Fanshots

"[The Panthers] makes sense for myself, for my career and my family."

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"[The Panthers] makes sense for myself, for my career and my family."

Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo on Tuesday from Saveology Iceplex in Coral Springs, via the Sun-Sentinel (with video and Theodore/Clemmensen comments). Kinda weird with Florida's colors on the wall behind him.

"I feel like I’ve got a lot to prove; maybe even more so this year than ever. I don’t know what...

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"I feel like I’ve got a lot to prove; maybe even more so this year than ever. I don’t know what Florida has in the system with guys coming up, whereas in Nashville I had an idea. Being a contract year, too, I want go in and play my best."

Panthers forward Jerred Smithson; more from the Vernon Morning Star

"Siding with ownership has been difficult in any of sport’s 'labor wars' of the last 30-40 years....

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"Siding with ownership has been difficult in any of sport’s 'labor wars' of the last 30-40 years. But the NHL owners may have captured the gold medal for incompetence with their threats to lock out the players in three weeks. Seriously, this [lockout] is going to happen. And for many of you, I realize the next question is: So what? That’s one of the problems that commissioner Gary Bettman and the owners just don’t get. I’ve always thought instead of having league offices in New York and Toronto, they should move them to say, Raleigh, N.C., and Phoenix to get a better grip on just how relevant their sport isn’t in some of their own communities."

More here from Tim Cowlishaw of the Dallas Morning News; thanks to KK for the link

"The majority of NHL players have yet to make any backup plans if the season fails to begin on...

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"The majority of NHL players have yet to make any backup plans if the season fails to begin on time, probably to maintain a unified front in the NHLPA's quest to get a new CBA implemented by Sept. 15 - the end date of the present agreement. After all, it would send the wrong message to the league and the fans if a large number of players signed with European teams before a lockout was official. Still, it would be naive to assume players aren't considering fall back options. A number of them will consider joining European or North American minor pro leagues if a lockout stretches into October and November. During the lost season of 2004-05, 388 NHLPA members played in Europe, mainly in Russia, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Slovakia and Finland."

More from Lyle "Spector" Richardson via The Hockey News on Tuesday

"[Huberdeau's] vision and playmaking remain his strongest assets but I especially enjoyed seeing...

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"[Huberdeau's] vision and playmaking remain his strongest assets but I especially enjoyed seeing [him] add more grit to his game showing that he could drive to the net as well as anyone."

DobberHockey's Brendan Ross, grading high-profile participants in the recently concluded Canada-Russia Challenge Series

"Despite relatively low turnover on their roster, the Panthers will be forced to defend their crown...

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"Despite relatively low turnover on their roster, the Panthers will be forced to defend their crown against a radically retooled Carolina, improving Tampa Bay, the reborn Jets, and the ever present Capitals. It will be a difficult climb, and it's worth asking if Florida has done enough to keep them in the hunt for the postseason."

SB Nation's Matt Wagner with a quick rundown of the summer news from Sunrise

"The Panthers may have won the Southeast last season, but no one backed into the playoffs the way...

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"The Panthers may have won the Southeast last season, but no one backed into the playoffs the way they did. Florida’s success mostly had to do with the early-season explosions from Kris Versteeg, Tomas Fleischmann and Jason Garrison, among others, but faded down the stretch. It’s hard to believe things will go as smoothly this year and we’re betting the Panthers will end up being a flash in the pan."

The Hockey News, picking Florida to finish tenth in the Eastern Conference whenever next season finally wraps (THN). File away that "flash in the pan" backhander.

[...] if the Panthers are a true trading partner or just kicking the tires — Theodore and...

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[...] if the Panthers are a true trading partner or just kicking the tires — Theodore and Clemmensen did get them within a win of the conference semifinals — then all the hype about Luongo returning to South Florida may be just that. But if Tallon believes he needs better goaltending to get his club deeper in the postseason, then the Canucks can command a bigger return for Luongo. Then again, if Bjugstad is untouchable, what does that say about the rest of the roster? A left winger like Sean Bergenheim, who’s 28 and a has a cap hit of $2.75 million for the next three seasons, makes sense on some levels. No deal is going to address every need. The Canucks need a proven top-six forward and a third-line centre. They need to get younger and deeper. And they may have to look elsewhere for a solution.

Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province; a bit more on the subject here.

What will happen to naming rights to the Panthers' arena in Sunrise, now the BankAtlantic...

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What will happen to naming rights to the Panthers' arena in Sunrise, now the BankAtlantic Center? BankAtlantic reportedly paid $20 million in 2005 for 10-year naming rights to the arena that hosts the National Hockey League's Florida Panthers team. Panthers officials have said they expect the center to be renamed for BB&T after the sale. No surprise, as some variation of "BB&T Center" has been expected quite a long while. A few more details on the just-approved sale of BankAtlantic to BB&T via the Sun-Sentinel here. Looks like I'll be reordering checks and a new debit card again.

"The Florida Panthers are the best fit for [Roberto Luongo], but GM Dale Tallon won't give up...

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"The Florida Panthers are the best fit for [Roberto Luongo], but GM Dale Tallon won't give up prized prospect Nick Bjugstad to land him. The Panthers are as excited about his potential as they are about Jonathan Huberdeau. Bjugstad is playing at the University of Minnesota and seems ready to play in the NHL. Luongo was popular when he played in Florida before, plus he could be the lift the team needs to offset big moves by the Carolina Hurricanes and Tampa Bay Lightning."

One of the NHL's "10 unresolved offseason issues" via USA Today's Kevin Allen. Note: Bjugstad has already declared his intention to return to school for 2012-13.
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