It is that time of year again. The time when hockey fans make predictions that probably will not be correct, but we do it anyway because it’s fun. For the 2013 campaign I decided to bring in two hardcore hockey fans from different websites. One covers video games and entertainment while the other follows the greatest sport in the world. Please give a warm welcome to the predictions of Rudy Colon from Kona’s Korner and Rob McMahon, formally a writer for Sunshine State Hockey, who is now with Penalty Box Radio.
Two out of the three of us seem to agree on each category, and surprisingly we all share the same views on three divisions: the Northeast, Southeast, and Pacific. Since we cover the Florida Panthers here at Sunshine State Hockey it is important to focus on the Southeast division for a moment. The reason all three of us are in agreement on our prediction is because the Hurricanes just looks so good on paper. Carolina went out and acquired Jordan Staal to add scoring depth at the center position, not to mention the fact that he should have some decent chemistry with his brother Eric. Add them with the likes of Alex Semin, who is still a legit scoring threat, a maturing Jeff Skinner, an emerging number one defenseman in Justin Faulk, and Stanley Cup/Conn Smythe winning goaltender Cam Ward and it is clear why all three of us chose Carolina to win the Southeast.
Will our predictions hold true or are they doomed to fail? Only time will tell. Until then, let’s just enjoy the fact that we finally have NHL hockey back.
There is so much going on with the National Hockey League, the NHLPA, and potential lockout we figured it was time to take another trip around the net. Just like with previous installments of this article we will feature posts from other writers and sites relating to the current hot topic. Of course everyone knows that the biggest news in the hockey community is the lockout. Sadly the only thing fans can do at this point is wait and hope that this does not last the entire season like it did in 2005.
Panthers Preparing For Season That Might Not Come – The Sun Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov published multiple articles regarding the Florida Panthers and their take on the current lockout situation. This is the first.
Weiss: Playing Elsewhere ‘Has Crossed My Mind’ – More from Harvey Fialkov, this time in video form.
Where Will Luongo Land? Former #FlaPanthers Goalie Heads Back To Vancouver – George Richards explains that even with the league on the verge of another lockout goaltender Roberto Luongo is still looking for a new place to call home.
A Look Back At The Latest Work Stoppages In Pro Sports – TSN published an article this week highlighting the most recent lockouts from the NBA, NFL, MLB, and NHL.
Gary Bettman: ‘This Is Very Hard And I Feel Terrible About it’ – Puck Daddy’s own Greg Wyshynski reports that NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has feelings. Wait, what?
How To Explain NHL Lockout To Your Non-Hockey Friends: Puck Daddy’s Guide – The folks behind Yahoo! sports’ Puck Daddy blog have put together a humorous guide for hockey fans and their non-hockey friends.
Owners Know Fans Will Return – ESPN’s Darren Rovell, who seems to have no knowledge about the sport of hockey, blames hardcore fans for the lockout.
NHLPA Seeks Ruling To Make NHL Lockout Illegal In Quebec – TSN reports that instead of putting their complete focus on a solution for all 30 teams some members of the NHLPA are trying to block the lockout in different parts of Canada, including Quebec.
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.