So here we sit my fellow readers (all three of you) and ponder the future of this hockey club, our desperately playoff bound beloved Florida Panthers. Yes, the future of this team appears to be bright based on this years draft, and the addition of Dale Tallon as the general manager, the right man for the job. However, I must refer to myself as a hypocrite based on how this post is going to go. I haven’t ranted, spewed any venom, or gone on a f-bomb tirade since, well, awhile!
See, I’ve been preaching patience this summer. I’ve been telling you as well as myself that it’s going to be ok. That things will work out. Just this morning as I was thinking about what to name this post as I wrote it last night, I remember something that my first boss’s wife told me when I was 16. Grace was her name,( and yes the name fit) told me that patience is a virtue. Well Grace, little did you know how much that small phrase of yours would come into play all these years later.
My patience is running out. Quickly. It’s almost the end of July and while many of you may think that the roster has improved over last year, it hasn’t. What have we done? We traded that lazy ass Nathan Horton to the Boston Bruins. Ok, good move, as he didn’t want to be here. What else? We moved the baseball swinging erratic defenceman Keith Ballard, and picked up a fast but untested youngster in Michael Grabner, and another version of Nathan Horton in the body of Steve Bernier.
The big free agent signing of the summer, Chris Higgins. One year at $1.6 million. Certainly a much better use of money than what Uncle Jack and his sidekick fat Randy were tossing around. Now I’ll be the first to say that this year’s crop of free agents isn’t the best, and no, I don’t want to spend $190 million over 30 years for Ilya Kovalchuk, but for godsakes, what the hell is going on?
I will tell you my loyal reader(s). Dale Tallon said it himself the day of the draft. You can’t trade players that nobody wants. There! That’s the problem. Caused by Uncle Jack who had the balls to flee the scene of the crime and take one of the most coveted jobs in hockey, coaching the Montreal Canadiens. Almost by osmosis, (cause he certainly didn’t do it himself) got them to the Stanley Cup Finals too. Imagine if that would have happend? I digress. He left us with a pile of crap that we can’t move.
Rusty Olesz, has four years left on a $3.125 million per year contract. Who the f&*k is going to take that, unless we take back someone else’s junk? Bryan Allen, whom I actually like regardless of his wonky knee, has two years left on a contract that pays $2.9 million per year. Losts of money for a d-man that doesn’t score, and has slowed down. Yet we wouldn’t give a two year deal to Karlis Skarstins, who signed in Dallas for under $2 million. Our highest payed forward is David Booth at $4.25 million. Concussion prone, he may not be the same player, and if he’s not, we’re stuck with him too. Certainly not his fault, but a six year deal? UGH!
So to answer the question of this post, yes the Panthers are stuck. You can thank that no good broken english speaking former coach and general manager Jacques Martin for that. Some people out there think that Mike Keenan set this team back when he traded that loser goaltender Luongo. No friggin way. I will defend that move forever. Wanna test me on it? Let’s go!
The damage that Martin has done will have lasted another two years AFTER he has left because of the crap we can’t move. You can also thank his sidekick Randy Sexton for for a couple more blunders. Ville Koistenen, and the dumbass trade with Jay Bouwmeester. Although Martin can also share the blame on that one too. This organEYEzation knew for 18 months that Jay wasn’t gonna be here. There were many deals on the table that weren’t made. Imagine Jeff Carter on this team. Ryan Kesler, Mason Raymond, Kevin Bieksa. Just a few names that were tossed around.
Dale, if you’re reading this I have all the confidence in the world in you. However, our patience is running out. We want a team that is competitive, tough, and exciting to watch. I know you can do it, and I know it takes time. But we’ve suffered 10 years without a playoff run and can’t stand it anymore. We need some hope. We need something to look forward to. I know there aren’t alot of Chris Higgins sweaters being sold, but something has to happen.
My suggestion? There’s a nice young forward in Anaheim named Bobby Ryan. Call Bob Murray (an ex Blackhawk) and make a deal. They can’t sign him and it would show that this team and organEYEzation is committed to putting a winner together.
That, would solve my patience issue. And Grace would be proud of that!
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P.S. Don’t forget tonights BBQ at the Bank Atlantic Center. Sorry can’t attend.