Panthers Sign D Colby Robak

Florida Panthers Executive VP & General Manager Dale Tallon announced today that the club has agreed to terms with 23-year-old defenseman Colby Robak on a two-year contract. Given the nature of this deal, Panthers’ fans should expect to see Robak suit up for the Cats this season, mainly due to the fact that Robak can now no longer freely move between the NHL and AHL rosters without being put on waivers.

Last season, Robak played in 63 games for the San Antonio Rampage (AHL) and recorded 23 points (5G-18A-23P). In addition, Robak was also able to compete in 16 games for the Panthers last season, recording 1 point and 17 PIMs.

Although Robak still has much room for improvement defensively, he brings a powerful slap shot to the Panthers’ blue line – as evidenced in the video below.

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Panthers Buyout D Filip Kuba

In a move that Panthers’ fans had long been hoping for, the Florida Panthers announced on Wednesday that they would be buying out defenseman Filip Kuba after just one season with the club. In 44 games for the Panthers last season, Kuba was only able to earn a meager 10 points (1G 9A) and never lived up to the expectations that came with his seasonal $4,000,000 price tag.

The removal of Kuba from the roster will make room for some of the Panthers’ younger defenseman like Colby Robak and Alex Petrovic, as well as freeing up money to potentially spend on a forward in free agency. Kuba will still receive roughly $2,600,00 from the Panthers next season as compensation. As a result of his buyout, Kuba will not have to go through waivers and will immediately become an unrestricted free agent.

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Peter Mueller Does Not Receive Qualifying Offer From Panthers

On Tuesday, the immediate future of several Florida Panthers was revealed as Executive VP/GM Dale Tallon announced that the club has extended qualifying offers to the following restricted free agents: D Michael Caruso, F Shawn Matthias, G Jacob Markstrom, F Jon Rheault, D Colby Robak and F Scott Timmins.

While seeing some of these names may be a relief to many Panthers’ fans, there is one important person missing from this list, forward, Peter Mueller. After having concussion related issues for the majority of his young career, the Panthers signed the 25-year-old Mueller to a $1,725,000 low-risk contract – a move that would pay off in spades. Finally free of health concerns, Mueller made the most of his opportunity in South Florida – scoring 17 points (8G 9A) in 43 games, while also proving to be a valuable weapon in shootouts.

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Panthers’ Team Updates: Kulikov Out, Shaw Signed, and More!

Even though the season is almost reached its’ merciful end, there are still a lot of Panthers’ updates to be announced. Below, I have compiled a list of the most recent Florida Panthers’ updates as well as a few other Panthers’ related tidbits – Enjoy!

  • Head Coach Kevin Dineen has confirmed that defenseman Dmitry Kulikov will miss the remainder of the season after suffering an upper-body injury against the Boston Bruins on Sunday.
  • Both defenseman Erik Gudbranson and Tyson Strachan might not participate in Tuesday’s game against the New York Rangers.
  • Defenseman Colby Robak has once again been recalled from San Antonio in order to help the Panthers’ wounded defensive unit. 
  • Forward Tomas Kopecky and Peter Mueller returned to practice and reportedly will be available Tuesday night against the Rangers.

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Breaking News: The Florida Panthers Have Acquired T.J. Brennan

The Florida Panthers have announced that they’ve acquired defenceman T.J. Brennan from the Buffalo Sabres for a fifth round pick.  Brennan was drafted in the second round by Buffalo in the 2007 draft, has appeared in 10 games so far with the Sabres this season with one goal that was scored on the power play.  Brennan is a left handed shot, and is listed as 6′-1″ and 214 lbs.  There’s an offensive upside to Brennan as he has had success scoring goals in the AHL with Rochester and Portland in the AHL, as well as during his time in juniors with St. John’s.  Brennan will be no stranger to head coach Kevin Dineen.  Dineen coached Brennan for two seasons at Portland and is obviously familiar with what the young defenceman can do.

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Panthers’ Goals Against Problem Has No Easy Fix

Shortly after Scott Clemmensen surrendered the second goal of the first period against the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday night, the boos began to rain down from the stands.  A chant of “We want Markstrom” formed shortly after.  It appeared that the Panthers crowd finally lost all patience with the veteran backstop, and for good reason: Clemmensen’s stats this year are simply subpar to say the least, and four crappy periods against the division rival Hurricanes would sink his numbers even further.

At intermission, the venom spewed in Clemmensen’s direction was reaching an all-time high: fans on Twitter demanded that Clemmensen be subbed out in favor of the young Jacob Markstrom, who was totally not in a position to play after not practicing for days and just getting his pads at around the time the puck dropped.  At least a couple fans even maintained that they would refuse to renew their season tickets if Dineen didn’t pull Clemmensen.  And maybe the Panthers coach might’ve consideredswitching the struggling netminder out in favor of the potentialed Swede, if he thought it would make any difference.

