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T-Smooth
07-02-2011, 02:16 AM
This is by far the biggest day in Florida Panthers history. Rejoice fans! We have actual hope! Thank you Dale Tallon!

gotoHcarolina52
07-02-2011, 01:15 PM
Watching the dramatic transmogrification of the long-suffering Florida Panthers and their gung-ho dive into free agency Friday, we can't help but think of the situation GM Dale Tallon was in during the first couple of seasons after the lockout.

Then with Chicago, Tallon knew he had some good young talent in Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. He also knew he needed to try to accelerate the growing curve, and to do that meant spending money and, in some cases, over-spending.

Not everything worked out, but when the Hawks hoisted the Cup in 2010, Tallon's fingerprints were all over that team even if he'd been replaced by that time by Stan Bowman.

Now in Florida, Tallon has a bevy of top young talent, including what they hope will be a young franchise defenseman in Erik Gudbranson, centers Nick Bjugstad and Quinton Howden and junior scoring star Jonathan Huberdeau (selected third overall in last week's NHL draft).

Ed Jovanovski returns to the team that drafted him with the first overall pick in the 1994 NHL draft.
But to try and bridge the gap between the team's ugly past and its promising future, Tallon has within a matter of days completely retooled the Panthers' lineup with an interesting mix of veterans and emerging young players. Florida signed Tampa Bay playoff hero Sean Bergenheim and one-time Panthers star Ed Jovanovski to a four-year deals after acquiring Brian Campbell and Tomas Kopecky via trades in the past week.

From top to bottom, front to back, Tallon has quickly remade this team.

"It changes our whole personality," Tallon told ESPN.com on Friday.

Unable to get Tomas Vokoun to return to Florida, Tallon also elected to give former Hart and Vezina Trophy winner Jose Theodore a chance to recapture the magic, signing him Friday to a two-year deal worth $1.5 million annually.

"He's really rebounded nicely the past few years," Tallon said of his new No. 1 netminder. "He's turned his career around. He's a winner."

Tallon also brought in oft-injured but skilled center Marcel Goc (three-year deal worth $1.7 million annually) and forward Scottie Upshall (four-year deal worth $4.5 million per), who scored 22 goals last season in Phoenix and Columbus. The GM then acquired former Blackhawk Kris Versteeg from Toronto via trade.

Late in the day, Tallon finished his buying spree by signing Tomas Fleischmann to a four-year deal worth $4.5 million per year. The skilled center missed the last half of the 2010-11 campaign with blood clots in his lungs, but is believed to have the condition under control and is expecting to be at full health come training camp.

Upshall, Fleischmann and Goc should help take the pressure off Stephen Weiss, who has struggled as the team's "franchise" player. Throw in Kopeck and a rookie head coach in Kevin Dineen, and it's a lot to throw at the wall all at once.

But it was the same way in Chicago; while not all the pieces stuck, enough did to create the core of a team that would win the Stanley Cup.

Now, is four years at $3.5 million per year too much for Upshall?

Is four years at $3 million too much for Kopecky?

Is four years at $4.125 million overpaying for Jovanovski?

It's only too much if it doesn't work and you continue to flounder, as the Panthers have done in failing to qualify for the playoffs for 10 straight seasons.

Assistant GM Mike Santos explained that Friday's moves were part of a clearly defined process.

"We didn't just come in here this morning and start making calls," he said.

It's funny how people have belittled the eight-year deal Tallon gave to Campbell when both were in Chicago, but we don't think anyone complained when the Hawks held their Cup parade. People forget Campbell actually turned down more money elsewhere to sign in Chicago and agreed to go beyond his limited no-trade clause to follow Tallon to Florida.

In the end, sometimes it's about more than the money, it's about credibility, and sometimes credibility costs more when you don't have any.

Maybe Campbell and Jovanovski and the rest of the players brought into the fold can help kids like Gudbranson and the rest mature into winners.

Imagine that, a winner in South Florida. If it happens, folks will remember this July1 as the day the franchise perhaps turned an elusive corner in the land that hockey forgot.

"A lot of players wanted to come here," Tallon told ESPN.com, "and that's really exciting."

http://espn.go.com/blog/nhl/post/_/id/10030/gm-dale-tallon-quickly-redefines-panthers

kjoke
07-02-2011, 01:50 PM
I'm somewhat happy, but without a goaltender, i dont see us going far

T-Smooth
07-03-2011, 11:52 AM
I think we should be fine with the goalie situation. I know Theodore/Clemmer arent up to what Vokoun was but with the combination of them both maybe splitting half the games we can put together a solid season.

jrguerrero99
07-03-2011, 09:24 PM
I think we should be fine with the goalie situation. I know Theodore/Clemmer arent up to what Vokoun was but with the combination of them both maybe splitting half the games we can put together a solid season.

