According to Paul Krepelka the agent for Panther forward Nathan Horton, there’s a very good chance that the lazy talented, yet consistently inconsistent right winger will be wearing the sweater of a different club next season. As we’ve seen and heard many times , no Panther is untouchable according to Hawks (damn, must be a computer glitch) Panthers General manager Dale Tallon. While yesterday we covered the possibilities of Tomas Vokoun staying or not, today we are dealt with a much different issue in Horton.
Why is it different? Here’s why. Many of us (myself of course) have said over the past few years that Horton is lazy, non caring, inconsistent, he’s also probably the most talented Panther we have that could bring back some value. Especially if coupled with another player or two like Cory Stillman or Steven Reinprecht. There are several teams that have interest in Horton and I myself have been hearing rumors of Toronto, and yesterday the rumor was Buffalo.
Let’s examine Toronto first. Brian Burke likes big wingers. While Horton may not have the pugnacity or belligerance that Burkie’s looking for, he has size, one hell of a shot, and is still young at 25, and has a pretty decent price tag. He has 3 years left at $4 million per. Not bad for what could be a 30-35 goal scorer, if he only could pull his head out of his arse. What could he bring from Toronto? Tomas Kaberle most likely. The cat and mouse between Burke and Kaberle has been going on for awhile, and now that Kaberle’s no trade clause is over with, he’s a prime target. He would also be reunited with his former defensive partner Bryan McCabe. McCabe had some of his best years in Toronto when he and Kaberle were paired together. That’s one option.
The other possibilty is Buffalo. This is not a deal that I would like very much. The two Sabre players in question are centers Derek Roy and Tim Connolly. While both are highly skilled, each has a problem. Roy is small. He’s 5′-9″ and 188 lbs, smaller than that little shit Stevie Weiss. Tallon has said we need to get bigger at center. While Roy may be bigger on the inside, he’s smaller on the outside, and that’s a move I’m against. As for Connolly, he’s bigger, 6”-1″ and 191 lbs, he has a history of concussions and injuries, and is 29 years old. We would be taking a significant chance here. Again, I’m not liking this deal either. If there’s a way to pull someone else along with Connolly, maybe, but I don’t that the Sabres are prepared to part with Tyler Myers!!
Horton’s value may never be higher than right now. He’s packaged right, he’s healed from his broken leg, and is primed to take the next step. But as we all know, every time we wait for a player to mature and take that next step, they don’t. The maturity part of this could be an issue for Horton. He’s lived in relative secrecy here in sunny South Florida, without the pressure of having to win. Seeing him going to either Buffalo, or especially Toronto significantly changes that. Can he handle that pressure? Most ex-Panthers can’t.
Ask Jay Bouwmeester who had a very crappy season in Calgary for a six million dollar player.
You can also ask Roberto Luongo in Vancouver, who appears to be struggling with the pressure of the playoffs three years in a row. Hey Bobby Lose, it gets worse. This year you’ll be making 10 million dollars! If you thought the pressure was bad before, wait!
So, as you can see, those are two great examples of why players who want to win, but have had difficulty dealing with the change of playing hockey in a passionate city with a passionate fan base. No offence to those here. We have fans with passion, I’m one. We’re just sick of losing. Even though were a couple years away, that’s about to stop.
So, Mr. Tallon, deal away. I have all the confidence in you to make the right deal and get the best possible return. Now’s the chance to change the culture and change the faces of this team and bring in your players.
Just don’t trade Nathan to the Hawks!
Two things, loyal readers. 1) I respectfully as that you check out our new NHL main gage: Too Many Men On The Site and
2) Our FanSided Baseball Main Page: Call To The Pen, is doing a couple of collaborative articles from it’s cast of writers. Make sure you check them out! They’re doing an All-Star edition for each league. Good reading for the baseball fan in you!
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