Tag: Florida Panthers

Boston Bruins v Florida Panthers

So far, contract talk is all about term for Panthers, Huberdeau


Despite missing the playoffs, the Florida Panthers made some nice strides in 2014-15, and Jonathan Huberdeau was a big part of that climb. Now the two sides need to determine how his next contract will go.

At 22, Huberdeau is a restricted free agent. The leverage is largely on Florida’s side, even considering the fact that the young forward led the team in scoring by ten points with a career-high 54.

As the third pick of the 2011 NHL Draft, the belief is that Huberdeau will only get better from here. So what kind of price is right?

It turns out that the biggest issue is actually term, or at least that contract talks won’t really kick off until the two sides agree on that direction. Panthers GM Dale Tallon told the Miami Herald that the team is pretty open-minded when it comes to the length of a deal.

“The biggest thing is agreeing on terms, and once we figure that out we’ll start talking numbers,” Tallon said. “We’re looking at a bridge [contract] or something a little longer or a long-term contract. We’re open to anything. We’ll get something done that’s best for both of us.”

His RFA status limits his leverage, yet at just 22, there are quite a few ways things can go. (A longer deal might not be so bad since he’s so far from unrestricted status.)

Aside from Brian Campbell’s notorious (and soon to expire) $7.14 million cap hit, the Panthers don’t boast a ton of big-money contracts (unless you count Roberto Luongo’s deal, which is more about term). That situation can change as Florida’s young players mature, so Huberdeau’s next contract could very well be the benchmark for other important pieces of the Panthers’ future.

Hanifin feels he has NHL ‘mindset,’ but won’t be ‘mad’ if he goes back to college

Vermont v Boston College

CHICAGO — Noah Hanifin wants to play in the NHL next season. That’s his goal.

That being said, if he’s drafted by a team that feels he should spend a bit more time developing his game, he’ll take the team’s advice. The Boston College defensemen feels he’s ready, but he also knows the NHL is a different beast.

“Making that jump, you have to be very mature,” Hanifin said Monday. “In college, it’s fun and stuff, you’re playing with your buddies. For some guys, that’s kind of the end of it. They just want to get their degree. If you want to make that jump, you have to realize what you’re getting into. If you’re going to take someone’s spot, he could have a family, kids. It’s a big deal. It’s a business. That takes a while for some guys to grasp that idea.”

“I think I am at that mindset right now,” he added. “What I got at B.C. this year was great for me. I felt like I got a lot better. If a team wants me to go back and do that again, I’m not going to be mad about that. I’ll be happy to keep going back and working hard. I have plenty of time. I’m 18 years old.”

The list of 18-year-old defensemen who’ve had big seasons in the NHL is a fairly short one. Phil Housley did for the Sabres in 1982-83. Ditto for Bobby Orr with the Bruins in 1966-67. And, of course, Aaron Ekblad did it this past season for the Panthers.

“I like watching him a lot,” Hanifin said of Ekblad. “He’s an offensive defenseman, but he’s a big, strong guy. He played a ton of minutes in Florida. It just shows, if you have what it takes, you can do it at that age. It’s not impossible to do.”

But many of the top blue-liners you see playing today needed more seasoning. Duncan Keith, to name just one, was drafted in 2002; his first season with the Blackhawks wasn’t until 2005-06.

“No matter what happens, you have to have a belief in yourself,” said Hanifin. “You have to know everything happens for a reason.”

Related: Difference of opinion: Craig Button has Hanifin 12th on final draft rankings

PHT Morning Skate: Coach’s challenges and Brian Boyle’s hair

Panthers v Cowboys

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Could Duncan Keith be the greatest Chicago Blackhawks defenseman ever? (Greatest Hockey Legends)

Coming soon to the NHL: the coach’s challenge? (The Hockey News)

This puppet rendition of Jaromir Jagr MIGHT give you nightmares. (Puck Daddy)

The Tampa Bay Lightning have been rewarded for being patient regarding drafting Russian players, especially Nikita Kucherov. (Sportsnet)

Seriously, Jimmy Fallon (or at least one of his writers) really thinks that Brian Boyle looks like a Disney prince, most specifically “Alladin.” He argues as much in the Stanley Cup Superlatives:


Joseph Veleno granted exceptional status, eligible for QMJHL draft

Feb. 10, 2015 Bell Centre--. Joe Veleno receives a $1,500 bursary from the Montreal Canadiens owner Geoff Molson and the Quebec Foundation for Athletic Excellence. (FAEQ)

Joseph Veleno is the latest player to be granted exceptional status.

Hockey Canada informed Quebec Major Junior Hockey League commissioner Gilles Courteau of Veleno’s eligibily for this Saturday’s entry draft the league announced on Thursday.

Veleno, who turned 15 in January, spent this season playing midget hockey.

The 6-foot, 170-pound forward finished 12th in his league in scoring with 52 points in 41 games while playing with the Lac St. Louis Lions, according to an article in the Montreal Gazette.

“There is a talent there that plays a 200-foot game, which is rare at that age,” Veleno’s coach, Jon Goyens said. “We’ve been very lucky to be able to coach some of the most talented kids (Jonathan Drouin, Anthony Duclair, Louis Leblanc, Mike Matheson) to come out of Quebec in the last 10, 15 years. Not all of them necessarily had the 200-foot game in them; they might have had other elements, like stickhandling or vision, that might have been ahead of Joseph. But nobody at his age was playing, as a skilled forward, a 200-foot game, which is really, really rare.”

Connor McDavid, John Tavares, Aaron Ekblad and Sean Day have all been granted exceptional player status previously, but Veleno is the first player out of Quebec to receive the honor.

“If you’re going to be the first guy (in Quebec) to get exceptional status, right off the bat you’re going to be compared to the four or five guys who got it in the ‘O’ (Ontario Hockey League), and you’re going to be compared to those who didn’t get it,” Goyens said.

The Saint John Sea Dogs hold the first overall selection at the draft.

Photo courtesy of the Montreal Gazette

PHT Morning Skate: Gretzky sees shades of Messier in Toews

2015 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game One

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Wayne Gretzky thinks very highly of captains Steven Stamkos and Jonathan Toews. With regards to Toews, Gretzky made comparisons to Mark Messier. (ESPN)

The satirical news organization, The Onion, outlined their keys to the Stanley Cup Final. (The Onion)

The AHL will be streaming the entire 2015 Calder Cup Final for free. (AHL.com)

NBC Sports Group’s documentary Center of Attention: The Unreal Life of Derek Sanderson will premiere on NBCSN on Monday following Game 3 of the playoffs. You can read more about that here and check out the trailer below:

Joseph and Marion San Jose, while in Rome for their honeymoon, were able to give Pope Francis a Canucks jersey with his name on it. (Global News)

Here are the top beards of the Stanley Cup Final. (Puck Daddy)

Here are the highlights from Chicago’s 2-1 victory over Tampa Bay in Game 1:

Before the Stanley Cup Final started, former Blackhawks defenseman Brian Campbell reflected on his time with Toews, who Campbell called the “greatest captain I’ve ever played for.” (CSN Chicago)

Joe Starkey argues that no matter what Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle decide to do with their stake in the Pittsburgh Penguins, they can do so knowing that they’ve accomplished their mission. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)