Panthers re-sign Jagr to a one-year deal


The Florida Panthers have re-signed Jaromir Jagr to a one-year contract the club announced.

In 20 games with the Panthers this season Jagr had six goals and 18 points.

“Once he got here and he saw the talent, he’s really on board and he’s really excited,” said GM Dale Tallon.

The 43-year-old had a 11 goals and 29 points in 57 games with the New Jersey Devils prior to being dealt.

Florida finished the season last in attendance averaging 11,265 a night.

“Lets change it,” he said via George Richards of the Miami Herald. “I think people started realizing… they can see it when you watch TV, it’s a different team, a different Florida Panthers. Young guys with a lot of talent and speed and they can beat anybody.

“(The fans) are going to come. It’s just a matter of time. If we play good, if we start winning, they’re going to come. I hope they come and I wish they come.”

Jagr also shed light on just how bad Nick Bjugstad’s back injury was. Bjugstad underwent successful surgery in March.

“He was sitting next to me and when he tied his skates, he was on his knees,” said Jagr. “I thought ‘what’s going on here?’ I’d never seen anything like that. Then I found out he’s injured so he couldn’t even bend, he couldn’t tie his skates, but he played through that.”

Jagr says he still enjoys the game and knows when he will step away.

“When hockey starts to be my job, I’m not going to play anymore,” he said. “It’s got to be fun for me. I’ve got to love it.”

Panthers sign Bjugstad’s former roommate, Minnesota Gophers captain Kyle Rau


The Florida Panthers announced that Kyle Rau has agreed to an entry-level contract. The 22-year-old forward has completed his four-year stint with the University of Minnesota.

Rau was taken by the Panthers with the 91st overall pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. Since then he’s gone on to have a very successful run with the Minnesota Gophers.

He has recorded at least 40 points in each of his NCAA campaigns, including 20 goals and 21 assists in 39 games this season. The Gophers captain is the first Minnesota player to accumulate at least 150 career points since Troy Riddle did it in 2004.

“We are very pleased to have agreed to an entry level contract with Kyle,” said Panthers GM Dale Tallon. “He played extremely well at the University of Minnesota, leading the Gophers to back-to-back Big Ten regular-season championships and four consecutive NCAA tournament appearances. He is another one of our young and talented prospects who is prepared to take the next step in his hockey career.”

He also has strong ties with another promising Panthers forward in Nick Bjugstad. The two played together with Minnesota and were roommates before Bjugstad began his pro career, per the Miami Herald’s George Richards.

Panthers’ Bjugstad undergoes successful back surgery, will miss remainder of regular season


Nick Bjugstad, the leading goal scorer for the Florida Panthers, underwent successful back surgery on Friday, but will miss the remainder of the regular season, the club has announced.

In 72 games, Bjugstad, a towering 22-year-old center, scored a team-leading 24 goals. His 43 points were second on the team, behind only Jonathan Huberdeau.

In the short-term, it’s difficult news for the Panthers, who are fighting for a Wild Card position in the Eastern Conference. They’re only three points back of the Ottawa Senators for the final Wild Card spot.

“After consulting with Nick and thoroughly evaluating the extent of his injury, we mutually felt it was important to have this procedure done as soon as possible,” said Panthers general manager Dale Tallon in a statement.

“Nick showed a tremendous amount of character over the past month, playing through an injury, while helping our club compete down the final stretch for a playoff spot. He will be closely monitored by our medical staff during his rehabilitation process and will be ready for the start of training camp in September.”

Playoff-hungry Panthers lose leading scorer Bjugstad (lower body)


Florida center and leading scorer Nick Bjugstad will miss tonight’s crucial tilt against in-state rival Tampa Bay with a lower-body injury, the Panthers announced.

Bjugstad, who has 24 goals and 43 points this season, has been dealing with ailment for a while, per head coach Gerard Gallant, and was only able to play 11:27 in Saturday’s 2-1 shootout win over Boston.

With Bjugstad out, it looks as though Vincent Trocheck will draw into the Florida lineup for the first time since Mar. 19, when he played 13:29 in a 3-1 win over Detroit.

The Panthers really need a win tonight to keep their playoff hopes alive. They go into Tuesday’s action five points back of Ottawa for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference, and are four back of ninth-place Boston. Florida has been good of late, however, winning five of its last seven, and is 1-0-1 against the Lightning this season.

Jets lose game, Myers vs. Panthers in key contest for Wild Card races


Few teams in the NHL need points right now more than Florida and Winnipeg. The Panthers and Jets are key squads in the Eastern and Western Wild Card races respectively, so given the importance of this contest it was appropriately close. However, Florida ultimately squeaked by with a 4-2 victory.

Jonathan Huberdeau and Jaromir Jagr led the Panthers with two points each, but the hero tonight was 19-year-old Aleksander Barkov who scored the game-winning goal at 16:07 of the third period.

Nick Bjugstad helped himself to his 24th marker of 2014-15 by firing on an empty Jets net with less than a minute left in regulation time.

The Jets, which held the second Wild Card spot going into tonight’s action, desperately needed a win tonight with the defending champion Los Angeles Kings on their heels. However, the missed points might prove to be just the tip of the iceberg. The Jets also lost defenseman Tyler Myers after he crashed into the post and then boards.

Winnipeg head coach Paul Maurice didn’t update Myers’ condition following the game, per the Winnipeg Sun’s Ken Wiebe.

For Florida these two points help, but the Panthers’ situation is getting desperate. They’re chasing Boston for the second Wild Card spot and remain six points behind with just 15 games left. Meanwhile, the Senators are only one point back of Florida after Ottawa earned its ninth win in 11 games.


Video: MacKenzie dives forward to score incredible goal