Tomas Kopecky Offically A Cat. Source: Bruce Kluckhohn

Daily Pucking Grind. PantherHawks Blend. June 30th.

Today’s music choice on New Releases Thursday is Iridescent by Linkin Park.

I’m back!  Did you miss me?  Probably not, as my Rat Trick brothers covered the site for me while I was away on a business trip in Orlando with virtually zero free time to provide you my insightful blabber.  While I was away however, and even before I left, things have been a bit exciting around here haven’t they?  With the enviable task of having to bolster the roster and spend money, Dale Tallon has added two players from the Chicago Blackhawks that have cost him virtually a six pack and a basket of wings.  Brian Campbell arrived in a trade for the enigmatic Rusty Olesz on draft night.  A trade that has many of us here in South Florida giddy.  Dale was able to trade a player that was held together with scotch tape and super glue (Olesz), for a smooth skating, puck moving, hard working defenceman (Brian Campbell).

Earlier this week the Florida Panthers acquired the rights to forward Tomas Kopecky for a seventh round pick in 2012.  It was announced yesterday that a deal had been finalized and Kopecky will be a Panther for the next four seasons at an average of $3 million per year.  While I like the acquisition, I don’t like the contract.  It’s not terrible mind you, but it’s a bit  much for a player who’s best season was last year when he scored 15 goals, had 27 helpers in 81 games for the Blackhawks.  Not bad numbers, for a guy who played with the likes of Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp most nights.  Howeve if that’s his ceiling, which it could very well be, this may bite us in the arse in a couple years.  Kopecky is like that kid in school that had to study his butt off to get passing grades, but every so often took a night 0ff and ended up screwing up his assignment because of it, frustrating his teachers and his parents.  I know that kid!  If Kopecky can minimize his penalties and work hard every shift, and every game, we’ll be pleased if he gets 40-45 points a year.  But don’t be surprised if he slips back to the 25-30 range.  A healthy version of Rusty Olesz maybe, but he’s won two Stanley Cups, and that may actually be his salvation. I’ll live with this, but let it be known that I’m not entirely on board with it.

Meanwhile these two acquisitions leave the Panthers with another $22 million to spend to get themselves to the cap floor.  Dale Tallon expects to be busy, and I believe he will be as we have some needs to address.  The state of goaltender Tomas Vokoun hangs in the balance as well as the need for top six scoring…. and lots of it.  PLEASE.  We will most likely continue to overspend, but if  Dale keeps reminding players and agents that Florida has no state income tax, that might attract just the right player(s).

Here’s your Thursday links:

With one Tomas inked, the Panthers hope to sign the “other” Tomas.

Check out the photos from the PGA Duffy’s Draft Party.  Dave and Josh pose with the new red sweater.  Panther’s website.

The Wiz is going to the Columbus Blue Jackets.  Let the jokes begin.  Globe and Mail.

Elliotte Friedman talks about Stamkos and Free Agent Frenzy with his 30 Thoughts.

Paul Kariya has retired and has something to say about NHL discipline.  Sean Leahy.

Pens Universe has the top 10 reasons why Jaromir Jagr should go back to the Penguins.

Minnesota Wild defenceman Cam Barker has cleared waivers.  He was former Blackhawk, and Brian Campbell’s defence partner.  Just sayin’.  Russo’s Rants.

Finally, The Active Stick has lost her marbles!

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Tags: Cam Barker Dale Tallon James Wisniewski Jaromir Jagr Paul Kariya Tomas Kopecky

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