The lockout has officially taken over anything hockey. While you can blame both the owners and the players, it doesn’t matter at this point. Whether you put the blame on the owners or the players is up to you. I personally just want hockey back and by the look of things, it looks like we all are just going to have to patiently wait it out. Since the main topic in hockey is the lockout, us here at Panther Parkway are trying to come up with new ideas to keep each of you entertained. I have come up with the idea to do a series of articles explaining who I believe the top ten players were on the Florida Panthers last season. I know my list isn’t going to be perfect and you are definitely going to disagree with some. But with that being said, let’s kick off my list with number ten on the countdown; Shawn Matthias.
Games Played- 79
Total Points- 24
For Shawn Matthias last season was his best season in the NHL. In his 79 games played he set career best in just about every category. Even after what was a much improved year, there were still many questions left to be answered. One of the big questions to be answered was, after the amount of time on the team, was Shawn Matthias actually worth what we gave up? Well, if I had to answer that question, I would say yes. When the Panthers first traded away Roberto Luongo for Todd Bertuzzi, Shawn Matthias wasn’t even on the Panthers radar. However, after Bertuzzi only played a total of seven games in Florida, before falling victim to a herniated disc, the Panthers needed to do something. Bertuzzi was in the final year of his contract, and with no guarantee that he would re-sign, the Panthers traded him to the Detroit Red Wings for draft picks and Matthias.
After splitting time between the AHL and the NHL, Matthias became a main stay for the Panthers two seasons ago playing in 51 games. Despite missing a good part of the season due to injury, Matthias showed tons of potential for the Panthers. Just last year, Matthias saw his role on the team improve dramatically. One of the biggest things for Shawn last year was the ability to stay healthy. The Panthers have tremendous depth within the organization when it comes to forwards, so if Matthias wasn’t able to produce and stay healthy, he might not still have a spot on the roster. Not only was he able to stay healthy, but he also produced quite well. Matthias also showed his worth in other aspects of the game. He is listed as 6’4 220lbs on the Panthers website. With good size, Matthias didn’t let anyone push him or his teammates around, as you can see below.
With his potential, his physical ability, and his knowledge of the game; I believe that Shawn Matthias will continue to grow into a really good player for the Florida Panthers. If he could stay healthy and continue to work, don’t be so surprised if you see his point total go up quite a bit whenever hockey begins.
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The NHL Lockout, something no hockey fans enjoy seeing, but unfortunately it is going to be the main subject in the NHL until the two sides can come to an agreement. Work stoppages are never a good thing as it affects many people. We already know the affects that the players and owners are going to have to go through, but what about everyone else? When I say everyone else I mean the fans, the people who work their tails off at the stadiums night in and night out to make sure that the fans are safe and enjoying their experience at the arena. For the fans they’re losing the game that they love to watch. Hockey fans are some of the most dedicated fans in the nation and taking away the game that they love to watch and participate in. But how about the people who work at the arenas, the food vendors, the ushers, the clean-up crew, the security guards? These people put in their best effort every night to make sure us fans are making the most out of our hockey experience. The people who work at the arenas are losing a good amount of income for their selves. No events at the arena means there is no need for employees to be there.
For the players, the lockout means no work. While some players such as Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin and Ottawa’s Sergei Gonchar have already decided to go overseas, a lot of the older players are planning on just sticking it out. Some of these older guys who are going to rough it out, Martin Broduer, Jaromir Jagr, and Todd Bertuzzi. These three players are definitely up there in age, with two of them being over 40 years old. The two 40 year olds, Martin Broduer and Jaromir Jagr are both coming off playoff appearances and they are both coming off receiving brand new contracts this past offseason. Martin Broduer decided to sign a two year contract with the New Jersey Devils this past offseason, while Jaromir Jagr left Philadelphia to join the Dallas Stars on a one year deal worth $4.5 million. Todd Bertuzzi, 37, recently signed a two year contract extension with Detroit earlier this year. Read the rest of this entry