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The Hockey News senior writer takes cheap jab at Florida Panthers via Twitter

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"Nice playoff team"

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

A bit of a dust-up occurred Wednesday evening between longtime The Hockey News contributor/senior writer Ken Campbell and Florida Panthers co-owner/vice chairman/alternate governor Douglas Cifu following the opening of the NHL's annual free agency period.

Best to just get to the issue at hand. Florida traded forward Jimmy Hayes - a Massachusetts native - to the Boston Bruins in exchange for right wing Reilly Smith (a position the Panthers needed to fill in a big way) and the remaining two years of likely never-to-play-again center Marc Savard's contract.

Nothing out of the ordinary. Heck, Arizona took on the final two seasons of defenseman Chris Pronger's deal only days before he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame this week (while employed by the league and under contract to an NHL team, but let's not stray too far here).

Anyway, Campbell began with this:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Another injured player, Marc Savard, has moved to a team simply to get it up to the salary floor. Within rules, still a travesty.</p>&mdash; Ken Campbell (@THNKenCampbell) <a href="https://twitter.com/THNKenCampbell/status/616378902445957125">July 1, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Okay, whatevs. Evidently that needed clarification, so...

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">3 teams - TO with Horton, Phx with Pronger, Fla with Savard - acquired players they know will never play again. Salary cap such great idea.</p>&mdash; Ken Campbell (@THNKenCampbell) <a href="https://twitter.com/THNKenCampbell/status/616380010807623680">July 1, 2015</a></blockquote>

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So not everyone is a fan of certain aspects of the latest collective bargaining agreement. Cool, no problem. On the surface. That is until Doug Cifu began taking notice shortly after:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/Dougielarge">@Dougielarge</a> Nice playoff team. Oh wait a minute, you didn&#39;t make the playoffs...again.</p>&mdash; Ken Campbell (@THNKenCampbell) <a href="https://twitter.com/THNKenCampbell/status/616387737839661056">July 1, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Of course, Cifu was chiming in regarding Campbell's assumption that the Panthers somehow needed to inflate their payroll in order to hit the cap floor. Dougie got in another two cents...

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/THNKenCampbell">@THNKenCampbell</a> nice research oh i forgot you pretend to be a journalist. How&#39;s that going? 0-2 on the panthers.</p>&mdash; Doug Cifu (@Dougielarge) <a href="https://twitter.com/Dougielarge/status/616389803014258688">July 1, 2015</a></blockquote>

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After a pause...

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Was wrong about Panthers not being near salary floor. Apologies for that. The criticism was of the CBA, not the Panthers.</p>&mdash; Ken Campbell (@THNKenCampbell) <a href="https://twitter.com/THNKenCampbell/status/616406077987528704">July 2, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Uh huh.

Yeah, about that response regarding the playoff drought...

Said earlier on the Tweets that I had no problem with Mr. Campbell's gripe about the CBA, but whoa nelly what a look into the man's feelings on the Panthers in general and Southern teams in particular based upon his quick, tasteless response.

This is The Hockey News, folks. Been the go-to for, well, everything in hockey news since long before the internet was a dream in anyone's eyes. Such a breach of professional courtesy is simply unreal.

The deck remains stacked.