Panthers Recall F Bobby Butler and D Jonathan Racine

The wave of call-ups continues for the Florida Panthers as Executive Vice President and General Manager Dale Tallon announced today that F Bobby Butler and D Jonathan Racine have been recalled from the San Antonio Rampage (AHL).

Butler, 26, has played in 128 career National Hockey League games with Ottawa (2009-12), New Jersey (2013) and Nashville (2013), recording 48 points (20-28-48) while trying to find a foothold in the NHL. Though he didn’t make the Panthers’ roster out of training camp, Butler has shined as one of the Rampage’s best and most reliable players this season, recording 45 points (21-24-45) and 12 penalty minutes.

Racine, 20, has appeared in 48 games for San Antonio this season, collecting six points (0-6-6) and 85 penalty minutes as one of the team’s top enforcers.

A former third-round pick (87th overall) in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Racine will hope to make his NHL debut tonight against the New York Islanders at 7:00 p.m. on FOX Sports Florida.

[Read more...]

Panther Parkway Radio: Luongo, Free Agency, Young Guns & More!

Tune in to tonight’s show where we discuss the biggest Florida Panthers news of the week!

Host: Paige Lewis

Guests:  Jameson Cooper and Mike Lewis (no relations to Paige)

Topics

  • How is Roberto Luongo doing?
  • Panthers injuries
  • The young guys are making an impact
  • Free Agency. Should we break the bank?
  • Johnny Mac, Ian McCoshen, Wade Megan are the coolest
  • Boring Sean Monahan is the best

 Click the link below for today’s podcast!

New Episode Here

We welcome your comments and feedback!

Follow Paige on Twitter @PaigeLewisFL

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Garrett Wilson Set to Make NHL Debut Tonight

What’s the best present you can give a young hockey player on his birthday? A shot at the NHL. That’s exactly what Florida Panthers prospect Garrett Wilson received on his 23rd birthday. Officially called up the day after his birthday on Mar. 17, Wilson will make his NHL debut tonight as the Panthers face the San Jose Sharks in the “Shark Tank”. Many prospects within the Panthers system have their names thrown around as future stars in the big league like Rocco Grimaldi, Kyle Rau, and Michael Matheson, but few times has Wilson’s name come up. While Wilson isn’t a flashy or dazzling player, he is certainly a heart and soul character player that is a valuable piece to the San Antonio Rampage of the AHL.

Wilson holds the distinction of being one of few players in Panthers history to be drafted by short-lived GM Randy Sexton. Selected in the fourth round (107th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Wilson was looked at as a solid power forward that possessed a bit of a mean streak as well as the means to put up points as well. Posting 86 points (40-46-86) in 66 games in his final junior season with the Owen Sound Attack, Wilson served as team captain during the Attack’s 2011 OHL Championship berth.

Following that season, Wilson went pro. Signing a three-year entry level contract with the Panthers and finding himself splitting time between the  Rampage and Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL. Wilson spent the bulk of his first pro season in Cincinnati posting 35 points (17-18-35) in 63 games with the Cyclones and proved to be one of the team’s top players. Wilson posted one goal in 11 games with the Rampage that season.

[Read more...]

Panthers Recall F Joey Crabb and D Mike Mottau From San Antonio

With recent injuries to F Jesse Winchester and D Erik Gudbranson, Florida Panthers General Manager Dale Tallon announced today that the team has recalled F Joey Crabb and D Mike Mottau from their AHL affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage.

Crabb, 30, has proven to be a quality AHL talent this season for the Rampage, recording 26 points (12-14-26) in 53 games played while serving as a mentor to some of the team’s younger players.

Making his NHL debut during the 2008-09 season with the Atlanta Thrashers, Crabb has tallied 52 total points (20-32-52) in 171 career NHL games.

Mottau, 35, has played in seven games for the Panthers this season, while also appearing in 15 games with San Antonio registering three points (1-2-3) in the AHL.

[Read more...]

San Antonio Rampage Sign Goalie Rob Madore

A day after trading veteran AHL netminder Dov Grumet-Morris to Hartford, the Florida Panthers announced today that they have signed 25-year-old goaltender Rob Madore to a one-year AHL contract with the San Antonio Rampage.

Madore, a surprising standout from the Panthers’ training camp earlier this year, has spent the majority of this season between the pipes for the Panthers’ ECHL affiliate, the Cincinnati Cyclones.

While with the Cyclones, Madore earned an 8-3-0 record while posting a 2.94 goals-against average and a .905 save percentage.

An undrafted free agent out the University of Vermont, Madore floated around the East Coast Hockey League last season, seeing time with the Chicago Express, South Carolina Stingrays, Evansville Icemen, and Florida Everblades. Madore’s big break came when the Carolina Hurricanes’ AHL affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers, brought him on board toward the end of the 2012-2013 season.

