Florida Panthers and the Role of Leadership in the NHL

The leadership debate has been kicked into high gear recently in the hockey world and everyone who’s everyone is throwing in their two cents (5 cents if you’re from Canada). Leadership is a tricky notion in any realm to define and quantify, but in the sports world leadership is more like an omnipotent force than quantifiable trait. The inspiration for this piece comes from Steve (Dangle) Glynn, who debates the quantities/qualities of leadership in this video: http://theleafsnation.com/2014/4/7/leadership-in-hockey-what-s-that

Steve questions whether or not leadership is even real, if it’s tangible based on goals, hits, motivational speeches etc. It’s a great video; I’d check it out if I were you.

So what is it? What is leadership?

To re-hash and expand on what Steve said: Is leadership defined by production? Fighting? The notion of clutch-ness? (That’s a whole other can of worms)

Is it defined by being vocal in the locker room? On the bench? On the ice?

Is it by example? Putting your body on the line to help your team win? Attending charity events? Being available to the media no matter the situation?

Is it how you interact with your teammates? Patting them on the back when they do something right? Teaching them when they did something wrong? Calming them down when they’re making mistakes?

Is it just being old? How many cups you’ve won? How many years you’ve been in the league?

To me, leadership is a mixed bag. It’s a combination/selection of everything I listed above and more.

You can sense leadership in sport (and life, really) at any level, from the professional grade to the beer league. There are people who others gravitate to for inspiration, support, guidance or security. There are people who possess those unquantifiable quantifiable qualities that make people gravitate to them.

The term “Leadership” is used so often these days so it’s not insane to see why it’s been watered down and questioned as much as it is being. When a team wins or loses, part of that result was due to what we call leadership. Players cite their captains, alternates, goal scorers, grinders, goalies, coaches etc. as people who were impactful on the game’s outcome. Leaders come in all shapes and sizes and are defined by the many variations of leadership. There’s not just one answer, there’s not just one quality, leadership is an orchestra.

When it comes to a team’s captaincy group, I have no doubt that whoever makes the decision takes all of these qualities into account. Technically a team only has captains and alternates so that there is a designated group of people to talk to officials. Obviously that has evolved into what we have today. Being a captain or an alternate is seen as a prestigious honor.

We rank the best captains; we debate if a player should be captain, we even put more weight on a goal when it was scored by a captain or when captains fight! Obviously leadership matters in the NHL and whatever you quantify leadership as it has an impact on how you watch the game and how the game is played.

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Tom Gilbert Will Miss the Remainder of the Season After Undergoing Surgery

Florida Panthers defenseman, Tom Gilbert, who signed a $900,000 contract with the Panthers this off-season, underwent Sports Hernia surgery Thursday morning, and will miss the remainder of the 2013-2014 season.

Gilbert, 31, who was bought out by the Minnesota Wild last summer, was given a second chance with the Panthers, who were looking for another veteran presence to play alongside Brian Campbell. Currently second on the team in ice-time, averaging 21:20 minutes per game, Gilbert proved to be an important addition to the Panthers blue-line.

In addition to his lofty ice-time, Gilbert is currently 5th in scoring on the Panthers, with 28 points (3g-25a-28p) in 73 games.

 

 Thanks for reading and we welcome your thoughts in the comments section below!

Follow Paige on Twitter @PaigeLewisFL

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Panther Parkway Post-Game: Panthers vs. Devils

Stars of the game

1st: Brad Boyes (1G-1A-2P)

2nd: Scottie Upshall (1G-0A-1P)

3rd: Jonathan Huberdeau (0G-2A-2P)

Goals (Panthers 5 , Devils 3)

