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Breakin' it down: D Noah Welch / 3rd-rounder for D Steve Eminger

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A very happy Steve Eminger

The Florida Panthers traded one-time highly-touted prospect Noah Welch and a third-round draft pick for Tampa Bay Lightning (though, thankfully...he wasn't there long) former first-round defenseman Steve Eminger.

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A most-probably happy Noah Welch. He can play now! Wins? Another story...

Welch was acquired in 2007 from Pittsburgh for 40+year old forward Gary Roberts (as in Gary Roberts Has-Been-Waived-And-Unclaimed, so WWGRD now?). Taken as a potential pillar of Florida's defense, the youngster from Massachussetts never got an honest shake from the Cats, dealing with several injuries while his club bulked up their top-six.

W4E say: Olli went where??? Okay...still reeling from the thought of Jokinen playing with Bertuzzi under Iron Mike. What's next: a trade for Louie? Whoa. Good for them all. Seriously. Oh...Panthers...

On Eminger: I've been an Eminger fan since his days in Washington. Check his numbers on Yahoo!...they're not great, but neither was the team. He's a Nick Boynton clone in many aspects, which leads me to believe some seriously new-style coaching is going on, cuz Martin's not gonna do a deal without consulting his coach. Emmy has played for DeBoer in Kitchener, so there's no period of adjustment. A solid addition.

On Welch: Did the organization give up too soon on a second-round defenseman hampered by injuries? The Cats gave up eventual Pittsburgh folk-hero Gary Roberts (he's doing what today?), but did they miss him? Unfortunately, Welch has been rather tough to pin down, career-wise (thanks again to battle wounds). Given the situation in a rebuilding (again) Lightning organization, he'll likely wind up replacing Eminger on the top two defensive lines.

No, really...W4E say: GREAT move by the Panthers. Grabbed a top-four D-man for a lacking prospect and third-rounder (which must have been strong-armed out of JM...whatever). It's all or nothing right now, playoff-wise, especially having held on to Bouwmeester - and Emmy's a terrific addition, especially considering whatever The Boynton Deal may erupt into.

And note to the Florida Panthers: can we have SOMETHING to go on here? Seriously: Martin's been a tremendous general manager, but the plebes, like me, would appreciate a bit of news - like from the Boynton front - from time to time...