Next on the Summer Agenda for Panthers: make something up!
From Kukla's Korner on Sunday:
I have people emailing, tweeting, asking for hockey news.
Well, here you go, the biggest news of the day…
via Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun:
It appears the Winnipeg Jets have lost the services of depth defenceman Arturs Kulda.
Kulda, who turns 24 later this month, was a restricted free agent and has signed with Sibir Novosibirsk of the Kontinental Hockey League, according to the team’s website.
Kulda, a seventh round (200th overall) draft pick of the Atlanta Thrashers in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, had no points in nine games with the Jets last season and six goals and 20 points in 63 games with the St. John’s IceCaps of the American Hockey League.
Okay, now go and enjoy this summer, it will get busy soon enough.
"KK" site founder Paul Kukla is the undisputed czar of the non-Twitter daily hockey breaking news world and related commentary on the sport (with a dreadfully unhealthy dose of Wings coverage, but whatever it takes to stay on top). Forgetting the Winnipeg aspect of the day's "major" headline, he's right on a number of levels in our case, beginning with how profoundly spoiled we in SoFla found ourselves since early spring, certainly in comparison to the past 11 years. Suddenly we're stuck in a news Dead Zone reminiscent of my favorite video game of the last decade.
A to-the-wire - and first-ever - Southeast Division crown. An opening-round series completed in the second overtime of a Game Seven against the eventual Eastern Conference champion. Brian Campbell's Lady Byng victory (hey...batting .500) at the NHL Awards. A solid if undramatic 2012 Entry Draft. Several mid-profile signings - particularly D Filip Kuba, F George Parros, and some-risk, high-reward Peter Mueller - since July 1. Oh, and Development Camp was a veritable showcase of prospect progress for fans of the Panthers, far more so than one year prior. Nick Bjugstad will head back to Minnesota for his junior year. COO Michael Yormark appears to have a thing for Las Vegas, possibly equal to the reported desire of a certain Western Conference goaltender's return to the Mean Streets of Sunrise. And there is of course this.
So what's next? Talks are finally underway between the league and Players Association aimed at banging out a new collective bargaining agreement; the current deal expires September 15. Kris Versteeg and the Cats have an appointment with an arbitrator (July 23?), while Dmitry Kulikov remains in RFA limbo...expect both to be in Kevin Dineen's lineup whenever the season begins.
In the meantime: what to do? Short of creating rumors (no shortage of outlets for that garbage anyway) how about tossing us your Most Anticipated Headline of the summer, going forward. Whether a parody, for-real, a fantasy deal involving the team...whatever. Let's have it.