Panthers Weekend Links: Higgins, Sexton, and a rebuild-fail vote

Some news, notes, and unsolicited opinions from around the interwebs to close out what's been a hectic week:

- Former Panthers general manager Randy Sexton is no longer with the organization. We covered some of the ups and downs - but mostly ups - of his time on the hot seat back when Dale Tallon was hired. Wish he could have found a permanent place within the ranks, since he was a brilliant set-up man for Tallon's blink-and-you-missed-another-pick draft performance, but being the product of a former regime, it's understandable things turned out this way. We wish him the very best in his future endeavours. Pittsburgh, perhaps?

- Speaking of Tallon, any of the names on this list appear familiar? Freakin' busy dude.

- Filling the spot Sexton relinquished a year ago, Mike Santos was named Florida's assistant general manager on Thursday, leaving his gig as director of hockey ops with the Predators. Santos previously held a couple of other titles with the Cats about five GMs ago. Pre-Keenan, of course. Welcome to Mike and his family.

- Keith at LGA seems cautiously optimistic about future relations between Rochester and Florida.

- Chuck Weber is interested in that open head coaching hole in Rochester. Two ECHL championships should get him noticed.

- Enjoyed Steve MacIntyre's theatrics throughout the year? Want to see more of well, whatever it was he did? Head west, where he'll be slurping up his 90 seconds of ice time per game with the Oilers. Again.

- New Panthers forward Christopher Higgins is saying all the right things: "Dale taking over was pretty appealing to me. I want to prove myself to a new organization that has high hopes for their players...I think Dale will put his fingerprint on the organization and he wanted me to come and be a part of it."

- ESPN's LeBrun on Higgins: "(He will) parlay a bounce-back season into a bigger contract a year from now. There was actually some good interest in the UFA forward, including from the team he left, Calgary." If little else, the Cats are finally acknowledged as a more levelheaded destination than the Flames.

- Tallon on his evolving port wing: "(David) Booth and Higgins on the left side, that's pretty good."

Saw a rumor earlier Friday regarding current assistant coach Mike Kitchen hooking up with the Blackhawks. True or not, he's likely a goner in Sunrise. Jim Hulton is indeed remaining.

- The Panthers are evidently confident about their chances against the first two opponents of the upcoming season. Oh, wait...

- Not much of a love connection between The Puck Stops Here and Florida's rebuild effort since it began in, um, June: "Dale Tallon is taking over as Florida Panther GM and being forced to slash payroll, as a result his team probably will not be able to compete in the NHL. Unless Tallon pulls off a miracle, look for his run in Florida to yield unpleasant results on the ice and possibly be unpleasantly short for Tallon." Alrighty then.

- And lastly, get to know Chris Higgins, via YouTube. Zach Parise did.

Have a wonderful weekend, folks.

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