Luongo is arguably the best goalie in the NHL. I was never convinced until i saw the guy tie the Lightning after making 50 saves, and it’s not the only time he made 50 saves.
The only concern is what his asking price will be. Keenan is an arrogant man as well, and he also know the abbundance he can get in return for Luongo, but will that happen? Most likely no, but you never know what could happen in the hockey world.
They gotta keep Berglund. I’ve been watching this guy since he was a Devil, and he was a little devil. He knows how to play hockey, he is a solid depth player and has a special role that the Panthers need. He is not a flashy player, though he’s got a nice shot, but he’s very useful.
Nick Hagman, he’s also a keeper. I think trading away Marcus Nilson was a major mistake by Rick Dudley. I was also right that Nilson was going to thrive under Sutter, and he did…..and he will. Hagman has to try and fill in that same role, a typical solid Swedish two-way player, a checker…not physical, but checks well, and must be a reliable player.
Huselius is a keeper and ought to be used as trade bait. Martins may find a way to make this guy score, but Huselius highest potential is around 50 points, and he is the kind of player that fits great in the Western Conference style hockey. Trade him to the Nucks if they are interested.
Jokinen is an admirable player. Still young, still has the potential to be a 30 g’s 30 a’s guy, strong leader, and very competitive.
Hordichuk is also a keeper, cheap price, and he is the kind of player that can turn out to be some sort of Barnaby/Asham guy. Annoying, hits hard, hussles….good attitude, fights…. Panthers need that kind of player.
Kolnik is my sleeper kind of player. Hey, here’s another Long Island gift to the Panthers after Luongo and Jokinen. Kolnik is not expected to be such a top line forward, he has the potential to be a 2nd line guy though. Gifted offensively, and he knows how to shoot so well. He came up big sometimes last season, and showed good promise.
Shvidki is still a prospect and it is still unknow if he is a bust or not, who knows, but it’s leaning more towards that path unfortunately.
Weiss is a big question mark. Here is where i see disagreements between Martins and Keenan. Weiss was not used well under Keenan, but Martins is the type of coach that wants to groom young players and produce them into key NHL’ers. Weiss has all the tools, but he has not put them together, as of yet. He has shown promise, but inconsistently.
So, does Keenan use him as bait? Or does he keep him for Martins? We shall see.
Nedorost has not shown much as a prospect yet, but he is a well touted prospect, and it was a very good trade for the Panthers giving Peter Worrell to the Avs. He should be able to make the line-up.
I like Van Ryn on the PP, and Jay Bo… well, he is just untouchable. Why should the Panthers make the same mistake as they did with Jovanovski?
I don’t know why Keenan signed Karpotsev. The guy is just an older defenseman, and quite injury prone.
Cairns was also a useless signing. He is a whiner, was a whiner with the Rangers, with the Isle’s. He takes stupid penalties…. i guess he is just a depth defenseman, but not a great personality.
Biron will most likely be shopped around, although i doubt anyone wants him and his contract. Biron is a good defenseman, just quite inconsistent.
Sean Hill is a very solid pick up, good veteran leadership for the D. The only question i have is, can he play like he did with the Canes? Hill failed to be any good with the Blues, maybe too high of expectations? Still, good addition and it follows what Lyle Odelein came to do for the Panthers. Lead.
McLellan is a smart pick up. I liked him with the Rangers, liked him with the Flames, he’s a back up goalie that is very unnoticed throughout the NHL.
Horton should have an improving season. He had pretty good stats in his rookie campaing and showed promise. Is he a similar version of Joe Thornton or Tkachuk? No, but a definite power forward and he’s got the speed and skills. Keenan did well with Thornton, he’s got to do well with Horton too.
Also, the Panthers signed their other top prospect Anthony Stewart. I expect him to make the line up, and he should have a respectable rookie season, although he is not the type that i would rush to development. He is a gigantor, he can score, he has extremely great work ethic and he is very ambitious. I’d make him play on the top two lines with the Panthers next farm team (it ain’t San Antonio anymore).
If the Panthers get a top pick, i think they should eye at one particular, besides Crosby of course. Bobby Ryan. Keeps a nice trend of prospects with Horton and Stewart.
They also have Rostislav Olesz, but i don’t think he is ready just yet, maybe for the AHL yes, but he is a great prospect that will come in very handy for the future of the Panthers.
Panthers should sign a couple of more players. They really have two options. Keep the same team intact, and sign a couple of free agents, or make a big splash with a trade to get a big calibre player a la Joe Thornton. Not necessarily must it be Joe, but someone of that calibre.
With Keenan and Martins, free agents will be more interested to join the Panthers. Two big name hockey guys running the team. Dudley was good, i liked him a lot and i feel as if he was backstabbed by ownership. But, he could not pick out the right coach either.
Still, he paved an amazing future, possibly, for the Panthers and for the guy he fired, Keenan.]]>