It took them 113 grueling days but the National Hockey League and National Hockey League Players Association have finally reached a deal on a new, 10 year, collective bargaining agreement. The news broke early Sunday morning, around 5:30 AM, after a marathon meeting between the league and PA. Details are still coming in, which means the official start date for the delayed 2012-2013 season is still unknown at this time.
Information about the new CBA is still coming in as well. This is what we know so far from various sources:
- 10 Year length with an opt-out clause after eight years.
- $64.3 million salary cap and $44 million salary floor in year two.
- Salary variance on contracts year to year cannot change more than 35 per cent and in the final year cannot change more than 50 per cent of the first year.
- Contract limit of seven years for new players (UFA’s) and eight years for current players (re-signing).
- Revenue sharing at $200 million plus a $60 million growth fund.
- New draft lottery giving all 14 non-playoff teams a chance at the first overall selection.
- Changes in rules for sup. discipline. Darren Dreger: Shanahan 1st, appeal with Bettman 2nd. For six or more games neutral third party will decide if necessary.
Various media outlets are also reporting that NHL players will participate in the 2014 Winter Olympic games, but that is not included in the CBA.
Keep checking back with Sunshine State Hockey for more information as it becomes available.
Because of a strong 2011-2012 season the Florida Panthers find themselves in unfamiliar territory at this year’s National Hockey League entry draft, at the back of the room. The Panthers will select 23rd overall in round one when the draft begins tonight from the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, unless GM Dale Tallon decides to make a trade between now and then. No matter what happens Tallon and Co. must choose carefully when using their picks, especially in a draft that is not considered “deep” in terms of NHL ready talent. With that in mind let’s take a look at some of the best players available for the Cats later in the first round as well as other important information for tonight in our Panthers draft preview.
The Florida Panthers are hosting official watch parties for the 2012 NHL entry draft at the Duffy’s in Fort. Lauderdale and the Duffy’s in Coconut Creek. Erik Gudbranson will be making an appearance at the watch party in Fort. Lauderdale. The addresses for both locations are:
Duffy’s Fort. Lauderdale
1804 Harbor Shops Road
Fort. Lauderdale, FL, 33316
Duffy’s Coconut Creek
4800 W. Hillsboro Blvd.
Coconut Creek, FL, 33073
Be sure to arrive early to get a good seat.
Florida currently holds a total of five picks for this weekend’s entry draft. We expect Tallon to secure a few more but for now here is what the Panthers have to work with.
Round 1: 23rd overall
Round 2: 53rd overall
Round 3: 84th overall
Round 4: 114th overall
Round 6: 174th overall
Walking up the the podium to make a top 5 selection at an entry draft is easy. It takes a skilled general manager and scouting staff to find a good player later in the first round and beyond. The Panthers will need Tallon and his group of scouts to be at their best when deciding on who to choose with the draft picks listed above. Here are a couple of names that Cats fans might hear called by their team during round one tonight.
1. Brady Skjei, D, USHL
2. Martin Frk, RW, QMJHL
3. Mike Winther, C, WHL
4. Phillip Di Giuseppe, LW, CCHA
5. Slater Koekkoek, D, OHL
6. Scott Kosmachuk, RW, OHL
7. Tanner Pearson, LW, OHL
Trades are a huge part of the NHL entry draft, especially since all 30 general managers are in one room. The only major rumor involving the Florida Panthers thus far has to do with a former goaltender possibly looking to come “home”. TSN reported yesterday that there are two known teams involved in trade talks with the Vancouver Canucks for netminder Roberto Luongo, the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Panthers. Darren Dreger, TSN’s hockey insider, thinks that Florida is a “long shot” as a destination for Luongo, but only time will tell for sure. Either way it is always interesting to hear the trade rumors on draft day, especially those that include the Florida Panthers.
For even more great coverage of the 2012 National Hockey League entry draft click through the following links.
Be sure to tune in to the 2012 NHL entry draft tonight beginning at 7 PM EST on the NBC Sports Network to see who the Florida Panthers select with their 23rd overall pick.
Who is ready for us to finish our countdown of the top 10 moments from the Panthers 2011-2012 season? If all goes according to plan we should be able to reveal the #1 moment on Monday, but that depends if we can get everything together for our big surprise in time. It is looking like that will be the case but only time will tell for sure. Before getting to the top moment though we still have to reveal #2 on our list.