FLA: Brian Campbell (7) Assists: Jonathan Huberdeau, Jimmy Hayes

NJD: Jaromir Jagr (22) (Powerplay) Assists: Damien Brunner, Travis Zajac

NJD: Bryce Salvador (1) Assists: Patrik Elias, Ryan Clowe

NJD: Patrik Elias (15) Assists: Damien Brunner, Andy Greene

FLA: Quinton Howden (2) Assists: Scott Gomez, Jonathan Huberdeau

FLA: Brad Boyes (18) Assists: Unassisted

FLA: Scottie Upshall (13) Assists: Brad Boyes 

FLA: Vincent Trocheck (1) (Empty Net) Assists: Brian Campbell

Highlight

With another goal recorded tonight, RW Quinton Howden has scored 2 goals in 2 games since his recall from the San Antonio Rampage! C Vincent Trocheck also notched his first NHL goal with an empty-netter to make it a 5-3 final!

Quote of the game

Tweet of the game

Next Up

The Florida Panthers take on the Vancouver Canucks at the BB&T Center, on Sunday at 3:00 p.m.

Tune into FOX Sports Florida to catch all of the action!

Thanks for reading and we welcome your thoughts in the comments section below!

Follow Paige on Twitter @PaigeLewisFL

For All Your Florida Panthers’ Updates Follow Panther Parkway on Facebook

Follow Panther Parkway on Instagram @ PantherParkway

Panther Parkway Post-Game: Panthers vs. Bruins

Stars of the game

1st: David Krejci (3G-0A-3P)

2nd: Chad Johnson (23-24 saves – .958 sv%)

3rd: Zdeno Chara (0G-0A-0P)

Goals (Bruins 4, Panthers 1)

BOS: David Krejci (14) Assists: Unassisted

BOS: Jarome Iginla (19) Assists: Jordan Caron, Chris Kelly

BOS: David Krejci (15) Assists: Kevan Miller

FLA: Brian Campbell (6) Assists: Sean Bergenheim

BOS: David Krejci (16) (Empty Net) Assists: Milan Lucic, Jarome Iginla

Highlight

What could possibly go down as the biggest blockbuster trade of the 2013-2014 season, the Florida Panthers traded G Jacob Markstrom and F Shawn Matthias in exchange for G Roberto Luongo.

Quote of the game

Tweet of the game

Next Up

The Florida Panthers take on the Buffalo Sabres at the BB&T Center, on Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Tune into FOX Sports Florida to catch all of the action!

Thanks for reading and we welcome your thoughts in the comments section below!

Follow Paige on Twitter @PaigeLewisFL

For All Your Florida Panthers’ Updates Follow Panther Parkway on Facebook

Follow Panther Parkway on Instagram @ PantherParkway

Erik Gudbranson is Ready to Instill Fear in Panthers’ Opponents This Season

Erik Gudbranson (Wikipedia)

Erik Gudbranson (Wikipedia)

For the majority of last season, opposing teams around the NHL had few reasons to fear the Florida Panthers. A young team riddled with both injuries and inexperience that finished the year last in the NHL in both goals scored and goals allowed per game. Luckily for the Panthers, they will start the upcoming season with a clean slate and the opportunity to redefine themselves however they’d like.

Defenseman Erik Gudbranson is hoping to use that opportunity to bring some fear back into minds of the Panthers’ opponents.

The 3rd overall pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Gudbranson is entering his third year with the team and the final year of his entry-level contract. While the pressure of a contract year can weigh on any player, Gudbranson enters this season fueled by the pain of last year and not the dollars and cents of his next big deal.

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For Mike Matheson, It’s Just a Matter of Time

Mike Matheson (John Quackenbos/Boston College Media Relations)

Mike Matheson (John Quackenbos/Boston College Media Relations)

With a sound offensive game and skating abilities that even Kristi Yamaguchi would envy, 19-year-old defenseman Mike Matheson has worked his way to the top of an already impressive group of talented Florida Panthers’ defensive prospects.

Selected in the 1st round (23rd overall) of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, Matheson, a Quebec native, spent the 2012-2013 season sharpening his skills while playing collegiate hockey for the Boston College Eagles. While he would have been able to get more game experience playing in the CHL, Matheson expressed to me in an interview earlier this year that playing collegiate hockey would give him more free time to spend in the gym, putting on weight and building up his frame to withstand the rigors of the NHL.

