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JagerMeister

Florida Panthers General Discussion

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I live in Ohio and watch a lot of Big Ten Hockey, Nick Bjugstad went to Wisconsin, who I had became somewhat of a fan of while watching Brendan Smith, a Wings number one pick grow.

  Anyway, Bjugstad. I couldn't believe the kid when he played the Buckeyes, he absolutely towered, both height and talent wise over a pretty skilled Buckeye team, I made up my mind that I would follow his career come what may.

  He slipped to the second round which I attribute to the continuing prejudice against anyone not born on a farm in Manitoba or Ontario, and showed glimpses in his first year in the league, last year, in the second half of the season he seemed to flip a switch totally getting the game.

  This year he has been the best forward in Sunrise. When you look at the high draft picks on the roster, that speaks volumes for the big centers ability.

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I live in Ohio and watch a lot of Big Ten Hockey, Nick Bjugstad went to Wisconsin, who I had became somewhat of a fan of while watching Brendan Smith, a Wings number one pick grow.

  Anyway, Bjugstad. I couldn't believe the kid when he played the Buckeyes, he absolutely towered, both height and talent wise over a pretty skilled Buckeye team, I made up my mind that I would follow his career come what may.

  He slipped to the second round which I attribute to the continuing prejudice against anyone not born on a farm in Manitoba or Ontario, and showed glimpses in his first year in the league, last year, in the second half of the season he seemed to flip a switch totally getting the game.

  This year he has been the best forward in Sunrise. When you look at the high draft picks on the roster, that speaks volumes for the big centers ability.

 

 

Bjugstad went 19th overall 1st round. Tyler Toffoli went late in the 2nd round and has almost identical NHL stats. He played in the OHL but was scorned because of it I guess.  :D  Brendan Gallagher went in the 5th round and has way better numbers. 

 

Should Bjugstad have gone higher? Sure, with hindsight. Then again so should have Jeff Skinner, Ryan Johansen, Cam Fowler....all CHLers.

 

Maybe...just maybe, more players get drafted from those areas because, well, they produce more NHLers?

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Bjugstad went 19th overall 1st round. Tyler Toffoli went late in the 2nd round and has almost identical NHL stats. He played in the OHL but was scorned because of it I guess.  :D  Brendan Gallagher went in the 5th round and has way better numbers. 

 

Should Bjugstad have gone higher? Sure, with hindsight. Then again so should have Jeff Skinner, Ryan Johansen, Cam Fowler....all CHLers.

 

Maybe...just maybe, more players get drafted from those areas because, well, they produce more NHLers?

Damn it I need to quit just shooting from the hip and look this stuff up :(. Seriously, I remember when Bjugstad was in college hearing how he should/could go in the top ten, so yeah, slipping to 19 was  not the second round so I lost my credibility in this one, but he did slip much further than expected.

 

  As far as the OHL to turn your quote around a bit, maybe...just maybe, more players get to the NHL from those areas because well, they get drafted more?

 

 The NHL is still a Canadian dominated league, not in terms of teams but in terms of management and in terms of mentality. Players from the United States were rare to the extreme until the Miracle on Ice, Euros are accepted but in many ways still looked down upon. But a big Moose Jaw farm boy with a toothless grin will have the holes in his game forgiven simply because he looks the part.

  Now look, as I write that I know I look anti-Canadian and nothing can be further from the truth. I love Canada, I have been from one end of the Country to the other on misc vacations including the honeymoon years ago, there is a lot more about the United States that I don't care for than Canada. Hell, I half jokingly tell the wife that if this country goes any further to the right we are moving to Montreal. Only Half jokingly. She teases me that I was born Canadian and accidently switched at birth. My God, I even love curling, even if I suck at it.

  But the truth is the truth, if two players are considered even, one from Canada and one from somewhere else, the Canadian boy gets the break a remarkable amount of the time. Look at the populations of the countries that send players to the NHL, look at where the game is played at an NHL level, and then look at the percentage of Canadian players. On almost every team it is still over 50 percent, some remarkably higher while Canada has a small percentage of the worlds population and an absurd amount of the NHL players and high draft picks. Every time a Nikita Filatov bombs I see people like Don Cherry puff out his chest and point with Canadian pride at the failure of the Euro who was a bomb in the NHL, pointing out every failed Euro while ignoring all the Cody Lampl's of the world.

