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.