Happy Easter hockey fans! While many of you will find Easter baskets filled with chocolate and scratch off lottery tickets waiting for your this morning, we here at Panther Parkway decided to give you a new kind of Easter Egg. For this special holiday, we have put together a list of fun Florida Panthers’ Easter Eggs for you to enjoy. Everything from fun stats to interesting facts about the Panthers’ season are listed below, enjoy!
*Statistics shown are correct as of March 30, 2013.
- Between Stephen Weiss, Sean Bergenheim, Ed Jovanovski, Kris Versteeg, and Jose Theodore, the Panthers currently have $15,875,000 worth of salary out for the remainder of the 2013 season.
- The Florida Panthers are heading towards being the first Southeast Division champion to miss the playoffs the following year since the Atlanta Thrashers failed to reach the playoffs during the 2007-2008 season.
- Panthers’ rookie forward Drew Shore and Head Coach Kevin Dineen both played college hockey for the University of Denver.
- Forward George Parros needs just 21 PIM’s to reach 1000 for his career.
- Read the rest of this entry
Last week, the Anaheim Ducks made headlines both in the NHL and the world of finance when they re-signed star center Ryan Getzlaf to a 8-year, $66 million contract extension. The $8.5 million cap puts Getzlaf tied with Eric Staal of the Carolina Hurricanes as the 3rd highest cap hit of any center in the NHL, only behind Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.
Although he isn’t quite at the level of players a Sidney Crosby or John Tavares, Getzlaf is still widely considered to be an elite center and the Anaheim Ducks decided to pay him like he is one. Considering this is the first mega-deal since the ink has dried on the new CBA, this mammoth contract will set the stage for the entire 2013 offseason as free agents look for the biggest cash grabs around the NHL.
And that’s where Panthers’ center Stephen Weiss comes into play…
Heading into the 2013 offseason, Weiss will be one of the most coveted free agent forwards in the entire NHL as teams scramble to bid for the services of the talented two-way center. While clearly Weiss is not in the same class as Ryan Getzlaf, the fact remains that many NHL team’s will want a player like Weiss to anchor their 2nd line during the 2013-2014 season.
Luckily for Stephen Weiss and his wallet, the veteran forward will be a big fish in a small pond this offseason as only a handful of quality centers will be heading towards unrestricted free agency. Weiss will be near the top of a free agent class consisting of centers such as Mike Ribeiro, Nik Antropov, Tyler Bozak and Derek Roy – hardly a group of superstars, but still very coveted players.
As most teams approach the mid-way point in this 48-game shortened season, it’s time to take a step back and make assessments. Who has been great? Who has surprised you? And yes, who has been a disappointment?
On most teams around the league – sorry Blackhawks’ fans – there is at least one player fans can point to as the guy who just isn’t living up to what they had hoped for. Whether he’s failing to live up to last season’s success, or simply underperforming under the cloud of a large contract, there are many ways to label a player as disappointing.
After taking a quick look around the NHL, I have compiled a short list of players who I think many fans will agree have been huge disappointments this year for their respective teams.
*Stats accurate as of March 6, 2013
Travis Zajac (New Jersey Devils)
After an outstanding Stanley Cup playoff run in which he was able to compile 14 points, including an overtime game winning goal against the Florida Panthers to force a game 7 – Travis Zajac was awarded with an 8 year, $46 million contract this past offseason.
Sadly, ever since the ink dried on that mammoth contract, Zajac has yet to live up to the level of play that was expected of him. In 23 games this season, Zajac has only been able to earn 7 points (4G 3A) on a Devils team that is in desperate need of offense.
While Zajac is still a valuable member of the Devils’ penalty killing unit and a fantastic faceoff specialist (55.3% on the season), the fact remains that he will need to greatly improve his scoring numbers if he hopes to live up to both his contract and fan’s expectations.
Stephen Weiss (Florida Panthers)
Even before it was announced that Stephen Weiss would miss the rest of the 2013 season to undergo surgery on his wrist, it’s safe to say that his performance up until that point was hardly what fans had expected.
After scoring an impressive 57 points last season and making his first ever trip to the Stanley Cup playoffs, Weiss and the Panthers’ organization as a whole came into the 2013 season shouldering lofty expectations.
In 17 games this season, Weiss was only able to compile 4 points (1G 3A) while looking lackadaisical during many shifts and simply not putting forth the same effort fans had seen from him in past seasons. Whether it was due to injury or his looming free agency, the fact remains that Weiss didn’t live up to expectations this season.
Sadly, Weiss will continue to disappoint fans not only because he is not on the ice, but also because his injury has now cost the Panthers their best possible trade asset as the April 3rd deadline approaches.
As if the injury bug hasn’t bitten the Florida Panthers enough over the past two seasons, the team announced this morning that veteran center Stephen Weiss will be out for the remainder of the season. General manager Dale Tallon made the announcement indicating that Weiss will need season ending surgery on his wrist. Prior to making the announcment of the Weiss injury, the organization had recalled forward Jonathan Rheault from the San Antonio Rampage, causing inquiring minds to begin asking questions of that move. As of right now the Florida Panthers have lost 79 man games to injury. A full repeat of last season which saw them lose well over 300 over the course of the 82 game schedule.
