Welcome to my second hockey writeup. Today’s guest is the ever controversial @Pantherss88.
Superk116: What do you think of today’s free agent signings overall?
Pantherss88: So overall around the league I think we saw far FAR too much money spent and years given out. I was very happy (and very surprised) to see Tom Rowe and Florida stay away from that minus the Reimer deal which I’m sure you’ll ask me about later on. I think for Florida specifically, we improved our 4th line quite a bit, while our defense and 3rd line arguably our biggest question marks, remained the same.
Superk116: So I’m sure you have heard that the Panthers reporters do not expect Luongo to start the season due to a hip injury. Do you think we will be safe with Berra and Reimer.
Pantherss88: Well first of all in July speculation about the injury is very dangerous, We don’t really know how Luongo is feeling just yet and won’t know for a few months. If worst case scenario comes to be true, and he is out to start the season, you have Reimer and Berra in your crease. I believe every game is a must win. I get criticized . Do I feel confident Reimer can shoulder the load for a while? I do. Do I think Berra is a good backup goalie? I do.
Superk116: Yeah I agree that you have to treat every game is a must win until you clinch the No 1 spot in your conference. I think the extra rest with Lu not starting right away will be good for him. Now today the Panthers signed Aaron Ekblad ro a monster 8 year $60 Million deal. What are your thoughts?
Pantherss88: Great deal, First of all it doesn’t start right away (2017). Secondly you’re locking up Aaron Ekblad for a long time, In two to three years $7.5 Million is going to be a steal for this kid. A kid who I believe will get the C.
Superk116: What do you think about us acquiring Yandle and Pysyk?
Pantherss88: I think Yandle is a guy you need for your defense and your powerplay. We needed that offense to come from the blueline (well our powerplay needed a lot of things but this is a start) and Yandle provides that. Money wise, I think it’s a great deal. All those years, meh we will have to wait and see. Does he replace Campbell? Sure, I suppose in some ways he does. Pysyk, I don’t know much about except that we gave up Kulikov for him. I was a HUGE Kulikov critic and I thought he was finally someone we could build a second pairing around him. Obviously that’s not to be, and it certainly isn’t fair to say Pysyk = Kulikov or Pysyk > Kulikov. Kulikov was paired next to Mike Weaver for a couple of years let’s not forget that. I think Pysyk is a fine 4-6 guy though. Happy to have him.
Superk116: There have been reports that Crouse and McCann must have good training camps to make the team. Do you think if McCann starts in the AHL we made a ad trade?
Pantherss88: Well I would normally say yes. However the 2nd round pick we got for Erik Gudbranson turned into Adam Mascherin. I think he is going to be a special player in 3 to 4 years. I’m not an opponent of players playing in the AHL. In McCann’s case he played realitively well on a bad Vancouver team. At the very least I hope McCann gets a crack at the big league team.
Superk116: What do you think of us drafting Henrik Borgstrom?
Pantherss88: Talk about out of left field. You could have asked me to make a list of ten prospects we could potentially pick there and he wouldn’t have been on it. I like that he is going to play NCAA hockey because it will give him a chance to learn a bit of the North American game. I’ve seen some video of him controlling the puck, but on the larger European ice surface. I think in a couple of years we could definitely have something special there with him but we could also be saying “well we have Mascherin at least”
Superk116: I preferred the Mascherin pick over the Borgstrom pick. Now to the biggest issue concerning Panther fans. Do you think the ownership made a bad decision in promoting Dale Tallon to President and Tom Rowe to GM?
Pantherss88: Oh my, well I have been very vocal and have received a ton of criticism (some from a very-high ranking official within the organization) regarding my thoughts on this. I can’t give it a yes or no really because it depends on the preface you are asking. By that, I mean I think Dale would extend Ekblad like Rowe did. I think Dale probably makes the Gudbranson trades. But I do not think Dale signs Reimer for five years. And I certainly do not think Dale selects Borgstrom in round 1? Bad decision not for me to say. Questionable? Oh yes.
Superk116: Now I’m sure a lot of fans are concerned that Trocheck hasn’t signed yet. I’m one of them. I wrote an article trying to persuade myself and others not to worry about Trocheck signing and we have the whole summer yet I still cant convince myself not to be worried. Huberdeau took until September to sign and he struggled in the first 15 games. Are you concerned about Trocheck?
Pantherss88: Not really I think he’ll get in between Huberdeau and Bjugstad money. There really isn’t much Trocheck can do unless he gets extreme and decides not to play at all this season. While I think this one good season could go to his head a bit, I think he is smart enough to realize he needs to sign here. And I think he will; soon.
Superk116: I think Trocheck will make in between Bjugstad and Bolland money. Speaking of Bolland, do you think he is really injured and just faking it and paying a doctor to say he failed his physical to just make $5.5 million for sitting on his butt.
Superk116: That’s just a conspiracy theory us authors at The Puck Under the Sun made up. But do you think we may have a point with it?
Pantherss88: Haha no. I definitely think Bolland is hurt. But I definitely think Bolland hates the organization.
Superk116: I read an old article by George Richards saying we got in a bidding war with Toronto for Bolland. Which prospects do you think will make the NHL this year? For example I think Crouse and Rau will make it.
Pantherss88: I certainly would agree with you in regards to Rau, especially given our lack of third line additions today. I think Crouse is certainly possible, but I don’t see too much of a fit for him other than the 4th line and he deserves more than that. I think McCann (is he even a prospect?) will make it for sure.
Superk116: Yeah I think Rau and somebody else are Bjugstad’s future wingers. Rumors have it is that Bjugstad might be traded but George Richards and Harvey Fialkov keep shooting them down. I personally think they will keep 27 for another year to see if he can bounce back. However George and Harvey kept shooting down rumors about Kulikov and he got traded. Do you think we will keep Bjugstad?
Pantherss88: I do. I have nothing more to add to that. I think Bjugstad is someone the entire organization LOVES.
Superk116: Alright I’m done with questions. Do you have any questions for me?
Pantherss88: Just one question. Do you see us winning the cup within three years?
Superk116: I don’t think so.
Pantherss88: I agree
Pantherss88: Well thanks! Let me know when you have it ready to go.
Superk116: Thank you for being a guest. I will have the writeup up in a little bit.
That was @Pantherss88. Give him a follow on Twitter. If you want to be a guest on one of these writeups please let me know and Direct Message me on Twitter and we will have a conversation through that.