  So that is that. Now I will be labeled a Canadianphobe or something. Sorry I missed that with Bjugstad, like I said he fell a lot further than IMHO he should have, and glad he is doing very well in the NHL.

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@yave1964

 

As one of the boards best members you get a mulligan on that one. Just yankin yer chain yave. 

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Well, this slow n steady rise of the Florida Panthers has been brewing for quite a while now.

I would even go so far as to say the genesis of it could be traced back to when the Panthers won the now defunct South East division a few years ago, made the playoffs as a division leader, got NO respect from most fans and analysts, and promptly got bounced in the 1st round by the New Jersey Devils.

 

Yea, the same NJ Devils that eventually went on to win the East and face down against the eventual Cup champion LA Kings.

And those NJ Devils needed 7 games to beat those "weak" Panthers that many felt didn't deserve to be in the playoffs.

 

But say what you want about the Florida Panthers back then, the one thing I always said they had, and STILL continue to exhibit even today, is heart, hard work, and a willingness to leave it all out on the ice.

Panthers won their division back then because the other teams in the division (including teams with stars on them like Washington and Tampa Bay) didn't want it as bad.

ALL the teams in the South East at the time had their flaws, all had their shot at that 'weak' division title, and some, like the Caps n Bolts had the players and should have been better positioned to win the division over the Panthers.

 

But the Cats had heart, had soul, had determination.

They may not have had the overall talent, but they just wanted it more.

 

That continues on today...and guess what...slowly but surely, they are gaining the talent and pretty soon, a couple of their players are going to be recognized as stars as well.

 

Roberto Luongo, for all the bad press he got in Vancouver, is still a world class goalie and he WANTED to come to Florida and has certainly given the Panthers a legit number one netminder.

And frankly, if it weren't for him, the Panthers right now, despite the heart and hard work, wouldn't be in the position they are now to possibly get into the playoffs.

 

Florida needs some more legit goal scorers...whether they are drafted, signed via free agency, or guys from their roster (like the aforementioned Nick Bjugstad) truly stepping up to the big time....the Panthers simply need more guys to put pucks in nets to go along with Roberto Luongo's stellar goaltending.

This team is involved in way too many close games and its mostly because they can't score enough to gain any separation in those close contests.

 

But I get the feeling that will come.

Dave Tallon has made some good moves, has shown some great patience, and has even gone out on a few limbs here and there to try and make the team competitive and relevant.

 

I support the Panthers division rival Tampa Bay Lightning as posters here know.

And I say 'rivals' only because they play out of the same division and have for many years.

However, whatever "rivalry" that has existed between the two franchises has been tepid at best and manufactured by the media at worst....simply because both teams play out of the state of Florida.

 

We all know REAL rivalries are born out of competition, playoff meetings, or real heated regular season games with high stakes on the line.

Those things have never really happened between the Bolts n Cats because either one or the other was doing well while the other was not or both have been flat out terrible (which over the course of thier histories, sadly, has been the case more often than not).

 

So I root for the Panthers to continue to be better n better.

Maybe this way, an actual legit rivalry can exist between the Cats n Bolts...and with the good talent now and the talent being developed for the future, this could really be something special and 'must watch' TV...and NOT simply because both teams play out of Florida, USA.

 

The only fly in the ointment here would be, relocation.

Are the Panthers going to be developed in Sunrise, only at some point down the road have the team, ready to contend, moved to somewhere like Seattle, Kansas City, or Quebec City?

That is for another thread, and honestly, I hope that never happens.

 

But if Dave Tallon continues what he is doing, the Panthers will be relevant, will be competitive...and they could take a major step towards that THIS season if they can somehow manage to sneak into the post season and play a first round matchup against the likes of the Canadiens, Islanders.....orrrr, the Tampa Bay Lightning!

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Florida loses last night after both Luongo and Montoya got injured. Seems they dressed Derek MacKenzie as a goalie, then went to goalie coach Robbie Tallas whom they had to sign to a $500 one-day contract and get permission from the league. Neither actually entered the game as Luongo got out of his street clothes and was able to come back in and finish the game for them, but talk about your crazy nights...

