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Thread: Florida Panthers

  1. #1
    keytolife's Avatar
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    Default Florida Panthers

    Welcome to the brand new Florida Panthers coverage thread dear hockey fans!

    The unbelievable thing has finally happened, there really is one member of this extremely rare species among you! A Florida Panthers fan!

    Yeah this self-destructive, masochistic species that is trained over years and years to absorb suffering really does exist! As outlandish it seems we really really root for our incredibly crappy and worthless sports team no matter how hard they punish us with the worst hockey that can be played on Gods green earth!

    But finally there is some light at the end of the tunnel.
    After years of countless idiotic GMīs, bad trades, stupid PR moves, there finally is a man on top of the franchise that gives us hope, Dale Tallon!

    Not everything was golden, what he did in Chitown (i think the Blackhawks fans can give you more input on that), but he built a Stanley Cup winner.

    Not everything was golden, what he did in Florida so far (yeah, yeah the Michael Grabner event), but in 2 seasons he completely remodeled, not only team but, the whole franchise including the coach section and the prospects system and it finally looks like our franchise got a plan!

    There was so much turn-around under the new regime over the course of the last 2 season, its tough to keep track, especially for other NHL team fans, that rightfully avoided to see Panthers games so far.

    Thats where I will try to step in, and Iīd like to thank Gates to give me the opportunity to at least shed a little light on this franchise on the edge of the NHL-spectrum.

    As crazy as it sounds Iīm a Panthers fan since the year of the rat, even if I come from Munich, Germany and iīm only able to catch 2-3 handful of games via the NHL network per season. So please forgive me, if I cant keep this coverage thread up to the high standard that exists in the Black Aces section so far. I feel especially sorry for the crappy English writing skills I will present you.

    The good thing is I read and follow everything that is written about the Panthers, that anything that I can get my hands on each and every day and I think I can at least answer your questions and give you my opinion on what happens in Sunrise. Thats better than what that non-existent guy, that covered the Panthers until today, did.

    So feel free to ask me any questions regarding the Panthers, their prospects, old players of the Panthers or whatever you want to read about! My doors are open like the doors in Kevin Dineenīs front office. (I am sure that all of you knew that he removed the doors of his front office)

    Iīm pretty sure that my beloved Panthers will rise the ladder in the NHL to become a respectable franchise in the next few years and Iīm looking forward to do the coverage about this rise on this section of the dobberboard.

    Still in jeopardy is if I will be still a Panthers fan if we finally made it up there and start playing some great hockey. Maybe I will need to root for the Calgary Flames then, since Iīm used to the fact that my team is playing crappy hockey and Iīm not sure if my eyes can follow the great and speedy new hockey that I expect to see from the Panthers in a few seasons. The Flames will suit my usual hockey way better when the time has come.
    Last edited by keytolife; August 15, 2011 at 9:20 AM.
    Commish of UNFFHL, dangered species being the sole Panthers fan on Dobber.

  2. #2
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    Welcome aboard man, nice to see Florida finally represented. I'd be interested to hear your take on all Florida's off-season acquisitions and how they will perform fantasy-wise this year. I'd also like to know what to expect from David Booth and Steven Weiss and whether or not the new guys will help them.

    Also, please keep us posted on who seems to be developing chemistry with who during training camp. I'd like to see what their lines are going to shape up to be.

    Looking forward to reading more from you man. Welcome aboard!
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  3. #3
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    yeah awesome welcome. great to have another team covered. love to hear about FLASH!!
    cant wait for the booth//weiss/flash line.
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  4. #4
    keytolife's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input so far. Will try to cover your requests in the next weeks.

    Just a short wrap-up what happened in the offseason, which is a whole lot of stuff overall:

    Outgoing: Peter DeBoer (head coach), Mike Duco, Kenndal MacArdle, Thomas Vokoun, Rostislav Olesz, Jordan Henry, Niclas Bergfors, Sergej Samsonov, Alexander Sulzer, Darcey Hordichuk, Steve Bernier.

    Incoming: Kevin Dineen (head coach), Kevin Ramsey (assistent coach),Sean Bergenheim,, Matt Bradley, Angelo Esposito, Sergei Shirokov, Keith Seabrook, Brian Campbell, Thomas Kopecky, Jose Theodore, Thomas Fleischmann, Kris Versteeg, Scottie Upshall, Marcel Goc, Ed Jovanovski, Iiro Parkarinen, Yaroslov Kosov, Edward Wittchow, Rasmus Bengtsson, Vincent Trocheck, Logan Shaw, Rocco Grimaldi, Jonathan Huberdeau, Jonathan Racine, Kyle Rau, Bracken Kearns, Nolan Yonkman.

    Still unsigned, but expected back: Shawn Matthias

    This leaves only Stephen Weiss and David Booth from the pre-lockout Panthers remaining on the team.

    Weiss is expected to break several Panthers franchise records over the course of the next 2 seasons. Only Plus-Minus and PIM are out of reach.

