Bergenheim’s agent demands trade, calls coach’s comments ‘disgraceful’


The Florida Panthers have been playing against the Dallas Stars tonight. Panthers forward Sean Bergenheim hasn’t been and the reason head coach Gerard Gallant gave for his decision angered agent Todd Diamond.

Gallant felt that the 31-year-old forward didn’t give 100% against the Minnesota Wild on Thursday and he was scratched accordingly.

“There’s a few guys that didn’t give 100 percent [Thursday], but you got to make a decision,” Gallant added, per the Sun Sentinel.

When Diamond learned of Gallant’s remarks he fired back.

“It’s so disingenuous,” Diamond said. “When has Sean Bergenheim ever taken a shift less than 100 percent.

“It’s unprofessional of the coach. You get away with that in the Quebec junior league, but not in the NHL. … You can’t tell me the team is better without Sean playing, even on the fourth line. He’s a disruptive force in the offensive zone, who keeps the puck and creates chaos.

“It’s a shame a guy makes that comment. It’s a disgrace. I find it distasteful. … If they want to question Sean’s character they should have their head examined.”

Diamond also revealed that he asked Panthers GM Dale Tallon to trade his client before any of this even happened. The request was in response to Bergenheim being scratched for three consecutive contests from Feb. 3-8.

Bergenheim has eight goals and 18 points in 39 contests in 2014-15. He’s in the final season of a four-year, $11 million contract.

During his tenure with the Panthers, Bergenheim and the team sparred in an arbitration case over his salary for the 2013 lockout shortened campaign. He couldn’t play after the work stoppage because of a hip injury. Florida argued it didn’t have to pay Bergenheim because it claimed the injury was sustained while he was playing in the Finnish league. Bergenheim countered that he was originally hurt before the lockout and he ultimately won his medical grievance.

Goalie nods: Stars go with Lehtonen versus Florida, Enroth ‘likely’ to play tomorrow

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News and notes from around the crease…

His name is Jhonas

Kari Lehtonen will begin life on a short leash tonight against Florida — he’ll start against the Panthers, but will have newly acquired backup Jhonas Enroth on the bench for the first time since GM Jim Nill acquired him from Buffalo on Wednesday.

Lehtonen, who has been criticized this year for his uneven play, is 4-2-1 with a 2.70 GAA and .916 save percentage since the All-Star break — decent numbers, but hardly the type Dallas needs as it looks to get back into a playoff position.

Per Stars head coach Lindy Ruff, Enroth will “likely” play at some point this weekend. Based on that, he’ll probably be in goal tomorrow when Dallas takes on the Avs in Colorado.

For Florida, sounds like Al Montoya is likely for tonight’s affair.


Flyers at Jackets: Ray Emery vs. Curtis McElhinney

Devils at ‘Hawks: Cory Schneider vs. Corey Crawford

Sharks at Coyotes: Antti Niemi vs. Mike Smith

Bruins at Canucks: Ryan Miller for Vancouver, no word yet on a Bruins starter.

Stars’ Roussel on suspension: ‘I have to take care of my stick’


Antoine Roussel will miss tonight’s Dallas Stars’ game against the Florida Panthers serving the first of his two-game suspension.

The NHL’s Department of Player Safety suspended Roussel for his crosscheck to the neck of Bruins’ defenseman Adam McQuaid on Tuesday night.

Roussel received a major penalty for cross checking and a game misconduct on the play.

“Of course, I have to take care of my stick,” Roussel told The Dallas Morning News. “I am just trying to protect myself. I didn’t want to fight.

“I blocked two shots before that with my right hand. My hand was numb, and I didn’t want to fight. … I tried to defend myself, and I am glad he didn’t get hurt.”

Roussel is eligible to return to the Stars’ lineup on Tuesday when Dallas visits St. Louis.

Video: Panthers’ Ekblad knocks official down


Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad is having a fantastic rookie season. In a normal year, he’d probably be an easy choice for the Calder.

That doesn’t mean he is immune to making mistakes, though. The first-year blueliner bowled over an official in Thursday’s 2-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild:

There was no penalty on the play and everyone looked fine afterward, so let’s file this under good for a giggle.

It’s hard to imagine anything coming Ekblad’s way other than some gentle ribbing and a blooper reel appearance or two since it was clearly accidental. Naturally, if something does happen, it will be noted.

(And yes, the Wild winning is easily the bigger deal here, but how many times can you skin that “Devan Dubnyk is on fire” cat? In case you’re wondering, he’s still on fire.)

Panthers lose red-hot Pirri (shoulder) for two weeks


The Florida Panthers will be without their hottest goalscorer for the next two weeks, as the club announced on Thursday that Brandon Pirri has been sidelined with a shoulder injury.

Pirri, who suffered the injury on his first shift in a 6-2 win over Anaheim on Tuesday, had really found his groove lately after being in and out of the Florida lineup for most of the season. The former ‘Hawk had six goals in eight games prior to getting hurt, and had arguably his best outing of the season in a 4-2 win over the Islanders on Feb. 3 (one goal, one assist, four shots and nearly 16 minutes of ice time.)

The Panthers will miss Pirri’s offense. They sit just 24th in the NHL in goals per game and are still clinging to hopes of a playoff spot, heading into Thursday’s game with Minnesota just four points back of Boston for the final wild card in the Eastern Conference.