The Panthers walked out onto their’ home ice to a chorus of boos and the night didn’t get much better after that. The Montreal Canadians fans invaded Sunrise in a way that made Normandy look lightweight as almost zero Panthers fan came out to support the team…and the Panthers reward them with almost zero effort…
Factor in that Dale Tallon’s blueprint required the exit of almost all the veterans from the team to acquire draft picks and younger players and what you get in reality is an AHL caliber team purposely tanking for draft position playing against a Canadian team that needed the points.
Even though coaching and the players deny caring about draft position it is not a secret that a #1 pick would be a boost to the “BluePrint” head coach Peter DeBoer said “I’ve said it before… I could care less about the draft. I want to win games. Winning is as contagious as having good draft picks. We have to make sure we keep pushing that culture”
More After the Jump Including Exclusive with Keaton Ellerby
When asked about what it’s like working with such a young core of defense with Kulikov now being the longest serving Panther defenseman Keaton Ellerby told the Rat Trick exclusivly “It’s a good thing for a couple of us young defenseman I think our oldest guy is thirty one and so we are going to have to step up in our roles… we are a young back end right now we have to step up and take bigger roles to limit the other team’s offence and play physically and solid in our own end, it’s a good thing for us to have to step up and get prepared for years to come and hopefully we can keep building the team and win some games this year.”
When asked what type of player he sees himself becoming Keaton said “I see myself as a Chris Pronger type of player…puck moving dman playing mean and gritty…I want to go out there and make an impact for this team”
All in all the Panthers square up against some good teams this week and it should be quite interesting to watch…they have now lost 16 of their past 21 games
Management is looking to audition players,’’ DeBoer said. “When you’re standing behind the bench you’re not taking a lot of comfort in having tryouts in March and April. We’re trying to win games.’’
DeBoer told the Miami Herald Thursday morning that while he’s not in any hurry to name Bryan McCabe’s replacement as Florida’s team captain, one could be named soon.
“We’ll make some decisions. We have some good people here,” DeBoer said. “Stephen Weiss is probably at the front of the line because of his tenure here and what he’s meant to the organization. He’s in this for the long haul, wants to see it to the other end. That kind of commitment deserves some recognition.”
“To be a captain of an NHL team is pretty special,” Weiss said. “That’s not something you dream of as a kid though. You just want to make it to the NHL. That’s just an added bonus. It shows your performance and the kind of person you are, and that’s an honor. I’ve been through a lot of things here, but that would be a nice accomplishment.”