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2 posts from August 2014

August 14, 2014

LOOK WHO'S BACK: Florida Panthers bring back Denis Potvin

TWITTER: @GeorgeRichards

After five years away from the organization, Denis Potvin will be back calling Florida Panthers games on television once more.

Potvin, a Hall of Fame defenseman who won four Stanley Cups as captain of the Islanders, was reintroduced as television analyst for the Panthers.

Potvin had worked Florida hockey games from the franchise's inception in 1993; he was let go by previous team president Michael Yormark following the 2008-09 season.

New Panthers president Rory Babich called the new broadcast team one of the best in hockey.

With Potvin joining play-by-play voice Steve Goldstein in the booth, Billy Lindsay -- who replaced Potvin in 2009 -- will take on a new role as sideline reporter as well as serve as in-game analyst during intermissions as well as the pre and post-game shows.

Randy Moller will remain the team's radio voice.

"We are pleased to welcome Denis back to the broadcast booth for the Florida Panthers," Babich said in a statement.

"With an exciting season on the ice right around the corner, the addition of Denis, a hockey legend with long-term ties to the organization, to the existing broadcast team of Steve, Billy and Drew promises to provide an enhanced experience for our TV viewers with one of the premier broadcast teams in the NHL."

I've reached out to Denis and hope to have something from him later today.

It's been no secret that Denis has missed living in South Florida although he was happy being able to work close to home in Ottawa the past few seasons.

Here's what Denis said when he was let go in 2009:

''I wasn't prepared for it. They had talked about reorganizing, renegotiating a lower rate. We never got to that. It's all about the economy. Now I'm looking for new opportunities. This is new to me. I've never been fired. I'm not done, not by a long shot.

.-.-.

''It's been exciting, a good run. Florida has become our home, our kids have grown up here. But their minds were made up. This isn't like the old days. Once you're somewhere for so long, you think you're a lifer. Things are different now. I have a lot of good memories. But once they told me I was done, I walked out.''

Check back later for more updates and hopefully some fresher quotes.

 

August 06, 2014

EKBLAD SUFFERS CONCUSSION: Panthers say top draft pick will be ready for camp in September

TWITTER: @GeorgeRichards
Prized Panthers defenseman prospect Aaron Ekblad suffered a concussion playing in an exhibition game in Quebec on Tuesday night.

The Panthers have been in contact with Team Canada -- Ekblad was training with them at the time of the collision -- and feel confident Ekblad will be ready for training camp next month.

"We have been in communication with Team Canada and have mutually agreed to hold Aaron out for the remainder of the summer development camp as a precautionary measure,'' Florida GM Dale Tallon said in a statement.

"We will closely monitor Aaron’s health for the remainder of the off-season and expect him to be ready for our rookie camp in mid-September."

Ekblad, the first overall pick of the 2014 NHL draft, was crushed by a pair of players from the Czech Republic team and left the ice.

Team Canada said that Ekblad will be held out of the rest of the Canadian World Junior development camp.

Ekblad was on the Canadian team that finished fourth at the tournament last December although he probably won't play in the tournament this year; he's expected to spend the season with the Panthers.