    In general I want to lower the expectations that some people may have set. I think the offseason moves made them a way better team than last season, but it will not result in an immediate playoff appearance this very season.

    I will try to do a short preview about what to expect about all the new faces and about Weiss and Booth for sure. The lines are obviously still in jeopardy. All i can do for now is share my own personal view and what I get from the media, blogs and from the rants around Sunrise.

    For now dont be surprised if you are not seeing a Booth-Weiss-Flash line next season. Most rumors and my own feeling are expecting a first line of Flash- Weiss-Versteeg so far.
    Booth didnt have the best chemistry with Weiss but clicked way better with Santorelli (resigned this summer), who should center the 2nd line.
    Last edited by keytolife; August 15, 2011 at 10:39 AM.
    Commish of UNFFHL, dangered species being the sole Panthers fan on Dobber.

  5. #5
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    Welcome KTL. Good Luck!

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    Welcome aboard KTL- Looking forward to all that you'll do.

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    Great to see the panthers represented, good luck Markus!

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    Now I see why you were commenting about my claim of Roman Derlyuk in the UHL... you were a Panthers fan in disguise!

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  9. #9
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    Welcome aboard KTL! And as you will see by my Flames site, I'm hoping you're wrong about having to switch to Calgary to keep your hockey tastes intact (though I was doing a slow nod to your description).
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  10. #10
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    Welcome to the family Markus!

    There has been a lot of debate over the Panthers' farm system the last few days.

    You have quite the interesting team on your hands, and glad you get to cover these guys!

    Looking forward to seeing this thread grow.

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  11. #11
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    Thank you guys for the warm welcome!

    And Gates yes I followed the debates about the Panthers prospect system; its basically the main thing all of us Panther fans (so between nine-15 people) are exited about.

    Okay lets get started in here with some rant and some additional fantasy outlook about the new arrivals in the Sunshine State. I will mix it up with big and small names. If you need some input about a special guy earlier, let me know.

    Sergei Shirokov:

    Sergei Shirokov is a very intriguing prospect , who showed some brilliance on the Nucks, but he stated via Twitter he is only coming to Florida for his vacation the next years and wants to honor his contract with CSKA in the KHL. Florida will have first dibs after those three years, but he will be 28, when he finally could come over to the NHL.

    Fantasy advice: Dont get exited about the potential here. The chance of Shirokov ever playing for the Panthers is < 10%. He is only worth a shot in super-deep fantasy leagues, where you can wait and see what happens.

    Brian Campbell:

    Yeah Soupy has a hefty contract for several more years that will lower his value in salary cap leagues, but just seeing this trade from the Panthers side its a landslide win. We got rid of a unwanted contract in Rostislav Olesz, who was more than disappointing the last seasons and the only progress he made is that he showed the potential to be awarded the teams Band-Aid-Award year after year and gained a better replacement for the departure of Bryan McCabe and Dennis Wideman.

    Soupys contract isnt that scary anymore with the inflating salary cap (it seems like progress this will continue) and the fact that we needed to somehow hit the cap floor. On top of that the arrival and waive of his NTC convinced several other names to land in Florida (f.e. Kopecky and Upshall stated they came to Sunrise cause Campbell did), so that alone was worth it.

    In addition to that the fantasy relevant side of the coin now:

    The Panthers got a great PP quarterback and penalty killer in Soupy. The Blackhawks will miss him a lot more than some fans expect. He logged a total of 23 minutes of total ice time per game and a lot time was spent on the PK and PP.
    So far he is expected to quarterback the Panthers Powerplay as well, together with rising young star Dmitry Kulikov.
    Doing the PK forecast; he will not see the same amount of time as he did in Chicago due to the circumstance that the Panthers got a PK specialized unit with Jason Garrison and Mike Weaver, that already was on upper half of the league and there is no reason to change that. This fact should result into a smaller drop in the +/- category than what could be expected, if a guy plays for a far worse team.

    You should pencil him in for 35 points and I wouldnt be surprised if he hit 45 points again. He proved that he can do it several times and the fact he is playing for a worse team will not necessarily result into worse stats on the sheet. (see as examples Jokinen, Olli, Bouwmeester, Jay).

    PIM he should settle around 20 again, so he is not very valuable in that category.

    Fantasy advice:

    Soupy is a great option in the late rounds of one-year leagues now! Dont miss on him there.

    For keeper leagues he is only interesting if you got a lot of cap space left. If you do he is a brutally good late round pick up as well, especially in points only leagues.

    The potential defensive pairings:

    Campbell- Kulikov
    Jovocop - Gudbranson
    Weaver- Garrison

    7th d-men: Ellerby

    Campbell and Kulikov should be the first pairing, while Jovo and Guds should be the 2nd.

    Guds expected pairing is with Jovo to learn from him and to school his offensive awareness playing with a more defensive guy.

    Its expected to see Weaver and Garrison stick together. They had awesome chemistry so far, especially on the PK, and there is no need to change that.

