside the building in Montreal is just amazing. Being a part of the Montreal Canadiens really is amazing. It's Original Six. The tradition behind that jersey is amazing. The nerves are going to be going, but they'll be good nerves.''

Yet leaving Florida was bittersweet for Weaver.

"I loved it here, this is a great place to play,'' he said. "Florida has great weather, great facilities. I wish I could have been part of the new ownership moving forward. I wish them all the best. I had a great time in Florida.''

Before the trade, it looked like the Panthers were going to make Weaver a healthy scratch as he and Scott Gomez -- who was put on waivers at noon -- did the post-practice bag skate.

Weaver then came into the room and spoke to a few reporters before being pulled aside and told about the deal to Montreal.

"This is the first time I've ever been through this. We'll see what happens,'' Weaver said after the morning skate. "This is all new to me. When I first came here, I was part of the rebuild. And we're still rebuilding. It's part of the business.''

When asked if he had thought about Sunday's game on Long Island being his last with the Panthers, Weaver smiled.

"I'm not really thinking about anything right now,'' Weaver said. "If it happens, it happens. If not, everything is the same. I've had a great time here but we only made the playoffs once in four years. I would have liked a few more shots at that, won some more games. I wish we had a better penalty kill this year. But things happen. Either way, I'll deal with it.''

Gomez wasn't the only Florida player to find his way onto the waiver wire as goalie Scott Clemmensen was waived as well. If both clear -- or are picked up -- that frees up roster spots for the Panthers going into Wednesday's trade deadline.

"You're a professional so you just go out and play, whether it's with this team or another,'' Clemmensen said. "You don't worry about what may happen in the future. You worry about today.''