With a "neutral site" game to be held this evening at the home of Florida's AHL affiliate, the obvious and unavoidable discussion of whether the two organzations will continue a familial relationship beyond one year from now has become the topic du jour from BankAtlantic Center to the Amerks' Blue Cross Arena.
It's been a strained, bizarre marriage since the Panthers became Rochester's sole NHL affiliate two seasons ago. Not only have far too many front office-types passed through turnstiles in both arenas, but a plethora of recalls from the parent club in response to injuries decimated the Amerks, leaving a somewhat sour taste in everyone's collective mouth for a variety of reasons.
With one season remaining on their contract, what's the next therapeutic step for both parties? From the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle:
Under terms of their working agreement, talks about the future must begin by Nov. 1, Amerks president Lewis Staats said.
Apparently those talks have begun. All involved have been positive and upbeat without tipping any hands. GM Dale Tallon has been his typical enthusiastic self, and that appears to be - cautiously - pouring into Rochester fandom. Our colleague Keith at Lets Go Amerks! (who's simply killing it in prepping for tonight's game) lists the Cats' head honcho as a top reason to come out to Blue Cross:
The beginnings of the Tallon era of the Florida Panthers. The Panthers have been "rebuilding" for a long time but based on the way Tallon constructed the Chicago Blackhawks into Stanley Cup Champs we could see the beginnings of that tonight.
Don't recall the same sense of positive energy beamed toward either of Florida's most previous GMs; hard to fathom there were folks not swooning over the warmth and openness of Jacques Martin. Amazing.
F: David Booth - Stephen Weiss - Michael Frolik
Christopher Higgins - Steven Reinprecht - Cory Stillman
Kenndal McArdle - Marty Reasoner - Byron Bitz (this could be a wildcard)
Andrew Peters - Adrian Foster - Bill Thomas
D: Bryan McCabe - Dmitry Kulikov
Bryan Allen - Erik Gudbranson
Keaton Ellerby - Dennis Wideman
G: Tomas Vokoun - Tyler Plante
As for the Bruins, Stanley Cup of Chowder was pleased with the results of a certain forward during last night's 302 victory over Montreal:
- Nathan Horton looked very good tonight. He scored an early goal and played physical, dealing out a team-high 4 hits.
The honeymoon begins.
We'll wind up road trippin' over to On Frozen Pond for another live chat; check in with us around gametime (7pm) for links to the chat, radio, and any video feeds which may be available.
Again, the floor's yours...