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Panthers Recall Robak From San Antonio

Photo Source: Nick Miller/wikimedia commons

Photo Source: Nick Miller/wikimedia commons

The Florida Panthers announced Saturday evening that they have recalled defenseman Colby Robak from San Antonio of the American Hockey League. The 22 year-old Robak played three games for Florida last February when injuries decimated their defensive corps, the first games of his National Hockey League career.
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The Rampage Report: October 15, 2012

Colby Robak warms-up before a game at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas (Photo by Amanda Land).

Fans in San Antonio and around the American Hockey League have anxiously been awaiting for the puck to drop again, and this weekend they finally got their hockey fix once again. The San Antonio Rampage kicked off their 11th season Saturday night against the Texas Stars. The Rampage got a taste of what to expect opening night in two pre-season games against the Stars, which they lost by scores of 4-1 and 3-0 with Drew Shore being the only one to crack the Stars’ defense.

Opening night started with a tribute to Jessica Redfield, one of the victims of this summer’s Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting. Redfield, a San Antonio native, interned with various media outlets in San Antonio before moving to Colorado and was a huge hockey fan. After her parents performed the opening puck drop, the Rampage’s season was officially underway. The Rampage got their first power play of the season 32 seconds into the game when Reilly Smith was handed a two-minute penalty for interfering with Rampage goalie Dov Grumet-Morris. The Stars opened the scoring during the fourth minute of play when Cody Eakin set Kyle Fortunus up for first goal of the contest. The Stars struck once again with Jordie Benn assisting on Toby Petersen‘s goal with less than 4 minutes remaining before the buzzer sounded to signal the end of the first period. Things got rough in the third period just over a minute and stayed that way all throughout the third. The two teams racked up a combined 47 penalty minutes before the final buzzer sounded, with a number of those coming from Eric Selleck at the 6:28 mark when he was assessed a 2-minute roughing penalty, a 5-minute boarding penalty, and game misconduct for boarding. This was the Rampage’s first game misconduct since the 2010-11 season. In the final minute of play. Drew Shore finally netted San Antonio’s first goal of the season with Tyson Strachan and Jon Rheault picking up their first points of the 2012-13 season. Unfortunately the comeback came a bit too late and the Rampage fell to the Stars once again, but this time by a final score of 2-1. [Read more...]

Almost Time to Stop the Pucks Again

Jacob Markström warms-up before a game in San Antonio, Texas (Photo by Amanda Land).

If you missed my post last week highlighting some of the Rampage’s offensive players for this upcoming season, be sure to check it out here. With the season only a few days away, it’s the perfect time for me to highlight some of the Rampage’s defensive players who I’m excited to watch this season.

Colby Robak- Now in his third AHL season, Colby’s adjusted to the AHL quite nicely. Last season he earned a call up with the Panthers and Florida fans got their chance to watch him play.I’m curious and excited to see what Colby will do this year. His offensive contributions always make him an exciting player to watch. During his first year with the Rampage, he set a single season record for the organization when he racked up 39 points throughout the year. Let’s see if he can manage to break that record this year.

Alex Petrovic- Petrovic spent last season with his the Red Deer Rebels of the WHL and joined the Rampage for the last five games of the regular season, and for all nine post season games. He assisted on a goal during the regular season and added two goals and four assists during the playoffs. In 68 games with the Rebels he tallied 12 goals and 36 assists and picked up 141 penalty minutes along the way. I’m looking forward to how he will transition into the AHL level of play full time this season. [Read more...]

What Does The Gudbranson Injury Mean For The Panthers?

Erik Gudbranson’s reported injury means there might be a shake-up on the blue line. Photo Source: Michael Miller, Wikipedia Commons

Yesterday at the Saveology.com Iceplex, a metaphorical wrench was thrown in the Panthers’ plan for the upcoming year.  Erik Gudbranson, in an informal workout session, apparently badly injured his shoulder.  Even though he received treatment right away and the Panthers have yet to announce his injury, Harvey Fialkov of the Sun-Sentinel was tipped off that Gudbranson could be out of action for up to four months.

Gudbranson could still be considered the Panthers’ sixth defenseman, even after his ice time increased late in the season and during the playoffs last year.  His NHL stats, though they aren’t spectacular (2 goals, 6 assists, -19 plus/minus, 78 penalty minutes), were decent enough to hold off his competition and keep his spot on the blue line.  As the year progressed, you could really see coach Kevin Dineen‘s confidence in Gudbranson grow.  His ice time grew, he took more chances in the offensive zone, and he took more faceoffs in his own zone – I detailed his progress as a player about a month ago.  Most people were looking forward to see if Gudbranson’s second NHL season would push him up to star status.

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