With Vokoun we got no where. not even one trip to the playoffs. Theodore is a good goalie and clem is a good goalie but both are just place holders for markstrom who is our future between the pipes. jose will do a good job getting us to the playoffs next year and bridging the gap to our teams future.

T-Smooth
07-04-2011, 08:47 AM
Exactly this ^

kjoke
07-04-2011, 12:04 PM
Ok, that sounds good then!

BranWingss
07-04-2011, 07:14 PM
Still not sure if you guys are a playoff team

T-Smooth
07-05-2011, 12:03 PM
I think as long as we get our chemistry down we can get in the playoffs. We are definitely better than we were last year but not as good as we can be once our prospects get going ala Markstrom, Huberdeau, Guds, Howden etc. We are gonna be scary good in 2-3 years.

mo300528
07-05-2011, 12:36 PM
I think maybe with this roster we can sneak into the playoffs. I'm really hoping Markstrom shows up to camp ready to go, but I'm hearing he has a few injuries from last year that may prevent that from happening. Either way, I hope by mid season time Tallon has seen enough of him dominate the AHL and brings him up for his chance with the big club. I really hope Huberdeau makes it out of camp but he probably won't and will most likely go back to St. John for another year which I don't mind considering the roster we have now. It should be an interesting year as a Florida Panthers fan and as T-Smooth said, so long as we don't trade away any of our young guns, the Cats will be among the leagues elite in a short time.

mo300528
07-05-2011, 12:37 PM
Also, any word on Gudbranson? Is he still not going to sign a deal? Is Tallon trying to get a deal worked out before the beginning of this season? I certainly hope so.

Jay16
07-05-2011, 01:57 PM
So we just got older/ more experienced, is that the new direction of the team ? No more waiting for young talent ? Would love for someone to give me a breakdown of this team and what can be expected. I really like hockey but can't seem to get behind this team.

fishfan79
07-06-2011, 09:10 AM
I expect us being in the 6 to 12 range. Normally there is a group of teams fighting in the 6-10 spots, if we keep together we should be in that area. If we trade off at the deadline then I see us dropping. But, I think we have the depth right now to be a team that causes a little bit of pain for others. I dont expect the playoffs but I think we end up around the 9-10 spot.

BranWingss
07-09-2011, 05:04 PM
I think as long as we get our chemistry down we can get in the playoffs. We are definitely better than we were last year but not as good as we can be once our prospects get going ala Markstrom, Huberdeau, Guds, Howden etc. We are gonna be scary good in 2-3 years.

In a few years, sure, but the East is alot stronger now. You have teams like Washington, Pittsburgh, and Boston who are locks. You then have Philadelphia and New Jersey. That's five. You then have the Rangers, Lightning, Montreal, Islanders (who finished the last three months awesomely), Toronto, and you guys. The East is going to be very fun this season.

T-Smooth
07-10-2011, 10:45 AM
In a few years, sure, but the East is alot stronger now. You have teams like Washington, Pittsburgh, and Boston who are locks. You then have Philadelphia and New Jersey. That's five. You then have the Rangers, Lightning, Montreal, Islanders (who finished the last three months awesomely), Toronto, and you guys. The East is going to be very fun this season.

Thats one thing that is for sure. Its going to be a fun fun season.

sfla31
07-20-2011, 12:37 AM
The more I look at these trades and signings the more I like them. We only have 5 guys projected to be on the 23 man roster over the age of 30. Tallon signed tons of guys with plenty of talent who haven't put it all together yet due to youth, injuries, opportunity, etc. He gave himself the chance to sign these guys to reasonable contracts and to become 25 to 30 goal scorers and to move them on in the future in order to move Hubredeau, Howden, etc. up to the NHL.

gotoHcarolina52
08-20-2011, 08:02 AM
Woo hoo

NYman15
10-01-2011, 03:46 PM
Can't wait for the season to start. I definitely think the Panthers are on the rise.

fishfan79
10-01-2011, 07:26 PM
Huberdeau looks amazing so far, lead the league in PP goals for preseason. The kid has talent, I hope they give him 9 before sending him own to get bigger.

Plus it will be interesting to see how Markstrom does if he gets to backup with clemmenson out