Posts Tagged ‘Panthers’

The Florida Panthers started off this season 3-1 but with two 3-0 losses (to Washington and Buffalo), GM Dale Tallon continued to shake up the team’s roster.  After a summer of rebuilding virtually the entire roster, it seemed like the wheeling and dealing was finished.

Last night, the Panthers shook things up and traded away mainstay forward David Booth (along with Steven Reinprecht and a third round pick) to the Vancouver Canucks. In exchange Florida received veteran forwards Mikael Samuelsson and Marco Sturm. Booth had been with the Panthers for the last five seasons, playing 309 games, scoring 87 goals and 167 points. He had missed most of the 2009-10 season with a concussion, and hasn’t been the same since. In 2008-09 he hit the 30 goal plateau and finished with 60 points. Last season he put up a respectable 23-17-40 but wasn’t the same player before the hit, finishing at a -31.

So why trade a promising young forward for two aging forwards? (more…)

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Last season, we saw a great crop of rookies.  This year should be no different as plenty of guys are primed to make an impact on the NHL.

Jonathan Blum (Nashville)
In 23 games last season, Blum impressed the Predators enough to trade Cody Franson to Toronto, giving Blum a full time position. The 22 year old is a good decision maker who should fit right into Barry Trotz’ system.

Erik Gudbranson (Florida)
With Florida’s roster in flux, look for Gudbranson to get a shot to play some minutes with the big club. The team is hoping his offensive game continues to develop (12 goals in the OHL last season), but is still a defensive force.

Jonathan Huberdeau (Florida)
Like with Gudbranson, Huberdeau should get a chance with the Panthers. Florida’s brass loves his unselfish play and his hustle. The Panthers don’t want to rush him, but if he’s ready, no point in holding him down.

Ryan Johansen (Columbus)
After torching the WHL for 40 goals, 92 points last season, Johansen appears ready to join the big club in Columbus. With the recent additions by Columbus, it might keep Johansen down on the team’s depth chart. Despite that, he should still produce and work his way up.

Gabriel Landeskog (Colorado)
Landeskog was the most NHL ready of any player in the 2011 draft. He’ll be penciled in on the Avs’ top 6 and should be in the Calder conversation all season.

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Last season: 30-40-12 72pts, 5th Southeast, Did not make Playoffs

Additions: Jonathan Huberdeau (1st round pick), Tomas Kopecky, Kris Versteeg, Ed Jovanowski, Jose Theodore, Marcel Goc, Nolan Yonkman, Scottie Upshall, Sean Bergenheim, Thomas Fleishmann, Matt Bradley, Angelo Esposito, Keith Seabrook,

Losses: Byron Bitz, Niclas Bergfors, Steve Bernier, Bill Thomas, Sergei Samsonov, Patrick Rissmiller, Tomas Vokoun,  Darcy Hordichuck,

Offense: GM Dale Tallon didn’t only go on a much required spending spree during the free agency period, he also attempted to attack some of the most glaring needs. Porous scoring(only one of 4 teams south of 200 goals) is hoped to be eradicated with additions like Upshall, Fleishmann, Bergenheim, and Versteeg. Even 15 goals per, let alone 20, will provide boost via scoring depth without having to rely on any one player.  Also grit was addressed with the likes of Goc, Bradley, and Kopecky. Edge, sandpaper, and 10 goals each from these additions would be a welcome help as well. Potential steal of the 2010 draft, Quinten Howden may make the team. I look forward to this kid’s development.

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Some quick hits from the first two days of free agency:

-The Brad Richards saga is finally over, as he chose to sign with the New York Rangers for 9 years (and $60 million).  According to reports, he turned down more money from other teams (Calgary, Los Angeles and Toronto).  The Rangers have themselves a big money center to play with Marian Gaborik now.  They also added tough guy Mike Rupp from the rival Penguins.

-Speaking of the Maple Leafs, they added Tim Connolly for two years.  Connolly has averaged .83 points per game since the lockout, but has only played in 302 games in that time.  When healthy, he can form a nice duo with Phil Kessel, but how many games he plays is the question.

-Not going to go into much about the Flyers, who were very active on Day 1, as this post sums it up pretty well.

-The Panthers were also very active, adding over $31 million in salary for 2011-12 in the since the draft.  This includes over $21 million to 6 players in free agency the last two days.  They aren’t done yet, as the team is still $1 million under the salary cap floor. (more…)

While few knew what the Flyers were going to do coming into July 1st’s free agent frenzy, Paul Holmgren had a plan. The rumors that were going around had Jaromir Jagr signing with Pittsburgh or Detroit, but both teams dropped out of the bidding this morning, leaving the Jagr Sweepstakes open for business.

With the biggest shocker of the day, Holmgren signed Jagr for $3.3 million, stunning the hockey world. The 39 year old future Hall of Famer has a career 1599 points in 1273 NHL games. He’s spent the last three years playing with Avangard Omsk of the KHL. The 1999 Hart Trophy winner has played for Pittsburgh, Washington and the Rangers in 17 NHL seasons. He’s 12th all time in goals (646) and 9th in points.

Speaking of former Penguins, the team also added C Max Talbot for 5 years, $9 million. Talbot had 21 points last year in 82 games with Pittsburgh, who he has played for the last six years. In an interview with TSN, he said, “I think it is [treason to go from Pittsburgh to Philly], but it’s the right thing to do.” He also added that players have told him “how great it is to play [in Philly]” and it’s a “great chance to win, with a great fit for me.” Talbot also said he believes in the changes the team has made over the last couple weeks. He should help the Flyers’ penalty kill, which took a few hits when the team traded both Mike Richards and Darroll Powe. The team views him as a replacement of Ian Laperriere.

The Flyers weren’t done (more…)

We all know who the best players have been the best in the NHL in the 2010-11 season, but who have been some of the worst?  Years ago, I created some “awards” in my old sim league (DCHL), as a semi roast to certain players, GMs and teams.  I took some of these awards,  and created some brand new ones.

First, we start with the Trigger Happy Award, which goes to the GM who has pulled off the most trades in the last year (for the purpose of a starting point, I used 2010’s regular season end to this regular season’s end).  With 18 counted trades, including acquiring (and trading) Dennis Wideman, Dale Tallon of the Florida Panthers is our 2011 winner.  The other GM award, the aptly named You Suck Award goes to Ottawa’s Bryan Murray.  Last summer, Murray signed Sergei Gonchar for 3 years and $16 million, and the 37 year old played like he was 57.  The team plummeted to last place and Murray started the firesale, trying to get what he could for many players.  Some of his deals were to rectify mistakes he had made in the summer, and in previous seasons.  All this, while Daniel Alfredsson remained on the team and his value continued to drop.

Moving on to some statistical awards, the winner of the Broad Street Bully Award goes to Islander Zenon Kenopka, who blew away the field in the penalty minute department, finishing with 307.  Kenopka is the first player to break the 300 PIM barrier since Dan Carcillo in 2007-08.   The Greg Millen Trophy for allowing the most goals in the regular season goes to the Colorado Avalanche.  The team allowed a whopping 287 goals, the most since the 06-07 Flyers.  On the topic of goalies, our Red Light Award for worst goalie of the year (minimum of 20 games) is Rick DiPietro.  DiPietro “lead” the league with a 3.44 GAA, had the second worst save percentage at 88.6% and finished with a record of 8-14-4.

The Bettman Trophy for Villain of the Year was no surprise.  Suspended for 21 games this season within two separate incidents, including missing the entire first round of the playoffs, Matt Cooke easily wins the award.

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