Florida Panthers - Martin-sterilization begins: two on-ice coaches relieved (of their positions...not to having been let go by the Cats, we're guessing)


The Miami Herald's George Richards breaks the news at On Frozen Pond:

"Pierre Groulx, the team's goalie coach the past two seasons, told me today that he was relieved of his duties as his contract was not renewed."

"Strength coach Andy O'Brien is also leaving the organization, (Head coach Peter) DeBoer telling me he took a job outside the NHL. A position, the coach said, was something Andy could not turn down. So good for him."

Groulx had become a bit of a local celebrity given his gamenight goaltender breakdowns on FSN-Florida over the past few seasons. The interesting part of the equation may be this (and says a lot about head coach Pete DeBoer):

''Last year was the first year I had a full-time goalie coach. We want to go with a part-time guy, more of a consultant. A lot of teams around the league have consultant-type goalie coaches. Detroit is one. Last year, I found sometimes there wasn't enough to do to justify a full-time guy."

- Cats bench boss Peter DeBoer

Sick. Quite the admission. One must assume a couple of late-season games featuring biblical breakdowns by Panthers goaltenders against, oh, Columbus and Buffalo may have played a pivotal role.

As Richards said, it's a couple of good guys who've been shown the door. Martin Guys, but good guys.

Amen to DeBoer and his Long March toward claiming the team as his own. He was indeed under the gun a year ago, not looking to ruffle feathers, going with former GM JM's business plan.

Also included: No "salary dump", but fans may well see a lower payroll than in recent years - in no part attributed to the potential sale of the organization -  which is most likely going to be a rather trendy approach around the league.

''Everyone is going to take a haircut this year just because of the economy''

- Peter DeBoer

Editor's note: I skipped a haircut this week. No money and all. Sigh.

We at The Box hope for all the best regarding Groulx and O'Brien. No question they rebound strongly.

And full freaking kudos to DeBoer for being the coach of this club at a bizarre time. Easy decisions are not in the job description.