He's got work to do. Source: Sun-Sentinel

Florida Panther Offseason To Do List

If it were me, and it’s not, there’s obviously a long list of items that new GM  Dale Tallon needs to address in his new role as General Manager for the Florida Panthers.  Those of you who read this blog during the season know that I’ve been short on patience, and have been quietly (sometimes) demanding changes.

Dale’s hiring by the Panthers is the first step in the right direction to fix this teams long stemming problem of not making the playoffs.  It’s not going to happen overnight, but if it takes the same three years that it took Dale to do it in Chicago, I’ll be happy.  Believe me, I don’t want to wait three years to make the playoffs, but if this Panther team can change it’s culture, style of play and become a hockey team that’s no longer a pushover, till we “get there”, it will be progress.  And that fans is what we need.

Over the course of the summer I’ll spend some time analyzing things in more detail, but here’s a list of things that I think the Panthers need to address at the NHL level.

* Replace the scouting staff.  If you already haven’t done it.

* Select a forward, preferably a center at the upcoming draft.  Defencemen and goalies take longer to develop.  We need offence and we need it now.  Surely there’s someone in this year’s draft that we can take early in the first round.

* Use a draft pick or two in combination with a player or two to acquire offensive help.

* Replace the assistant coaches.  Both Mike Kitchen and Jim Hulton have been below average at best, especially in the special teams department.

* If possible, trade Tomas Vokoun  in an effort to get some veteran leadership at the foward and or defensive positions.  Let’s not lose him for nothing.

* Get a number one center that’s big enough to compete with most other’s.  Stevie  is too small for that. Stop kidding us.

* Dump  Rostisalv Olesz  as fast as possible.  We may have to take a bad contract back, but maybe someone else needs a change of scenery.

* Break up the Sunrise Express line.  And if that means trading two thirds of it, do it.

* Find a way to deal both Steven Reinprecht  and Cory Stillman.  Rhino was disappointing last year and Stillman has lost a couple steps.

* Please don’t sign any 35 year old journeyman forwards.  At this point I’d rather see youth than an overpriced worn out vet.

* If you acquire any Chicago Blackhawks players, and my guess is that there’s one or two that could be had, please don’t send any  Florida Panthers there.  Use draft picks instead.  Please.

It’s a long list and a lot of wishes.  I know everything can’t be done at once, but I’m confident that Tallon can get things done and move this team in the right direction.  If he’s given the power to do what he needs to, and I don’t think he would have taken the job if he didn’t, the changes that he’ll make will change the fate of this team in a very short time.

What’s on your list?

Thanks for reading.

Your comments are always welcomed and appreciated.


You can follow me on Twitter @TheRatTrick

Tags: Dale Tallon Florida Panthers Sunrise Express Line Tomas Vokoun

  • http://thehockeywriters.com Karl Selvig

    Agree with 99% of this. Except the Sunrise Express. Maybe after the offseason, breaking them up on the ice might be necessary, but I still think their best years are ahead of them. Weiss exploded last season, even playing without Booth for most and Horton for a lot of the year. I think we need to give Booth a little time to see where he is physically, and Horton started playing like the player we all expected last year. IF Tallon can pick up some scoring help, we could have a dangerous top 2 lines.

    As far as Reinprecht and Stillman, or other 30 somethings, I’m with you. Dump\avoid at all costs.

    • Frank Rekas

      Karl: My concern for the alleged top line is that while Horton still has room to grow, can he, and will he? WHen he puts his mind to it, he’s very talented. He needs more grit and hopefully he’ll find it. As for Weiss, he’s never been a favorite I can remember a strech last year of him going almost 20 games without scoring an even strength goal. He’s just doesn’t do anything for me.

      Booth will be hard to deal or move with his recent injury. But you’re right, if the Panthers can find other scoring help, thn the line needs to be broken up.

  • slapshot1106

    Unless the owners are willing to take some losses and buyout some of the existing contracts, then I think Tallon will still be stuck with the majority of players… If nobody wanted to take a chance at the trade deadline on guys like Stillman and Renprecht, then I doubt they’d be willing to trade for those guys…

    Since we’re in this bind, i think the best way to off-load some junk would be take a chance on someone else’s junk and swap out… If you package deals together and have an eye for talent, then maybe you can find a steal somewhere in their system…

    As far as the Sunrise Express goes, I’ve been waiting for years for Horton to be gone… Weiss is OK, but I’ve seen enough there and I’d rather see more fresh faces than hash.. No leadership, no grit…

    Now as far as drafting, I know we all want offense, but it’s definitely more important to take the right player.. No we don’t need a goalie, but based on proper scouting, if it’s a Dman and it takes longer, so be it… Doughty didn’t take too long to breakout…

    The rebuild will take closer to 4 or 5 years unless you get real lucky and Toews and Kane are around, but that’s fine… I’d rather he do it the right way. Start with changing the team’s culture. Find guys that are willing to compete… I think it’s more important to find some Ladds, Brouwers, and Bollands… Gradually you stock up with enough chips, and you have more assets to go find legitimate Top 6 Fwds….

    • Frank Rekas

      Slap shot: I’ve been going back and forth on the first pick. If Fowler is the best available I guess you have to take him. We just need to address our offensive weaknesses via other avenues.

      As for the Sunrise boys, I’ve seen enough of Weiss to last another 8 years. Move on. Horton, is still young enough where maybe a change of scenery does him some good.
      These two are associated with losing so they can be cone and we can begin the culture change.