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NHL Lockout: Panthers Forwards Kopecky, Santorelli Head East

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Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Two further Panthers forwards are added to an NHL lockout group seeking somewhat greener shores some 4,000 or so miles from Sunrise. Fabulous.

Tomas Kopecky garnered 32 points (10 goals) in 80 games for the Cats in 2011-12; a single goal in 7 playoff matches - and a minus-3 - last spring remain a haunting presence (if we need to get dramatic, there you are) for the two-time Stanley Cup winner. Regardless of recent playoff criticism (most of which originated well outside of South Florida) Kopy will be on deck for regular first-line status with a hometown club.

Mike Santorelli is so highly-regarded that EliteProspects has him pictured in a Predators sweater, a club he hasn't appeared with since 2009-10. The darling of Florida assistant general manager Mike Santos' rebuild of the third/fourth lines of the Panthers in '09, Santorelli scored 20 goals in a remarkable effort. The Vancouver native has one season remaining on a 2-year deal worth $1.6M per CapGeek.