Gettin' Hot In The Kitchen. Another "Decision".


Is it October yet?  A common question amongst all die hard hockey fans right?  With very little to talk about, you may think it’s hard as a Florida Panther blog site to continue bringing you news and updates on your favourite South Florida Sports team.  Heat?  What Heat?  You mean the Heat outside?  Yea, it’s a friggin’ hot summer allright.  Thanks for asking.

So if you can’t stand the  Heat, get out of the  Kitchen, Mike!

Well, speaking of  Heat, or hotor the kitchen for that matter, the Florida Panthers and the Bank Atlantic Center announced earlier today that they have replaced Papa John’s pizza with Giovanni’s Coal Fire Pizza as the official Pizza of the Hockey Club and arena.  So the changes happening here not only in management, the team, the coaches, but in the Kitchen as well (badump ching)!

A press conference announcing the change was planned for tonight, however something about Baseball’s All-Star Game has taken precedent.  Will you be watching?

Yea, I’m aching for some news to report, but lately, it’s been pretty quiet.  But I think we can all be comfortable knowing that on the heels of anyone who purchased the “Seats Fit For a King” season tickets, you’re getting better pizza too!

In all seriousness though, we here at The Rat Trick would like to pass on our condolences to the Family of Yankee Owner George Steinbrenner.  Here’s Yahoo’s Tim Brown with a story on George.

Rest in Peace Mr. Steinbrenner. 

Thanks for reading.

Your comments are always welcomed and appreciated.

Tags: Bank Atlantic Center Florida Panthers George Steinbrenner

  • hank

    frank, as I look over the roster as of today we sure look soft up front. any clue where th toughness will come from? so much for bigger, stronger and tougher.

  • slapshot1106

    Hank, I totally agree. I understand we’re not going after the bigger free agents, and rightfully so, as we’re still rebuilding… But I would like to see some CHARACTER guys brought in, or at least attempted to be brought in.. I wish we would’ve pushed for Ladd or Burish. Asham is still out there, but I hear Mtl is interested.. Even Jody Shelley would’ve added excitement and protection…

    I know Tallon appreciates both character and toughness, so I do hope he’s going to add 1 or 2… McArdle hustles, but is not bif enough to be an enforcer.. That’ll just be like watching Gregory Campbell–very admirable but not enough.. He opted to pass on Tarnasky. If Tallon can’t find anyone else, maybe he’ll bring Tarnasky back in… I don’t mind sucking points-wise while we rebuild, but please Dale find us some guys that can scrap and hit and represent…

    • hank

      There’s a difference between an enforcer and a tough team for sure. The enforcer is a necessary evil. One or two shifts a game, that’s all. What is needed is toughness on the top 3 lines as well. Tell me who fits that picture? Weiss, Booth, Stillman, Frolik, Dvorak, Reinprecht, Bernier, NOT. Hell I think guys on my mens league team are tougher than these guys and we all are so called “wanna be’s”. Dale go get some some good old western canadian boys already

  • Frank Rekas

    GEnts: I totally agree with both of you. We are still “soft”. Surely we can’t expect a rookie defenceman like Eric Gudbranson to be our local tough guy.
    Byron Bitz? No. Bernier is fairly decent in size, but he’s not known for toughness and had lost some weight, so his physical play could be lacking.

    McArdle yes is a hustler, but at only 5 minutes a night, that’s not enough.
    I thought for sure we could have made a run for Ladd or Big Buff. I almopst thought for sure we could have grabbed at least one of them. But, maybe the Hawks don’t want to trade with Dale?

    So far, it’s been pretty quiet!

  • Frank Rekas

    Hank. Well said. This team has been soft for quite some time. Actually the last guy that I can remember who played for us with grit was Gary Roberts, and he was 38!
    So that being said, my concern is that DeBoer Doesn’t really care for the enforcer type.
    Tallon likes guys from Western Canada. Why he didn’t sign Burish escapes me, but he must ahve something else on his ming.
    With Atlanta not only getting better, but bigger, we are certain to get pushed around.

