A few reactions - varying wildly - from around the hockey world regarding the Florida Panthers' incredible first 48 hours following the opening of free agency in the NHL, warts and all...
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.
- Scott Burnside, ESPN
Just because the Panthers were throwing around coin doesn't mean they spent it wisely.
- Mike Zeisberger, Ottawa Sun
You can’t blame the group for dreaming after making the biggest splash in NHL free agency. July 1, 2011 will go down as the day that either propelled Tallon and his Panthers on a path to playoff success or the day that will lead to his exit. There’s no in-between. His moves were that dramatic.
- Craig Custance, The Sporting News
This has been a very, very impressive day for their hockey department. Still not sure they are a playoff team — as when any team undergoes a huge face-lift (think Canadiens two years ago), it may take at least a half-season to get the chemistry right with a rookie head coach, but they have significantly upgraded their talent, and you don’t know what they might accomplish if and when they jell.
- Stu Hackel, SI.com
What should trouble Panthers fans is that the quality of the roster is no better after Tallon shipped out a bunch of veteran players last winter, saying it was time to rebuild with youth.
- David Shoalts, Globe and Mail
The consensus would be that the Panthers overspent on their contracts, but there is no denying that they made their team stronger with the signings of Tomas Fleischmann, Scottie Upshall, Ed Jovanovski, Sean Bergenheim, Marcel Goc and Jose Theodore.
- Kevin Allen, USA Today
In addition to the roster that already looks complete, the Panthers have one of the best prospect pools in all of the NHL. Guys like Erik Gudbranson, Jonathan Huberdeau, and Quinton Howden all have NHL potential and will enter training camp trying to make the opening night roster as well. In less than a week, the Panthers have gone from a team that had an AHL roster, to a team that will have players competing for spots on the team.
- Matt Reitz, NBC Sports
Or perhaps it should be, will these expensive additions get them to the playoffs? The Panthers, you should know, have not won a playoff game since 1996-97. At the end of the day, the Panthers may have moved one step closer to oblivion; not one step closer to winning the Stanley Cup.
- Mike Brophy, Sportsnet
Some contracts were better than others — JovoCop and Fleischmann would seem to have a high potential for creating regrets down the line — but no GM in the League was as aggressive as Tallon. Now comes the chemistry test.
- Greg Wyshynski, Yahoo! Sports