2010 NHL Free Agency: Panthers sign Chris Higgins to one-year, $1.6M deal

higgins.jpgNew GM Dale Tallon continues to show that the Florida Panthers are looking to be an aggressive team in free agency, trades and the draft. While Chris Higgins is far from a big impact player, the three-time 20-plus goal scorer could come cheap. Kevin Allen of USA Today reports that the speedy, two-way winger will sign a one-year, $1.6 million deal to join the intriguing new Panthers.

The Panthers are building a frugal, interesting group of offensive players (even if they’re far from elite.) The highest paid forward on the team is the promising – yet concussion riddled – power forward David Booth at a reasonable annual rate of $4.25 million.

Higgins won’t set the hockey world on fire, but a cheap one-year deal looks like a wise choice. The Panthers now have 13 forwards, five defensemen and two goalies on their roster if you include Higgins. It’s doubtful the team would want to spend to the cap, but they still have $13.7 million left.

Could they be a feasible location for a team needing to make a salary dump? It’s unlikely many player with no-trade clauses would want to be a part of the rebuilding process in Sunrise, but guys without such luxuries might make sense.

It’s very early to judge Tallon’s work, but so far, it’s looking like he’s making some strong moves.

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    Chara ‘doubtful’ for game against rival Canadiens

    Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara
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    It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.

    Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

    Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.

    Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.

    “Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”

    Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible:



    Commodore rips into Babcock on social media

    Mike Commodore

    Former NHL defenseman Mike Commodore may have been coached by Mike Babcock, but that doesn’t mean he’s a fan of Mike Babcock.

    Commodore played in just 17 games for the Detroit Red Wings during the 2011-12 season and that was enough for him to muster up some pretty harsh feelings toward his old coach.

    As Babcock’s new team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, were being embarrassed in Detroit on Friday, Commodore took to Twitter to show fans just how much he was enjoying his former coach’s struggles.

    Things got especially interesting after Red Wings rookie Dylan Larkin scored just 20 seconds into the second period to give Detroit a 3-0 lead.

    “3-0 nothin Babs you posing arrogant piece of (bleep),” said Commodore via his Twitter page. “Welcome back to the rink where everyone that met you hates you.”

    Commodore wasn’t done there:

    And there was much, much more.

    To get a look at all of Commodore’s Babcock-bashing tweets, click here.