Report: Panthers retain assistant coach Hulton, invite Kitchen to remain

The first "Cats Cookout" of the summer went down Thursday evening, and a couple of fascinating bytes were gleaned from the night. According to the Sun-Sentinel's Steve Gorten:

(Florida head coach Peter) DeBoer said (assistant coach Mike) Kitchen will look to see if he can get a head coaching job. "He didn't want to box himself in yet," DeBoer said at the team's "Cats Cookout" at BankAtlantic Center. (Jim) Hulton and Kitchen have contracts that expire at the end of this month. Goalie consultant Robb Tallas and video coach Jamie Pringle will also be retained.

Some Tallon notes as well at the link above...

The assistant coaching positions have been a bit of a hot-button topic over the past few months. All due respect to Kitchen and his efforts over the last couple of years with what's been a bitterly dysfunctional club, but guessing a head coaching spot isn't in the cards, at least among the NHL ranks. Teams are trending toward the junior/AHL ranks of late, and Kitch could be seen as an old-schooler. Again, he's a tremendous fellow who's given a bundle to this franchise; he knows the core as well as anyone. But is it time to move on?

Interesting that Tallas remains a "goalie consultant"; thinking outside of the crease here, but does anyone doubt a full-time goaltending coach (whether Tallas or another candidate) makes the Florida payroll right around the very moment Jacob Markstrom is called up?

How about Randy Sexton being included in the search for an assistant general manager's spot? Keep him, DT. Loyalty with a capital "L". No one knows the organization better.

And finally...where ya gonna watch the 2010 NHL Entry Draft? Stay tuned for our mock draft - with a couple of early surprises - coming soon.