Panthers waive D Ville Koistinen


Former Panthers general manager Randy Sexton's only misfire during his short one-season term has gone the route of the inevitable: Ville Koistinen's been waived.

Signed last July to a two-year, $2.4M (one-way!) contract, the former Predator and longtime Finnish League (Tampere) defenceman arrived in Sunrise amidst modest fanfare as a cheaper more financially efficient alternative to just-departed blueliner Karlis Skrastins. There may also have been the question of the Panthers heading to Helsinki for a big season-opening blowout jamboree without a single Finn on the roster, having allowed veteran winger Ville Peltonen to walk only weeks earlier. And this guy, unlike these days, was unavailable. Whatever: hole plugged.

Things were looking bright for Koistinen early on, at least in public: the kid scored a goal on his home turf in the opener (and the SO winner). That game had unfortunately turned out to be the only time he found the back of a net in Cats gear, as his relationship with Florida coach Peter DeBoer reportedly went into a deep freeze; he completed his 17-game tenure with the Panthers after compiling four points (including that single regulation goal), a +1, and 8 penalty minutes. Injury issues later capped his time in Rochester at eight games (1g-1a). The damage was already done, though; falling out of favor and tumbling quickly down the depth chart, he was rapidly deemed expendable. Good luck to him.

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