It was announced early this evening that the Florida Panthers have sent young forward Evgeny Dadonov to San Antonio of the American Hockey League. Dadonov had made the roster out of training camp, yet did not appear in either of the first two regular season games for Florida. In a move that may be surprising to some, it should make sense to most and here’s why.
Dadonov is a very skilled forward who has good hands, a very good shot and some nifty moves. Sounds a like a lot of what we’ve seen in the first two games of the season right? After the cuteness of the Penguins game last night I’m thinking Kevin Dineen has seen enough cute for this week. My guess is the among the competition on the team, Dadonov isn’t seen to fit on the fourth line as an energy guy, and while he might be good enough to be a third line player, he certainly isn’t ready or hasn’t shown enough to be on the second line. Rather than keep the youngster around and being a healthy scratch, the organEYEzation probably felt it best to send him to it’s AHL affiliate to get in some game action.
I understand this move and honestly agree with it. For now. One thing that the Florida Panthers need more of is grit and sandpaper. That’s not Dadonov’s game, and with Jack “Crash” Skille hustling himself into a roster spot, it appears that head coach Kevin Dineen is making a statement that for now, he wants more “crash” and less flash (not directed at Tomas Fleischmann). During his playing days Dineen was a perfect combination of both, and while he’s not going to get that from either Dadonov or Skille, making this move sends a message early on that after last night’s slopfest, cute isn’t acceptable. Not that Dadonov had anything to do with it, he didn’t, but certain Panther players should know that there’s someone working hard for their job.
For now this decision is the best one for Dadonov and the team. He needs to play and get himself into game shape so that when he’s called up, he’s ready to go. The current lineup needs to get back the way they played on Saturday night and control that puck. It’s early boys and girls, there’s a lot of hockey left.
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