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Panther Report: 2013 IIHF World Championship

IIHF

With the preliminary round winding down and the quarter finals set to begin this Thursday, the action is just starting to heat up at the 2013 IIHF World Championship. With each team already having competed in at least 6 games, Team Canada and Team Russia have risen to the top of their respective groups. Although no Panthers’ skater has grabbed any headlines  throughout the tournament, there have still been some exceptional performances worthy of noting.

Below, I have listed the current statistics for each Panther player represented at the World Championship as well as adding a brief comment on their play.

Brian Campbell (Canada)

GP: 7

G: 0

A:2

Note: As he was for the majority of the season in Florida, defenseman Brian Campbell has been a workhouse for Team Canada so far this tournament. Through 7 games played, Campbell is 2nd on the team in total TOI with 140:23 minutes played. Also, Campbell’s +7 rating is good enough for the best +/- rating on the entire Canadian roster.

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Florida Panthers’ 2013 Player Grades: Defense

Erik Gudbranson. Photo Source: Michael Miller/ Wikipedia Commons

Erik Gudbranson.
Photo Source: Michael Miller/ Wikipedia Commons

With the disappointing 2012-2013 season on its’ way to being understandably forgotten by both fans and players alike, we must take one final moment to begrudgingly relive the events of this year as I hand out my end of the season player grades. Although the Panthers were only able to muster a pedestrian 15-27-6 record – good enough for last in the entire NHL – there were still a few players that can look back on this season with pride.

While many players will be receiving grades that would merit summer school, there are a few skaters with bodies of work good enough to be hung up on the refrigerator. Considering the amount of call-ups and short lived NHL appearances by skaters due to frequent Panther injuries this season, I have decided to grade only players who competed in at least 20 games this season.

For this report card I will be taking a look at the Panthers’ ill-fated defensive unit. After seeing some improvement last season, the Panthers’ defense took a big step backward as they finished the season last in NHL in goals allowed per game (3.54). Frequent mental lapses and an inability to clear dangerous pucks were just two of the numerous problems that defined the team’s defensive struggles this season. Considering just how bad the Panthers’ defense looked almost every game, you will be hard pressed to find too many good grades below.

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Rostislav Olesz: Reviving His Career in the AHL?

Like most Panthers’ first round draft picks from the early part of this decade, former 7th overall selection Rostislav Olesz is still trying to find his place in the NHL. A native of the Czech Republic, Olesz came into the NHL with an impressive skillet and even greater expectations. Sadly, after just over 5 seasons with the Panthers, Olesz never quite reached the lofty expectations that were put on him – reaching a pinnacle of 30 points during the 2006-2007 season.

Years later, as the team was starting to rebuild under the guidance of new General Manager Dale Tallon, Olesz was finally shipped out of Florida in exchange for Blackhawks’ defenseman Brian Campbell. Although it was mostly designed as a salary dump for the cap-wary Blackhawks, the team still hoped that maybe they could squeeze something out of this former first round pick.

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T.J. Brennan Impresses In Panthers Debut

What could have easily been a considered a minor trade for the Florida Panthers turned into a big deal on Saturday night as newly acquired defenseman T.J.Brennan didn’t take long to make his mark on the lineup.

Paired with veteran Brian Campbell to start the game, Brennan quickly acclimated himself to the Panthers’ game plan and became an important player almost immediately. Through two periods, Brennan was responsible defensively and even had a few nice slap shots on the power play – an offensive tool that has been missing since the departure of Jason Garrison.

When asked about his seamless transition into the Panthers’ lineup, Brennan had this to say:

“They kept emphasizing a simple game … I wasn’t gunna come in here and try and do too much … They  told me to shoot when I can if I have any opportunities and I tried to do that tonight and it was good to get reunited back with Kevin (Dineen).”

[Read more...]

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