    The poor boy Keaton Ellerby proofed he belongs in the NHL the last season. He will bounce in and out of the lineup for the full season. He needs to show more to offset a guy like Weaver or Garrison to become a full time NHLer.

    Additional short info on Shawn Matthias:

    "Word is Mike Santos will be returning to South Florida in the coming days so we should get word on the signing of RFA center Shawn Matthias soon" Miami Herald
    Last edited by keytolife; August 27, 2011 at 9:44 AM.
    Commish of UNFFHL, dangered species being the sole Panthers fan on Dobber.

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    Great stuff, KTL! The Panthers will be a difficult team to predict with the massive turnover.
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  13. #13
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    Welcome aboard. Good luck. Sorry to hear about being a Panthers fan :P
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    Welcome bud! I think your take on Campbell is dead-on right.

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  15. #15
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    THN dislikes the offseason of my fellow Kittens. They ranked the Panthers finishing 14th overall in the Eastern Conference. Canīt blame them on that, they are used to it!

    Jose Theodore:

    The main reason they rank the Panthers that low, is our new goalie and my next piece to analyze. Jose "The Stopgap Solution" Theodore.

    Theodore was brought in after they lost Thomas Vokoun to FA and according to Dale Tallon Jose was the next best option on the open market. The Panthers were pleased with awesome goalies in T-Vo and Loui over the last decade, so it will be a completly new feeling for them to not have an elite netminder in the back of the team.

    Dobber stated the Panthers signed Theodore to make sure to get more high draft picks over the span of the next two seasons. I think this is biased bashing. While I wasnīt high on the signing at first, taking a closer look makes it a decent to good choice for Florida.

    While I disagree with Dale on the point, that he was the best goalie out there, I agree he was the best goalie for the Panthers situation. With King Markstrom waiting in the pipelines it made no sense to bring in a good young talent like Dekanich or a fairly young guy like Ray Emery, who could burry Marky for several seasons on the bench or the minors.

    He signed a two-season contract exactly the timeframe the Panthers have for the arrival of Markstrom and the final eclipse to a playoff team. During that time span the Panthers want to improve but donīt need to necessarily make the playoffs.

    One reason the signing happened is that Theodore wanted to play in Florida, he was the one calling Tallon on his own. Thatīs usually a good sign.
    As a former Vezina trophy winner, even if it was a fluke season, is at least decently talented as he proved again last season winning 15 of 32 games with a save percentage of .916 for Wild.

    He won 25 games plus, in 5 of his last 10 seasons. And thatīs what the Panthers are looking for from him again.

    Theodore got a pretty good backup that can carry the Panthers and play up to 30 games if Jose fails in Scott Clemmenson, so he needs to keep his game up to stay the starter.

    Fantasy outlook:

    Looking at the numbers that he posted on the Wild, it seems like a little much to expect 25 wins for Theodore but keep in mind that Panthers had already a not too shabby defense last season and with the additions of Campbell, Jovanovski and Gudbranson this season the blueline should even get better.

    Iīd pencil him into starting around 55-60 games for the Cats and Iīm fully expecting him to win around 25-28 games while doing that. Clemmenson will NOT surpass him as a starter this season. For the save percentage something along the lines of %.91 is what you should you hope for again..
    The prediction of shootouts in general is a mystery task and others should be better at that task.

    Try to buy low in deeper keeper leagues, if you are competing the next two seasons and start more than one goalie and need a second one or if you have daily switches. He will not be interesting for more than those two seasons and maybe you should focus only on this very season.

    For one-year leagues it would be no surprise to see him finish above some other names on declining teams. So he shouldnīt be the last goalie selected there!

    Good luck Jose!

    Opposing to the ranking of THN for the 2011-2012 season, ESPN had the Panthers ranked #1 for the overall prospect system. This ranking was a pretty hefty debated on the ramblings section here on Dobber a few days ago.

    I will try to shed some light on that prognosis and whether it is right or right.

    For now just take a quick glance on the Panthers depth of noteworthy prospects to take a closer look at:


    Quinton Howden
    A.J. Jenks
    Sergei Shirokov
    Garret Wilson
    Drew Shore
    Vincent Trochek
    Rocco Grimaldi
    Jonathan Huberdeau
    Logan Shaw
    Kyle Rau
    Nick Bjustad
    Corban Knight
    John MacFarland
    Connor Brickley
    David Pacan
    Evgeni Dadonov
    Joonas Donskoi
    Michal Repik
    Zachary Hyman
    Anthony Luciani
    Jonathan Hazen


    Rasmus Bengtsson
    Erik Gudbranson
    Alexander Petrovic
    Colby Robak
    Keith Seabrook
    Adam Comrie

    Jacob Markstrom
    Sam Brittain
    Marc Cheverie
    Brian Foster

    While not all of those names are fantasy relevant, all of those names wouldnīt be all that surprising to end up in the NHL one day.
    Last edited by keytolife; August 27, 2011 at 9:45 AM.
    Commish of UNFFHL, dangered species being the sole Panthers fan on Dobber.

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