After watching the INSANELY spirited play of the USA Hockey Team at Vancouver I had the distinct pleasure of going back to this: A listless, miserable hockey club that hasn’t played with any distinction (minus Tomas Vokoun) in over a month. This team cannot win or compete in this league with its current set of players. I’m trying hard to be objective and not talk like a homer who actual cares about hockey in South Florida, but the Florida Panthers do not have talent of an NHL team.
Perhaps that’s why I blindly believe that Randy Sexton is going to succeed where others have failed, because I am a homer and I do love hockey in South Florida. It could be so simple for me to look at the Florida Marlins ownership, who continually fields a playoff caliber team, or the Miami Heat who have a bonifide superstar in Dwayne Wade (and plenty of options with the 2010 free agent class) and jump ship. Even the Miami Dolphins have made strides in the right direction under Bill Parcels (cough, cough Ernest Wilford, Gabril Wilson cough, cough). So why in DECADE could some one not come in here and make things right??
Enter Randy Sexton. I like what I’ve seen in the past few weeks. I like what I’ve heard. I like the fact that current ownership had the rocks to come out and say “We’re sick of it too”.
Changes have started. Dominic Moore shipped out for a second round pick in 2011. Jordan Leopold shipped out for a second round pick in 2010. All signs are pointing to this being just the begining. With the NHL trade deadline hours away, we’ll see who’s left when the dust settles. This team needs dramatic changes and that only comes with dramatic moves. That means guys like Vokoun, Nathan Horton, and Stephen Weiss may need to go.
On another note, the Panthers lost 4-2 to the Atlanta Thrashers last night, who, by the way, look better with out Iyla Kovulchuk. David Booth had a goal and an assist in his best statistical game since coming back from his concussion injury, and leading goal scores Stephen Weiss tallied his 22nd of the year. Scott Clemmensen made some nice saves, but like Tomas Vokoun, he didn’t have much help in front and as usual no goal support.
Rich Peverley and Colby Armstrong opened the scoring for the Thrashers with two quick goals in the first 3:43 of period number one. The Panthers came back with the Weiss and Booth goals to knot the score before the intermission but it was all Atlanta after that. Todd White scored on the power play to open up the second period scoring and Pavel Kubina scored just as another Thrasher power play ended.
Florida went 1 for 8 on the powerplay, including a 5 on 3 which they failed to convert on in the opening period. 1 for 8. Thrasher goalie Johan Hedberg finished the night with 34 saves.
I hope that today is the catalyst to garnering a team that can be successful and, dare I say it, make the playoffs. This team does have a fanbase who cares, and I know South Florida is far and away not a hockey town, but the same could be said for plenty of teams around the league. This team deserves a drastic change. It deserves to be a winner, just to remind the community down here (like in 1996) that sports in Broward/Miami/Palm Beach aren’t based around a one trick pony (who haven’t won a thing in over 30 years).
I’d like to congratulate Kevin Lee and his team on the new site. Your hard work and effort has payed off and I am happy to be part of the Pro Sports Blogging team.
For all of todays transactions head here
IN CASE YOU DIDN’ T KNOW:
Hilarious show called “Summer Heights High”
About the Author
Written by Jack Powell
My name is Jack Powell. I'm 26 and work for a civil contracting company in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. I've been a Panther fan since the team was formed in 1993 and don't ever plan on not being one. Looking forward to see what new Panther GM Dale Tallon is going to do to rebuild this franchise and make us a Cup contender!!