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Florida Panthers fire head coach Peter DeBoer after 3 full seasons

Upon hearing that the Ottawa Senators fired coach Cory Clouston, my reaction was that it was a reasonable decision only a day after the team made a not-so reasonable one. The Florida Panthers decided to make a coaching change of their own this morning, as George Richards reports that the team fired head coach Peter DeBoer after three seasons at the helm.

Richards reports that DeBoer sounded “relieved” when discussing the firing, which might be an understandable reaction after the coach struggled with a low-end roster during his days as the coach.

This situation shouldn’t surprise anyone. While I empathize with DeBoer because he wasn’t given much to work with, new general managers usually prefer to hire coaches rather than inherit ones from a previous regime. Florida GM Dale Tallon allowed DeBoer one full season to retain the job and the team finished in last place in the East and third worst overall.

DeBoer never made the playoffs in his three seasons, going 103-107-36 in that span, with each season’s record getting progressively worse.

That might make DeBoer sound like a failure, but when you consider the fact that the Panthers haven’t made the playoffs since the 1999-2000 season, it’s obvious that he isn’t the only one at fault.

Overall, though, I like what I’m seeing from Tallon from a long-term perspective. He made a lot of moves to add draft picks up and down the 2010 NHL Entry Draft and should get another strong pick this year. He’ll also get the opportunity to hire “his” guy for next season, so it should be interesting to see how that goes.

Kings’ AHL affiliate gives Emery PTO

Ray Emery
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Ray Emery has agreed to join the Ontario Reign on a professional tryout, according to a team release.

The Reign are the minor league affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings.

Emery attended Tampa Bay’s training camp on a PTO, but he was released after the team claimed Kevin Poulin on waivers from the Islanders.

The 33-year-old had a 10-11-7 record with a 3.06 goals-against-average and a .894 save percentage in 31 games with the Flyers last season.

Even with starter Jonathan Quick struggling, it’s hard to envision this move leading to a return to the NHL for Emery.

The Kings have Quick and Jhonas Enroth with the big club, while veteran Peter Budaj was signed to a two-way contract on Friday.

Goalie nods: Reimer makes first start of the season

James Reimer
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James Reimer will get his first start of the 2015-16 season on Saturday night against Ottawa.

Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock made it clear from the beginning that Jonathan Bernier was going to start on Wednesday against Montreal and Friday in Detroit, while Reimer would get in against the Sens.

“I’ve known this for a long time that (Bernier is) starting and he’s starting on Wednesday and he’s starting on Friday. Reims is starting on Saturday,” Babcock said before the season began.

Things haven’t gone according to plan for Toronto through two games.

Not only have they lost both contests, but Bernier was pulled in yesterday’s 4-0 loss to the Red Wings, and the team has scored only one goal this season.

Reimer, who stopped 12 of 13 shots in just under 40 minutes of action against Detroit, will go up against Craig Anderson.


Cam Talbot will try to get his first win as an Oiler as they travel to Nashville to take on the Predators. Pekka Rinne will start for the Predators.

Carey Price and Tuukka Rask will face-off when the Canadiens and Bruins renew hostilities at the TD Garden in Boston.

Petr Mrazek will be between the pipes when the Red Wings take on the ‘Canes in Carolina. Cam Ward gets the nod for the Hurricanes.

Keith Kinkaid for the Devils. Braden Holtby makes his first start of the year in the Capitals’ season opener.

Steve Mason for the Flyers. Roberto Luongo for the Panthers in their opener.

-Columbus hasn’t confirmed who their starter will be in the back half of their home-and-home with the Rangers. Henrik Lundqvist will start for New York.

Jake Allen makes his first start of the regular season for St. Louis. Devan Dubnyk for the Wild.

-The Islanders have yet to confirm their starter for tonight’s game in Chicago. Scott Darling for the ‘Hawks after Corey Crawford helped spoil the party in Brooklyn yesterday.

Antti Niemi gets the call for Dallas after he blanked the Penguins in his first start. Semyon Varlamov for Colorado.

Jonas Hiller for Calgary. Ryan Miller for the Canucks.

-The Penguins haven’t confirmed who their starter will be in Arizona tonight. Mike Smith will likely play in back-to-back games after beating the Kings on Friday.

-The Ducks have yet to confirm their starter. Martin Jones will start for San Jose.