Report: Panthers sign Ryan Whitney for one-year, $900K


It almost seems like Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon was reading various “best remaining free agent articles” with serious envy this summer. Now that the team sale is official, they keep loading up, and TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports that Ryan Whitney has been added to the mix at one-year, $900K.

The St. Louis Blues took a serious look at Whitney before releasing him from a professional tryout on Friday.

The Panthers have supplemented their roster in a serious way this week, bringing Whitney (assuming this is true), Tim Thomas, Tom Gilbert and Brad Boyes into the mix. All of them came at discounted rates, which seems like a happy accident thanks to the Panthers’ circumstances and a brutal free agent market for UFAs.

Whitney, 30, isn’t exactly known for shutdown defense, but he he has a 59-point season to his name. With Whitney, Brian Campbell, Dmitry Kulikov and Tom Gilbert in the mix, the Panthers should have some strong offensive options from the blueline.

Maybe Florida’s done bolstering its lineup, but if you’re an agent of a guy like Vinny Prospal, you might want to at least give Tallon a call.

Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

Jarret Stoll, Mats Zuccarello
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For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.

The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.

They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.

It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.

Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)

Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.

This post will be updated if there’s video of that staggering sequence.

Welcome back, Babs: Red Wings chase Bernier

Mike Babcock
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Mike Babcock admitted that there might be a painful transformation as he tries to fix the Toronto Maple Leafs.

His old friends made that abundantly, painfully clear on Friday.

As of this writing, the Detroit Red Wings are up 4-0 on the Buds. Justin Abdelkader just completed a hat trick with James Reimer in net, so the subplot isn’t just about Jonathan Bernier having another tough start.

The big story might just be Detroit’s varied new line of Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin (who scored his first career goal) and Henrik Zetterberg. At the moment, they’ve combined for seven points.

This post will be updated if Detroit’s tribute video to Babcock surfaces.

Really, though, this beating has been about as ugly as this blanket so far.

Here’s video of Abdelkader’s hat trick: