(A couple of these are a bit late, so forgive me as I've been a tad busy with a few things lately.)
The Sun-Sentinel's Steve Gorten's been on top of GM-in-waiting Randy Sexton and gotten a few tidbits of info on his thoughts about the Panthers' preseason schedule as well as Ville Peltonen's exudus and the pursuit of several high-profile names such as Saku Koivu (since signed by Anaheim) and Alex Tanguay.
...I'm a little conflicted on the issue. Leopold was one of my favorites during his first rotation as a Flame: he and Regehr formed a formidable shut-down pairing, even though both guys were relatively young and inexperienced. Unfortunately, that seems to be where he peaked. After he left Calgary he suffered a series of debilatating injuries in Colorado which seemed to hobble his development. By the end of his tenure as an Avalanche he was 3rd pairing, 2nd PP guy who was capable enough but also expendable.
His second tour of duty here is hard to grade. He went from playing 17 minutes a night in Colorado to playing some 24 minutes a game here because of the rash of injuries to the Flames blueline at the end of the year. As a result, he spent a lot of time trying to keep his head above water. Some games he managed, others...not so much.
In terms of skill, Leopold is mobile and good with the puck on his stick. He seems to work well with a solid, physical defensive defenseman as his partner. He probably isn't a top 2 defender at this point and he's somewhat injury prone. He also never developed into the kind of PP weapon his skills hinted at, although he isn't terrible on the point with the man advantage.
Overall, I'd say he's probably a good bet at the price you guys signed him at. Assuming he stays healthy, that is.
"He seems to work well with a solid, physical defensive defenseman as his partner." Bryan Allen, anyone?
The Six Degrees theory rolls on, as the above line from Kent may have applied to Anaheim's newest D-man. If Boynton is the Ducks' replacement for Pronger, I'm solidly in the camp that says Leopold-for-Bouwmeester is a superior deal (comments folks, comments).
More kudos for the BankAtlantic Center, as Pollstar ranks the building number three in the U.S. and number thirteen on the planet. That "free parking" scheme really paid off when it mattered, eh?
In the Mink: The Panthers announced - about 24 minutes ago - they have signed two-time Calder Cup winner Graham Mink to a two-year contract. Stockin' the Roch.