 

And that's not even the strangest part of the night. Apparently Tallas had to dress for the Panthers before, exactly two years to the day prior.

 

https://twitter.com/Sportsnet/status/572963644646023168/photo/1

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I watched some of that. I don't know what happened to Montoya but apparently he could barely move after getting hurt. He was standing in the crease like one of those wood goalie cutouts. Then Luongo reappears. Weird stuff.

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I watched some of that. I don't know what happened to Montoya but apparently he could barely move after getting hurt. He was standing in the crease like one of those wood goalie cutouts. Then Luongo reappears. Weird stuff.

 

Hmmm...I see...so since he felt he couldn't play to his full capacity, he at least tried playing like Ryan Miller....

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Wow. Luongo had gone to the hospital and came back to play when Montoya got injured.

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Hmmm...I see...so since he felt he couldn't play to his full capacity, he at least tried playing like Ryan Miller....

 

lol... yeah, something like that. You have to give both Luongo and Montoya credit, they both "took one for the team" last night.

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Wow. Luongo had gone to the hospital and came back to play when Montoya got injured.

 

I'm not sure because I tuned in late but on hfboards people were saying that Scottie Upshall might actually have gone to the locker room to put on goalie gear after Montoya was hurt.

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Aaaaaand the Panthers call up G Dan Ellis from San Antonio (AHL) and G Sam Brittain from Cincinnati (ECHL). 

 

Oof.

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@JackStraw

 

Yes, also good. I'm just learning that "Everything is happening!" is a Bob Coleism. Still, it's good. It both aptly describes, and fails utterly to describe, most Flyer games.

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I am wondering if it's time to get a partial pass again. My last few experiences at the Panthers were OK in the sense the team is competitive. What bugs me is going to a very empty arena. And in typical S. Florida fashion, the first period is spent popping up and down because "Miami Time" has made it to Sunrise and people disregard the real start time by 15 to 30 minutes.

 

I don't think they move the Panthers....too big a TV market to leave.  What's ironic to me is that they had better attendance in Hispanic Miami-Dade than at a beautiful venue in "Anglo" Broward, near a tremendous shopping mecca.  

 

Tallon has built a gritty team.  I will also say that the Sunrise Sports and Entertainment staff are polite and user-friendly to a fault.

 

Best,

 

Howie

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I am wondering if it's time to get a partial pass again. My last few experiences at the Panthers were OK in the sense the team is competitive. What bugs me is going to a very empty arena. And in typical S. Florida fashion, the first period is spent popping up and down because "Miami Time" has made it to Sunrise and people disregard the real start time by 15 to 30 minutes.

 

I don't think they move the Panthers....too big a TV market to leave.  What's ironic to me is that they had better attendance in Hispanic Miami-Dade than at a beautiful venue in "Anglo" Broward, near a tremendous shopping mecca.  

 

Tallon has built a gritty team.  I will also say that the Sunrise Sports and Entertainment staff are polite and user-friendly to a fault.

 

Best,

 

Howie

 

Well, if you have the opportunity to do so, I'd say go with a partial season ticket holder plan.

 

You'd be getting in on the ground floor to what looks to be a very good Panthers team for years to come.

 

I've been waiting a long time for both Florida franchises to be good at the same time, and this could come to fruition starting as early as next year.

This past season, the Cats were VERY competitive....but they sorely lacked in goal scoring.

 

Not sure that will be fully rectified for the upcoming season, but some experience under their belts should help the young players, and once the free agency period opens, perhaps the Panthers can look and see who could provide even just a bit of a spark offensively for the team....or perhaps even make a trade to help them in that area.

 

Empty arenas?

That is sad.

I know the feeling in baseball with my Tampa Bay Rays, to have a competitive team that NO ONE goes out to see.

 

The Rays' issues in baseball stem from poor location of a run down stadium.....not sure why Panthers fans don't go out to see their team play.

Is the arena easy to get to? Traffic to and from the arena horrid? Not sure....but if there are any true hockey fans in South Florida, NOW is the time to jump on that bandwagon, as I really do like the direction Dave Talon is taking this team.

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TF:

 

Good to hear from one of the pillars on the board.  