This next moment is going to go down as one of the greatest comebacks in franchise history, especially considering the circumstances. As everyone knows by now before this season the Panthers failed to make the playoffs for over 12 years, so it is understandable that the majority of “outsider” fans would write off the Cats in their first round series against the New Jersey Devils. After splitting the first two games in Sunrise it was up to Florida to make a statement on the road in game 3. They did just that in one of the greatest games in franchise history.
#2 – Deja vu, Florida completes another comeback against the Devils (April 17th, 2012)
Moment #2 on our countdown is very similar to #7, with the only difference being the setting. Florida quickly fell behind 3-0 in the first period, just like they did in November’s game against the Devils. Then, as the game progressed, the Cats found their groove and made an amazing comeback, just like they did in November’s game against the Devils. The difference this time around is that the Panthers managed to pull off the difficult task in game 3 of the Stanley Cup playoffs in New Jersey. With help from Sean Bergenheim, Jason Garrison, Mike Weaver, Brian Campbell, and most importantly Scott Clemmensen, the comeback Cats were able to claw their way back for the win, sending everyone in attendance at the Prudential Center home in shock.
Of course we all know what happened after game 3. The Devils currently trail the Los Angeles Kings 3-1 in the Stanley Cup final while the Panthers anxiously await the start of next season, knowing that they gave the Eastern Conference champions a harder time than any other conference opponent. If this season was a preview of things to come then Panthers fans have every right to be excited about the future of their team. We speak for all Cats fans when we say bring on the 2012-2013 season.
For the full experience of moment #2 be sure to click through all of the links below. Check back with Sunshine State Hockey on Monday when we (hopefully) reveal the #1 moment on our countdown.
The time has come for us to reveal the #7 most memorable moment on our countdown. The two moments previously shown on our top 10 list involved individual actions from GM Dale Tallon and Panthers forward Stephen Weiss, but today we will get back to discussing the team as a whole by looking at one of the greatest regular season comebacks by Florida in recent history.
#7 – Weiss scores short-handed as the comeback Cats beat New Jersey (November 21st, 2011)
After the first period in the game against New Jersey on November 21st, 2011 it seemed that the Panthers packed it in before the first puck was even dropped. The Devils outscored Florida 3-0 after just the first 12 minutes of play, leading many to believe that the Cats were returning to their old ways and setting themselves up for a long night with a loss at the end of it. Surprisingly that would not be the case as forward Kris Versteeg scored two goals in the second period to pull the Panthers within one. Then, around the 10 minute mark of the third, with the Cats still trailing by one goal and on the penalty kill, this happened:
With the game tied Florida continued to attack, outshooting the Devils 11 to 3 in the third period. Finally, with two minutes left to go in the game, Tomas Fleischmann scored a beautiful goal to seal the comeback win for the Panthers.
The “cherry on top” for this moment is the fact that this was Pete DeBoer’s first game back in Sunrise, FL after being fired over the previous summer by Tallon and the Panthers. Of course DeBoer and his Devils would get the last laugh this season, eliminating Florida in game seven of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals, but that is a story best saved for another day, *hint* *hint*.
We will reveal moment #6 from our top 10 list on Monday, so be sure to come back to Sunshine State Hockey and check it out.
The 2011-2012 National Hockey League season was a great one for the Florida Panthers, even if it ended earlier than anyone wanted. Florida having such a good year meant that there were plenty of memorable moments for fans to enjoy. The question now is which were the best? Luckily for all of the Panthers fans out there Sunshine State Hockey is here to provide our top 10 moments of the 2011-2012 season.
Starting today, and for the next 10 days, we will count down our 10 favorite moments from this past season until we reach #1. On the final day of our countdown we will have a little surprise that everyone should definitely enjoy. Let’s begin this top 10 list with our choice for the #10 most memorable moment of the 2011-2012 Florida Panthers season.
#10 – Cats visit Winnipeg for the first time since 1996, win 5-2 (November 10th, 2011)
Before the game on November 10th it had been a long time since the Panthers made the far trip to Winnipeg to take on the Jets (16 years to be exact). The Cats knew that they would have to take the ruckus crowd at the MTS Centre out of the game as soon as possible, and they did exactly that with the help of forward Kris Versteeg. Thanks to a four point night by Versteeg, including his first career hat trick, Florida picked up an easy 5-2 win over the Jets, causing their fans to send them off with a chorus of boo’s after the game.
Click through the following links for content related to moment #10:
Be sure to check back with Sunshine State Hockey tomorrow for the #9 moment on our countdown of the top 10 moments of the 2011-2012 season.