While in Charlotte, Madore really came into his own – boasting a 1.83 goals-against average with a  .951 save percentage in nine games played.

[Read more...]

Panthers’ Prospects: 3 Stars of the Month (October Edition)

Although the Florida Panthers may be off to a cold start this season, their group of talented young prospects are hotter than ever in their respective junior leagues. Dale Tallon and the Panthers have been accumulating top prospects over the past several seasons and each year we get to sit back and marvel at the growth and development of the future stars in the making.

Below, I list my top 3 Panthers’ Prospects for the month of October:

1. Christopher Clapperton

Drafted in the 5th round by the Florida Panthers this season, the Quebec native Christopher Clapperton has been a man on a mission during the month of October as he currently sits 13th in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in points, scoring a whopping 23 points (7g-16a-23p) in just 13 games played. In fact, Clapperton is the only player in the top 20  who hasn’t played 15 or more games. Clapperton finished 2nd in scoring with the Blainville-Boisbriand of the QMJHL last season, and has shown no signs of slowing down as he leads his team in both points and assists. While Clapperton may not have the foot-speed and size of other young Panthers’ prospects, he has the determination and willingness to create plays and find the back of the net, and often, which he has shown thus far. Clapperton has also proved that he’s not just a player that shows up on the score sheet, but can also play a physical, and gritty style game which he brings with him night after night. So far this season alone, he’s racked up just enough PIMs (20) to put him with the 3rd most on his team, and 14th amongst the top 40 scorers in the QMJHL.

2. Vincent Trocheck

Over the past few weeks, Panthers’ fans have been screaming out for Panther’s prospect Vincent Trocheck to make his NHL debut to help give the Panthers the scoring spark they so desperately need. While I don’t necessarily agree that Trocheck is the answer at the moment, I certainly understand the desperation from fans. The 20-year-old Pittsburgh native who won both the scoring title (109 pts) and league MVP with the Plymouth Whalers last season, recently made the jump to the American Hockey League, currently residing in Texas with the San Antonio Rampage. There are always uncertainties with players who make the jump from a junior league to a pro league, but so far Trocheck has shown no signs of slowing his game down. The speedy centerman currently leads his team with 9 points in 8 games, and sits tied for 2nd in rookie points, just behind Tampa Bay Lightning prospect, Nikita Kucherov.

3. Kyle Rau

With the Minnesota Gophers 2013-2014 season already 6 games in, Kyle Rau has wasted no time adjusting to life without line-mate and current Panther centerman, Nick Bjugstad. With a handful of highly touted college prospects in the Florida Panthers system such as Mike Matheson, Ian McCoshen, and Rocco Grimaldi, it’s Kyle Rau who comes out on top for the month of October with 8 points in 6 games, and a 1.33 points-per-game average. With a little help from their Captain who is 4th in the NCAA assists category with 7 helpers, the Gophers currently sit at the top of the NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Division 1 standings with a strong 5-0-1 record.

 

Honorable Mentions:

  • Mackenzie Weegar- QMJHL- (3g-12a-15p in 17 gms)
  • Rocco Grimaldi-NCAA- (2g-3a-5p in 5 gms)
  • Alexander Delnov- WHL- (7g-8a-15p in 15 gms)
  • Ian McCoshen- NCAA- (2g-1a-3p in 5 gms)

Thanks for reading.  We welcome your comments and opinions.

Follow the Panther Parkway crew on Twitter: Frank Rekas @FrankRekas, David Lasseter @davidlasseter , Paige Lewis @PaigeLewisFL, Jameson Cooper @JamesonCoop, and Amanda Land @HockeyGirl2530.  Also, please join our FaceBook Fan Page and hit the like button, send us photos, and tell us what’s on your mind.

Goalie Tryout Rob Madore Impresses at Panthers’ Rookie Tournament

With the sting of Friday’s 8-4 loss to the Nashville Predators still in the back of their minds, the Florida Panthers once again found themselves playing from behind against the Boston Bruins in Friday’s installment of the team’s annual rookie tournament. After going down 4-0 early in the first period of Saturday’s game, the Panthers once again looked as if they may fall victim to yet another blowout in front of their home fans. After the first intermission gave the Panthers time to “get angry” as center Nick Bjugstad stated, the team decided to pull goaltender Michael Houser midway through the 2nd period in favor of a mostly unknown tryout by the name of Rob Madore.

From that point on the game had a completely different feel. Madore stood on his head for the remainder of the game, stopping all 18 shots he faced, including several sprawling saves. In front of Madore, the team was finally able to establish their offense and complete an impressive 5-4 comeback victory. Although Nick Bjugstad garnered most of the post-game attention after leading the Panthers’ attack with three goals, it’s fair to argue that Madore may have been the best looking player in that game.

The question now is, who exactly is Rob Madore?

