Shawn Matthias #18 of the Florida Panthers looks to pass in the third period against the Philadelphia Flyers on February 5, 2013 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Florida Panthers defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 in an overtime shootout.
(February 6, 2013 - Source: Elsa/Getty Images North America)

Panthers’ Matthias: ‘I’m sick of losing’


Is the 2013 campaign just a bump in the road in the Florida Panthers’ rebuilding process or was the 2011-12 campaign a fluke?

Either way, after making the playoffs in 2012 for the first time in over a decade, the Florida Panthers are dead last in the NHL.

“This is unacceptable,” Shawn Matthias told the Miami Herald after Sunday’s 5-2 loss to the Montreal Canadiens. “We’ve been through this before and it’s not fun. I’m sick of losing.”

Matthias was drafted by Detroit in 2006, but was traded to Florida before he ever got to play a game in the Red Wings’ organization. Matthias has consequently spent his entire 231 game NHL career with Florida.

“We need to change things, turn this ship around,” Matthias added. “It’s frustrating and it has gone on long enough. They were ripe for the picking and we didn’t take advantage of it.”

Panthers GM Dale Tallon is reportedly ready to start trading, but given the Panthers’ record, he will likely prioritize the team’s future over this season.

Meanwhile, players who have spent their careers with the Panthers will be left remembering their brief 2012 playoff run and wondering how long they’ll have to wait for their next postseason game.

After PTO, Upshall signs one-year deal with Blues

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Scottie Upshall has parlayed his training camp tryout into a contract with St. Louis.

On Monday, the Blues agreed to a one-year, two-way deal with the veteran forward, worth $700,000 at the NHL level. The deal comes after Upshall spent all of training camp and the preseason impressing the Blues his speed and skating ability, no small feat for a 31-year-old veteran with over 500 NHL games on his odometer.

But where Upshall fits in the Blues lineup — and within the organization — remains to be seen.

The club has plenty of depth up front and Upshall isn’t coming off a terrific campaign, having scored just eight goals and 15 points in 63 games with Florida last season. That said, he showed enough to be just one of a handful of veterans on PTOs to score a contract.

Panthers’ Crouse is going back to junior

2015 NHL Draft - Round One
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Lawson Crouse is going back to junior. The big 18-year-old winger confirmed it today on Twitter.

Crouse was drafted 11th overall in June by the Florida Panthers. Despite the club’s belief that Crouse could make “an immediate impact” on the roster, he finished the preseason with just two shots and one assist in three games.

Crouse will return to the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs, with whom he’ll look to improve on his modest point totals from last season.

“I don’t think there’s any pressure on the kid,” coach Gerard Gallant said last week. “If he doesn’t make the team this year he goes back to junior … and will have a lot of success.”