With the recent naming of Dale Tallon as the new Executive VP and General Manager of the Florida Panthers, I thought it would be appropriate to take a look at the disaster work that Randy Sexton, Dale’s predecessor did in his time with the position. Grade to be given at the end of this post.
Let’s look at some of the moves:
* Trading defenceman Jay Bouwmeester to the Calgary Flamesfor a third round draft choice and the rights to defenceman Jordan Leopold. The third round pick ended up becoming Josh Birkholz. The Panthers did end up signing Leo to a one year deal after he couldn’t find anything else. Some thought this was a good move. Considering the names of players that were offered before this deal was made, I would completely disagree. Mason Raymond, Kevin Bieksa, Claude Giroux. I can go on and on. As you know, Leopold was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a third round draft pick. A move we could have done with both hands tied behind our back. This deal absolutely sucked. Worse than the Luongo deal. Promise!
* Signing defenceman Ville Koistenen as a free agent. Koistenen known as The Stripper on this site was an awful move. Why The Stripper? What is a stripper known for? Big Bust. Was was Ville? A Big Bust. Say no more. Awful deal. Took DeBoer about two weeks into the regular season to figure this out.
* Signing free agent center Steven Reinprecht to a three year deal after trading forward Stefan Meyer to Phoenix. The Panthers really pumped this one up as a major deal. Reinprecht who has playoff experience and won a Stanley Cup with Colorado was nothing more than a third line center. He was placed on the second line which ended up not being the right move. I predicted Rhino would get somewhere around 45 points when he was acquired. He ended up with 38. Not such a great move.
* Losing both Craig Anderson and Karlis Skrastins to free agency. Or more like failing to resign them. We all know the year Anderson had, and Skrastins wanted a two year deal, while Florida offered one. Two more bad moves.
* Signing free agent goaltender Scott Clemmensen to a three year contract. Still question the length of this deal. Clemmer was a serviceable backup but had a very up and down season. At times he looked rattled and out of position. Still evaluating this one.
* Signing journeyman center Dominic Moore to a one year deal. Faceoff specialist, the much traveled Moore signed here, as he priced himself out of the market. Florida was the only team to make an acceptable offer to Moore. In October! He worked hard, and gave his all. As hard as he worked, his production was fair. That’s been his problem throughout his career. He plays better when he is surrounded by better talent. He’s now in Montreal in the Eastern Conference Finals. We received a third round pick for him. In 2011. Another deal I could have made.
* One of the best moves was signing free agent defenceman Dennis Seidenberg. Seidenberg played extremely well for Florida, as he led the team in blocked shots and was a steadying influence on the backend. But in an effort to get something back for a potential free agent, Dennis was sent to Boston for forward Byron Bitz a second round pick and forward Craig Weller. We may never see Weller in the NHL. Signing Seidenberg was great. The return back was something we’ll need to evaluate, but Bitz is nothing more than a third liner, who has rocks for hands. I like his game, but please, don’t expect big things out of him. He is a third liner at best.
* Drafting Dmitry Kulikov. A no brainer with this one as Kulikov was an easy pick. The biggest decision was whether to keep him at the pro level or send him back to juniors. The Panthers kept him and once he got used to the North American game and got his legs, he did fine. Great job on this one. He has a very bright future.
*Claimed Steve MacIntyre off of waivers. In need of some punch, Big Mac was brought in to add some much needed toughness. Problem is, head coach Pete DeBoer has little use for guys like this. Mac may not be in the teams plans going forward.
* Letting go Anthony Stewart, Brett McLean, Steve Eminger, Tanner Glass, and Drew Larman. No big deals here, but I will say this. Stewartwas a first round pick. He may not have been given the proper shot, and may not have been developed properly. Most of his playing time was for five to seven minutes per night, on the fourth line. This wasn’t Sexton’s fault, but both Uncle Jack and DeBoer may have screwed him up. I would really like to do that one over. I know some of you will disagree, but the Panthers made a big mistake here. Now he looks like crap, and may never see the big time again.
These are the most noteable transactions that Randy had a part in. Granted he inherited the position after Uncle Jack left to coach the Montreal Canadiens, he had a bit of a mess to clean up. Without an assistant and having to do most of his work with little cap room and players with contracts that they didn’t deserve (Olesz), he may have done the best he could. In all, none of these deals were significant, and most left you scratching your head a bit. There were a ton of call ups from Rochester as well, as the Cats dealt with injuries and poor production. It became plainly obvious that the farm system wasn’t developing players, and that the guys at the NHL level weren’t living up to their expectations as a whole.
My grade C-. Never thought he was the guy to turn things around, and never thought he was able to get this team moving in the right direction. His hands may have been tied, or maybe he just didn’t have enough experience. I will say that he’s been very professional with the change and for that I give him a A.
What are your thoughts?
Thanks for reading.
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