Rob Madore (Kelsey Hinds)

Rob Madore (Kelsey Hinds)

[Read more...]

Corn, Cattle, and Pucks: Examining The Growth of Hockey in Iowa

Over the past few years, hockey in the United States has seen substantial growth in both cold weather and non-traditional markets. In fact, enrollment numbers have nearly double since the 1991-1992 season, from just over 230,000 participants in that year to over 550,000 in 2011-12. However, even with this promising growth, hockey still remains a foreign concept in several states. Nestled in America’s Heartland, the state of Iowa is in the midst of an impending hockey boom.

Rarely in any hockey related headlines, Iowa has seen a surge in youth hockey enrollment in recent years, seeing a 317.9% growth from 1990-2010 to an admirable 2,549 participants. While I don’t expect any farmers to sacrifice their crops in favor of building an ice rink in hopes of playing with the ghost of Maurice “Rocket” Richard, the fact is that Iowa residents are seemingly starting to warm up to hockey’s chilling appeal.

Kevin Costner in "Field of Dreams" (Universal Pictures)

Kevin Costner in “Field of Dreams” (Universal Pictures)

[Read more...]

The Rampage Report: April 1, 2013

The San Antonio Rampage warm up before a game (Photo by Amanda Land).

The San Antonio Rampage warm up before a game (Photo by Amanda Land).

The San Antonio Rampage‘s action filled weekend kicked off Thursday night with a home game against the Grand Rapids Griffins. Newcomer Wade Megan picked up his first professional goal midway through the first to give the Rampage a 1-0 lead early in the game. Scott Timmins and Zach Miskovic helped Jed Ortmeyer extend the lead to 2-0 early in the second before the Griffins connected for their first goal of the evening minutes later to make the score 2-1. The Rampage regained their two goal lead on the power play with a goal from Jon Rheault just seconds before the period came to a close, and headed to the locker room with a 3-1 lead over the Griffins.  The lone goal of the third period came in the final 30 seconds of play when Rheault scored his second of the night and sealed the victory with an empty net goal. Brian Foster had a stellar night, stopping 39 of 40 shots, including a penalty shot midway through the third. The Rampage concluded the night with a 4-1 victory.

Hours after Thursday night’s victory, the team boarded a flight to North Carolina and prepared themselves for the first of two games against the Charlotte Checkers. The squad received word earlier in the afternoon that defenders Colby Robak and Mike Caruso were en-route and will be joining the team after being reassigned by the Florida Panthers. Once the puck dropped, Jack Combs  wasted no time getting the scoring started, and netted the Rampage’s first goal of the contest just 55 seconds in. Midway through the period, Combs struck again, this time on the power play, and John McFarland added an unassisted goal to give the silver and black a 3-0 lead early in the game. Charlotte managed to get one by goalie Dov Grumet-Morris  and brought themselves within 2 goals with 40 minutes left to play. After a scoreless second period, Combs completed his hat-trick midway though the third, restoring the Rampage’s three goal lead. Jared Staal closed the gap for a few minutes for Charlotte, but Rheault netted his 20th of the season with 5 seconds remaining in the game and helped San Antonio skate away with a 5-2 win. 

[Read more...]

The Rampage Report: March 25, 2013

Evan Barlow of the San Antonio Rampage (photo by Amanda Land)

Evan Barlow of the San Antonio Rampage (photo by Amanda Land)

The San Antonio Rampage made the short trip to Cedar Park last Tuesday night for another meeting with the Texas Stars. It took less than three minutes for the Rampage to tally the first point of the night, with Andre Deveaux and Jed Ortmeyer setting up John McFarland for his third of the season just 2:45 into the game. Midway though the period Matt Fraser connected on a Stars’ powerplay to tie the game up, but Evan Barlow regained the silver and black’s lead less than a minute later. Greg Rallo netted his 22nd goal of the season for the lone goal of the second period to give the Rampage a 3-1 lead heading in to the final 20 minutes of the game. Texas scored three unanswered goals in the third to give them the 4-3 victory and two points at the end of the night.  Rallo was rewarded for his season long efforts and was recalled by the Florida Panthers to fill in for an injured Jack Skille on Sunday when the Cats took on the New York Islanders.  Greg played on the fourth line with Jerrod Smithson and Quinton Howden in a game that resulted in a 2-1 loss.  That line however was the best line of the evening, as they created several scoring chances for the offensively challenged Panthers.

Saturday night the Oklahoma City Barons visited the Rampage at the AT&T Center for the final time this season. The Barlow-Combs- Gomes line connected once again for the game’s first goal, and then McFarland scored after a perfect pass from Scott Timmins to give the Rampage a 2-0 lead after the first period. The Barons picked up three goals over the final 40 minutes of play and left town with two more points to help them in their playoff push.  [Read more...]

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