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 Florida Panthers Trade Keaton Ellerby To Los Angeles

The Florida Panthers have traded former first round draft pick Keaton Ellerby to the Los Angeles Kings for a 5th round draft pick in the 2013 NHL entry draft.  Ellerby who was chosen 10th overall in 2007 has never lived up to his potential, and has never played a full season at the NHL level.  The most amount of games he played was 54 in the 2010-2011 season.  Big things were expected from him being such a high draft pick, however they were never delivered, at least on a consistent basis. One could say that Ellerby has been a disappointment, even though he’s been given multiple chances to earn a permanent spot, especially on previous Panther teams that were thin at the blue line.

This could be one of those trades where a change of scenery might be helpful, or a trade where his value to the organization has run it’s course.  Sometimes you just have to cut the cord and move on, especially with a fringe player which Ellerby has become.  Ellerby hasn’t been able to crack even the bottom pair of defencemen during his time with the Panthers, and that should tell you something.  There have been moments that he’s played well, and moments that he’s played poorly.  Most of the time however his play has been unnoticeable.  He has appeared in 125 NHL games, has 2 goals and 15 assists for 17 points, and is a career minus 21.  His claim to fame this season was a fight to defend teammate and fellow defencemen Ed Jovanovski when he was hit knee on knee by Tampa Bay Lightning tough guy BJ Crombeen.

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Top Ten Panther Players Of 2011-2012. Number 6

Photo Credit: Hockey Photography by Yuri Peralta

Every year when teams prepare for the NHL Draft, they look to draft players who fit their playing scheme well. Not every top draft picks works out in the favor of the team. Whether it was a high draft pick that didn’t pan out or a lower pick that was taken as a low risk, high reward pick, every year in the draft there is always that one special player that was passed up round after round. For Jason Garrison, he wasn’t even drafted by a team. After entering the league as an undrafted free agent with the Florida Panthers, Garrison knew that the path to the top would not be an easy one. Although it was achievable, it wasn’t a given. Over the next few months Jason knew that he would have to give it everything he had in order to earn a roster spot on the Panthers. Jason was assigned to the Panthers AHL affiliate, the Rochester Americans.  After spending a season with the Americans, Garrison split time with both the Americans and the Panthers the following season. Once he had his spot on this team, he refused to let it go. With that being said, number six on my list of top Panther players from last season. [Read more…]

Man Down! Who Will Fill Erik Gudbranson’s Skates?

Erik Gudbranson.
Photo Source: Michael Miller/ Wikipedia Commons

Hello once again, hope everyone enjoyed the first week of the NFL season. Hopefully your team won! If you’re a Dolphin fan like me, well lets just say they did better then I thought they would. Also if you’re a Falcons fan like I am, our team looked pretty great on Sunday.

Anyway, I’m sure most of you have heard the terrible news about Erik Gudbranson. the 3rd overall pick back in 2010 who seems to have injured his shoulder during a training session last week. He had successful surgery and is expected to miss roughly four months of action.

This has to be a devastating blow to the Panthers plans for next season, but what is shocking to me was the fact that the Panthers were even thinking about starting Gudbranson in the AHL whether or not there was a lockout. To me this is kind of surprising and raises curiosity at the same time.  You’re going to send a young future star that played his best hockey of the year in the postseason to the AHL even if the regular season got under way? I’m personally trying to understand that, and while there may be good reasons for it, I don’t agree.

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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 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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