  • slapshot1106

    Power FWDs are hard to find. I could live with our Top6 being a little softer, if eventually the talent level improves… But I think since this is our 1st rebuild year, I think we should be able to at least find some 3rd and 4th liners that can muck it up, and add some points here and there… The good thing about guys like Ladd, Asham, etc, is that they can do those things.. Every once in a while you throw one of them on the 1st or 2nd line and send a message–NO MORE FREELOADERS(HORTONS)…

    One guy that maybe would be a nice change to consider would be Joe Thornton… I think he has one year left. Tallon likes them big. If he were willing to consider a change of scenery, I think he’s got to have another solid 3-4 years in him.. Maybe closer to the deadline. Send Weiss and McCabe for the Sharks playoff run. We’d take Joe, only if he’d be willing to sign for another 3-4 years here, of course… Just a thought…

  • Frank Rekas

    Slap Shot: To answer this and you’re other reply, I’m all for trying something new and taking a chance. One bad contract for maybe another, depending on the player. But after all is said and done, we’ve got to get a bonafide goal scorer and a center. A number one center.
    While Thornton is big, he would command alot of money. As a Hawk fan I saw alot of him in last years playoffs.
    As a Panther fan, we don’t want to spend the money on him. He has shown that in times of need he’s not the go to guy. He would literally have to carry this team on his back, and I honestly don’t think he would have the mental toughness to do that.
    No offence, he’s a really nice guy, but, he doesn’t have the makeup of what we are looking for.

    Just my opinion.

  • slapshot1106

    Valid points. I’m not sure he’s the answer either, but I’m talking about taking a chance on finding someone in the short term, seeing if they fit in, and maybe even stay around as a mentor after we develop some of our prospects in the next 3-4 years.. I don’t see him as a dominant type scorer, but still as a productive leader that makes others around him better…

    So I’m not saying I’d want to give Thornton a $60mill contract, but maybe 3-4 years at $6 mill/yr.. And I’m just trying to get ideas going as to what other type top-tier players we’d ever be able to get without developing one of our own… Scanning through the list of NHL rosters, the only ones I could see possibly available would be Spezza and maybe Jeff Carter. Spezza has offensive talent, but I’m not sold on the rest of his game, and he’s also $7mill/yr… Carter has some potential, but the Flyers don’t seem so willing to part with him.. And then again, I don’t think you’re getting him for an UFA T-VO.. Weiss isn’t really a Flyer type player, so I don’t think we’d have anything to give them in return…

    I really hope Bjugstad turns into an NHLer in a few years.

  • slapshot1106

    Bitz should be able to hold his own, but you still need more.. JM always wanted skaters, and that not only doesn’t work on a talentless team like the Panthers, it also makes for boring entertainment.. They would act so desperate to stay in tight games, they’d sacrifice their product, thus creating no ENTERTAINMENT… So not only were they not able to create excitement for recruiting new fans given freebie seats, but they also lost their hockey fanbase because they put such a BORING product out there…

    I think PDB is much more open-minded in that regard. Yes they’re stuck with many softies still under contract. He has to play some, but PDB also called up guys like Oreskovich, McArdle, McIntyre, Duco, and Taffe in spurts.. Now most of those aren’t true NHLers, but they should be able to find a few…

    It’s also the reason I’d rather see us get in on guys like Asham, Burish, Carcillo, etc.. Guys that can actually play. I’d rather have 3 or 4 guys like that than a guy like Boogard that only plays 3 shifts a game.. Then when you have a more talented Top6, you consider the goon. One guy that’s available is Laraque, but I don’t think that’s what we’d want.. He’s older now and I believe we’d have to pay some of the money that MTL bought him out.. I think we’d be better off finding a guy in his 20′s, maybe even someone that played in the AHL last year that’s not good enough to make another NHL team’s roster.. I’d have no problem sitting, domoting, or buying out a contract to add an exciting player… That’s what Yormark should be asking Tallon to find–someone that creates excitement so he can sell seats… Tampa found Konopka last year. Let’s hope Dale can find us someone too…

  • Frank Rekas

    SLap Shot: Asham is availabe as far as I know. Good role player and has grit.
    I think the concern though is also that there is no toughness on our first two lines. All six of those players,who potentially will be there are pretty soft.

    We need to toughen up for sure. Not many of the free agents left can provide that. We are going to have to make a trade.