Bored with Phoenix, Toronto media sets sights on Sunrise

"The Florida Panthers were supposed to be sold this summer, but quietly no deal was ever agreed to with the difficult owner Alan Cohen, and those who know the situation best wonder what comes next.

The current owners clearly want out. They didn't even bother to replace Jacques Martin as general manager this summer. They are operating on a shoestring budget and rumblings are the owners may consider abandoning ship if need be."

- Steve Simmons, Toronto Sun

Anyone surprised the Panthers' name has surfaced in this fashion? It's like clockwork.

That "shoestring budget" is a current cap-hit of $49.6M, with a click over $7.6M left to reach the ceiling. Good for 20th in the NHL. Throw in the expected signing of a Martin Skoula or Christian Backman and the Cats exceed 50 bones, with plenty of space left for an acquisition or two (or more!) through the year.

The $7.6M is a chunk, and it could be argued that management - undoubtedly under orders from ownership - is going on the cheap (Hello, Alex Tanguay? Hello...anyone?). If David Booth had deemed himself worthy of $5+ million per season, would the Cats have bitten?

It's all heresay at this juncture, and until a whistleblower decides to rise from the steamy, prehistoric swamps of Western Broward, we're likely to never know just what the heck is brewing at the BAC.