 

You ask a good question.  Getting to the arena for a 7 PM weekday start is not easy.I think they may have moved to 7:30 to help a bit. Weekends are no problem.  $22 for parking is bit painful.  

 

I agree with others here that the cross-state gig is probably a joke. I think the bigger problem is that people in Tampa-St. Pete are largely Midwest transplants. . . .folks on this side are from the NE or Latin America. I'd argue your team should compete with Detroit, Chicago, etc. . . . . we should have been put in with the Flyers, Rangers, etc.  But I am no marketing guru.

 

I prefer to watch a Flyers game on Center Ice but might see what their mini-packets are.  They used to have a gig where you bought vouchers that were good for any game---could go by yourself at game one, go with 2 friends at game 2...but 20 at a time. I liked that.  Now you have to pick a seat...game...etc. 

 

Going to a half empty arena is no fun. I hope attendance picks up.  The new owners have deep pockets but I wonder how they do in free agency without owner subsidy.

 

Peace,

 

Howie

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@Howie58

 

D-d-did you just call me a "pillar"??

Is that like saying I am pudgy?? LOL...I kid, I kid... :P

 

 

The "cross state rivalry" is largely a media made thing to try and manufacture something that isn't really there.

At no time in their history have the Lightning and Panthers been good at the same time to make a rivalry viable.

 

One or the other was better at any given time...or BOTH were bad. Hard to really have a rivalry given those conditions.

That said, if both are good at the same time and competing for the same division and wild card slots, then we may have something.

 

As for your idea of the Panthers and Lightning being separated in the divisions (with the Bolts staying where they are, and the Panthers moved into the division with the Rangers, Flyers, Pens, etc), THAT actually is not a bad idea at all.

 

I agree the demographic of transplants in Tampa Bay vs the greater Miami area is quite different...and from the areas you mentioned.

I've thought before that both the Panthers and Bruins, for instance, should be in the Metro now, with the Bolts staying where they are, with the added Blue Jackets (that Midwestern demographic you mentioned) and Capitals replacing them in the Atlantic.

 

But then, that might make too much sense to the NHL and therefore they won't go for it...and heaven forbid the Bruins and Canadiens be separated in a division...despite the fact that the Bruins and Habs would STILL meet at least 3-4 times a year even if separated, plus possible playoff matchups.

 

You may not be a marketing guru, but apparently, you can come up with some sensible solutions....now if we could all get our heads together and see what we can come up with to get fans excited about Panther hockey!

 

I know for the Lightning, their marketing department has done an EXCELLENT job with billboards, commercials, fan friendliness at the arena, and of course, it helps A TON, that Amalie Arena is very conviniently located in downtown Tampa near every form of transportation, from expressway, to bus lines, to even Aamtrak...and that there are lots of nice places like Hattrick's to go watch games from or go to before or after games.

 

Right now, the Panthers can't do much about their arena location (getting to it, traffic, etc), and from what you tell me, their staff is very fan friendly...perhaps they can ramp up things in the mindshare department with some better advertisement on both television, radio, and billboards?

 

Not sure how much help that would be, but it may be a start.

Again...the Panthers have some excellent talent that will only get better and fans should REALLY know about it!

 

Otherwise, if the relocation demons have their way, someone in Quebec or Seattle will be salivating at the chance to get their grubby mitts on that Panther franchise for themselves.......

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Howdy:

 

No shame in being a pillar.  

 

South Florida sports franchises other than the Heat have attendance problems. I suspect the high cost of living drains disposable income. And people here seem to support winners. But bad seasons end the love. 

 

One thing that might kill or deter relocation or new franchise in Canada is the state of the Canadian dollar. Two years ago it was a parity. Now its 80 cents!  Apparently that's hurt the salary cap along the way.  Don't worry, I think the Panthers are here to stay.  

 

Take care....

 

Howie

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This team is entertaining, all Panthers fans want is for them to make the playoffs, many don't even care what happens after :biggrin:

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      Hmmm...I see...so since he felt he couldn't play to his full capacity, he at least tried playing like Ryan Miller....
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      @JackStraw   Yes, also good. I'm just learning that "Everything is happening!" is a Bob Coleism. Still, it's good. It both aptly describes, and fails utterly to describe, most Flyer games.
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