It’s up to him [to leave school and go pro]. Whatever he decides to do. If he wants to turn pro and fight for a roster spot, we’ll go forward. If he wants to go back to school then we’ll let him do that. We never tell kids to play in junior or to leave school. Let the kids do what they want to do. They’ll tell you when they are ready.
Know this from the Panthers: They’ve decided [over the] weekend they’re going to see this Luongo thing through. They’re going to focus on it seriously.
Know this, Part 2: Canucks GM Mike Gillis also will see this through. He’s not giving Luongo away. If the proper deal isn’t there this summer, he’s prepared to have Luongo come to camp and wait until a team gets serious into the season before the trade deadline. The question is, would Luongo be OK with that?
I've never tried to trick kids. I know at 18 I wasn't on the ball when it came to people skills or the ability to converse with adults who are asking tough questions. I try to put myself in their place and our staff try to make them feel comfortable so the kids can reveal more of themselves.
Tallon’s rebuilding of the Panthers on the fly came about last summer because they were miles below the salary-cap floor. When nobody else would swallow Brian Campbell’s $7.1-million salary, the former Chicago GM jumped in and took the soon to be 33-year-old defenceman, gladly giving up the $3.125-million cap hit of the organization’s failed former No. 1 draft, Rostislav Olesz, who didn’t make the Blackhawks.
After Jovo and Scottie, the calls just started coming in. Players started calling us.
Some guys better toe the line, [as] guys who think they have spots might not.
You can’t blame the overreaction to what Florida and decisive general manager Dale Tallon have done. I don’t. I get it. The Panthers have been flat-lining for years, ice symbolically melting in the tropical sun. When you last made the Stanley Cup playoffs in 2000 and last won a playoff game in 1997, you have forfeited any claim to relevance.
A decade-plus in a coma and the slightest murmur or eyelid twitch is big news — any change is good — so, naturally, the Panthers are right to feel reborn by the nine new players being introduced, along with the recent hiring of Kevin Dineen as coach.
Be careful what you wish for. When you lower your expectations, you just might meet them.
Not sure about you, but I’ve come to find out here in these parts that Texans hate two things: anyone or anything from Oklahoma, and quitters, and part two of that equation is the thought that lingers in (San Antonio) Rampage fans' throats the most about the Panthers organization, especially that player air-mail stunt. So, if you know me, there’s a silver lining everywhere, and on the surface here, it will take some digging, but here goes (...)
None of our stupid idiot (Senators) fantasies about trading up came true. In fact, Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon called me personally to tell me that my plan to acquire the third overall was "the single stupidest thing" he'd ever heard in his life, and that "Every GM on the floor has been forwarding it to each other whenever they need a laugh all morning long." He then told me "The world would be a better place" if I stopped writing about hockey, screamed "BEOTCH!" and hung up laughing hysterically.