Here’s the video of General Manager Dale Tallon speaking to the media.
It’s been very well documented that Weiss was in the thick of a subpar season to this point in the year. After 17 games, the long time veteran centerman of the Panthers had one goal and three assists, and his minus rating was at -13. Those statistics, as well as the injury could not have come at a worse time for Weiss who is in the final year of a six year contract, that also had a no trade clause.
After Saturday night’s pasting by the Carolina Hurricanes, the Florida Panthers started out the game with much more zip and energy. Unfortunately for them, Canes goaltender Cam Ward showed up. Again. Out shooting the Hurricanes 12-9, Ward made all 12 saves to hold the Panthers scoreless in the first while Carolina scored twice on Panther’s netminder Scott Clemmensen.
The Canes would score again in the second period when Jordan Staal put one past Clemmensen, making it 3-0. A which would hold up until Panther rookie Jonathan Huberdeau tipped in a Peter Mueller cross ice pass to give the Panthers life in the closing minutes of the middle period. The score would remain 3-1 until the closing minute of the final frame when Huberdeau scored again with the Panther net empty for the extra skater to make it 3-2 with 55 seconds left.
The Panthers seemed to play two different games having energy in the first, a lull for most of the second and third, then showing some life late in the third. But too little too late once again, as they just ran out of time. Clemmensen was visibly upset after the game, spoke quickly and softly and said:
“It’s a 60 minute game. And we all have to play 60 minutes”.
CAROLINA HURRICANES: 11-8-1 (23 PTS.) vs. FLORIDA PANTHERS: 6-10-5 (17 PTS.)
Someone once told me that” it’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it”.
Not much to say in today’s preview, but that statement will may not more meaning than it does tonight when the Florida Panthers try to avenge themselves for last night’s beating at the hands of division leading rival Carolina Hurricanes. The Panthers who were chewed out by coach Kevin Dineen, and rightfully so for their slow start, and poor preparation, fell further behind the division lead in what could be their only hope for a playoff birth this season:
“You can blame it on injuries but that’s the ultimate cop out. It was a big game against the divisional leader and we could have reeled them in. We weren’t prepared from the drop of the puck. And that leads to injury. If you don’t have your game face, well, it’s a man’s game out there.”
Amidst a 2-4-4 skid in their last 10 games, the Panthers desperately need to unlock some sort of winning formula if they still want to make a push for the playoffs, and fast. The bottom teams in the East are all separated by a mere six points, and a condensed season is the enemy to those squads trying to make their case for a postseason berth.
As we enter into the month of March, frustration looms among Cats fans who have only seen their team win on home ice three times all season. Many argue that inconsistent goaltending is the primary issue, while others offer that a shoddy defense is the the main contributor to the Panthers’ lack of success. If you’re an equally frustrated spectator, you would likely believe that it is a number of ailments rather than one pinpointed problem that has doomed the Panthers to fall below mediocrity. With that, here are three keys (while perhaps obvious) that could help provide a desperately needed surge headed into the second half of the season. Read the rest of this entry
Perhaps the Florida Panthers would be better suited for a long road trip than another home stand. Although, with the number of fans in black and gold hockey sweaters in the Boston Bruins 4-1 win over the Cats, they may have thought they were on the road. First period goals from Milan Lucic and Zdeno Chara put Florida in a hole they couldn’t dig their way out of en route to their fifth straight home defeat.
Read the rest of this entry
BOSTON BRUINS: 10-2-2 (22 PTS.) vs. FLORIDA PANTHERS: 5-8-4 (14 PTS.)
The Florida Panthers begin a three game home stand this afternoon when the Boston Bruins roll into town for an afternoon matinee. The Bruins fresh off a 4-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning, hopefully have been enjoying a little too much of the Florida sunshine, and maybe just maybe the Florida Panthers can catch them off guard. Ex-Panther Nathan Horton scored twice in Thursday night’s game, giving him six goals on the season so far, as he appears to be fully recovered from concussion symptoms that caused him to miss 36 game and the playoffs last season. Horton is second in goals scored behind Brad Marchand who has nine, which puts him on pace for 33 which would eclipse his total of 28 from last season. David Kreci is the overall points leader for Boston with four goals and eight assists for 12 points, as the Bruins feature a balanced scoring punch.
Boston is 7-2-1 in their last 10 games, and are 6-1-1 on the road, and have the league’s best penalty kill at 94.4 percent. This does not bode well for the Panthers who were unable to score a power play goal on their most recent four game home stand, going 0 for 13. Adding to that the Bruins have been able to kill the last 15 man advantages against, covering five games. The high powered offence of Tampa was 0 for 3 Thursday.
Earlier in the week our own Paige Lewis was a guest on a Florida Panther podcast that was hosted by our friend Dan Spiegel.
This was episode one for Dan in a show he calls Florida Panthers Hockey Talk. Paige and Dan discuss among other things the future of Florida Panther center Stephen Weiss. Give it a look:
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