Still trying to digest all that's taken place over the past few days - and remain sane. Working on a post-draft summary which should be up tomorrow. Just in time for free agency. Jeez...what are we gonna do after this week?
In the meantime, we'll travel the web and see what the hot topics are today in Pantherland. The Cats are a pretty serious subject around the league right now. Like we aren't aware.
On a personal note, I'm ecstatic that the word "BOUWMEESTER" will typed a tenth as much as previously from my keyboard. No more carpal tunnel for this guy!
More after the jump...
"It's the only place I've ever played and I have a lot of good friends, good teammates there. Any time you leave a place it's difficult. But at the same time, there's a lot of unrest in the organization, a lot of turnover. This has been an ongoing thing. Once things get sorted out, it'll settle down. People move on pretty quickly."
That whole "there's a lot of unrest in the organization" line has me a little torqued.
Perhaps he meant to say "there's been a lot of unrest in the organization"? Whatever. As Randy Sexton has said several times, Jay earned the right to determine his own destiny. Enjoy the scrutiny, pal.
The Jacques Martin era is officially over, signified by six forwards taken after the first round, says On Frozen Pond.
''I really like the seven guys we took this year,'' said Scott Luce, the Panthers' director of amateur scouting. ``We banged out a really good defenseman on the first day and added a lot of core, quality players up front on the second day. If you look at our depth chart, it's pretty deep up front again.''
Today's Master-of-Ignorance Award is presented to...Canwest's Jim Matheson:
"But the big losers are the Panthers. They've lost their best player for a draft pick and Leopold, who might not sign with them. That's a colossal blunder by the organization, which should have traded Bouwmeester at the trade deadline."
Oooooh. He's just so right. Has Bill Torrey interviewed Matheson for the vacant GM position? Get him on a plane now!
Sun Media's Steve McFarlane got some good stuff from Calgary's newest (temporary?) addition. Showering as the trade was announced, Bouwmeester found a number of missed calls on his phone afterward:
"Four-oh-three area code -- I know where that's from. It was Darryl (Sutter)."
So the last thing Florida's two-time All Star did as a member of the Panthers was shower. We've got our newest entry for next year's media guide.
Panthers second-round selection Drew Shore (44th overall) has a unique distinction, says Adrian Dater.
More Dater, this time allowing for a bit of fear from Calgary's divisional opponents. Read the comments, too.
Happen to notice all the familiar names during the draft? Mirtle did.
Dobber's Stuart McDonald had a great running commentary on the first round, and gave his thoughts on Florida's selection:
Florida takes defenseman Dmitri Kulikov with the 14th pick. A lot of people had Kulikov in their top 10. He fell because a few people drafted for need (Buffalo) and a few others went off the board (Isles). Kulikov is a nice pick at 14 for Florida. Kulikov has 45 point upside and is two years away.
The Dobber boys remained busy on day two, as Matt Bugg took the reigns. His comments on Panthers' picks two through seven (and remember...they started with four. Sexton tore it up):
#44 - Florida selects Drew Shore. 6'3 center who under-utilizes his size right now, but he's among the smartest players in the Draft. #67 - Florida selects Josh Birkholz, the USHL speedster. I like him mroe than most; could a be 25-goal guy. #107 - Florida adds winger Garrett Wilson. Good value. #135 - Florida takes the second AJHL player, power forward Corban Knight. He's slow and lacks hockey sense, but his basic skills are terrific. #138 - Another obscure HS player, C Wade Megan to Florida. #165 - Florida drafts late '89 born Scott Timmins, who is among the OHL's top checking forwards.
Whatever happened to Denis Shvidki?
"Programming" note: The Box will begin live blogging of UFA Day at 11:00 am on Wednesday, July 1st. Be there as the Randy Sexton audition continues (just make him the full-on GM already, Bill).
Dave Joseph at the official site has a teriffic rundown of everything that took place over the weekend in Montreal. And how can you not get shaky and teary-eyed when you read this:
"We got bigger, we got grittier, we got faster. Speed is the name of the game. Guys like Knight, Birkholz and Kulikov…those guys can absolutely, flat-out fly."
- Florida assistant GM Randy Sexton
Eric Francis at the Calgary Sun questions Bouwmeester's potentially signing with the Flames before his unrestricted free agency kicks in.
While the obvious question now is whether (Calgary GM Darryl) Sutter can sign the 25-year-old Edmonton native before he becomes an unrestricted free agent Wednesday, the much bigger question is why the former Florida Panthers mainstay would do such a thing.
As of today, the six-year veteran is just three sleeps away from the day every star player (and his agent) dreams of: A day when doors are open for any team in the league to throw as much money at you as they want.
A valid point. Got to think Bouw's agent Bryon Baltimore (is it me or does that name smack of an adult film star?) is going to hold the line. Unless it's a semi-truck full of cash that no one else can touch, I'm guessing he goes UFA on Wednesday.
Wrapping up, Kent at M&G discusses the positives and negatives surrounding the Flames' run at Jay's signature.