Player News - Panthers

Date: Team: Pos:

Describing him as a "mover" and a "thinker," Florida Panthers management provided a positive comparison between defenseman Michael Matheson and Chicago Blackhawks star Duncan Keith.

"Mike’s a dynamic skater, moves the puck well, just like Duncan Keith, obviously," Bryan McCabe said back in early July. "I think we’d be jumping for joy if we caught lightning in a bottle like that." Florida selected Matheson 23rd overall in 2012, and he's gotten his feet wet a bit at the AHL level after his third season with Boston College. Those comparisons are lofty, but it will be interesting to see how he pans out over time (Matheson is 21).
Aug 30 - 7:18 PM

Dmitry Kulikov was on the ice Monday for an informal workout with some teammates and other NHLers as he prepares for training camp.

"It's tough to get back into shape, get back to skating. Once you get going, it's fun again. Right now, though, it's tough," he said. "I've been working out but I haven't been skating. My goal, now, is to lose a few pounds so I'm lighter, quicker and have more endurance. I know with the new overtime rules, I need to be fresh to give us an advantage." Kulikov, Aaron Ekblad and Brian Campbell could be regulars for the Panthers during those 3-on-3 overtime sessions.
Aug 28 - 12:34 PM

August may be a slow month in terms of hockey news, but for players preparing for the upcoming season, like Roberto Luongo, it's anything but uneventful.

"To be honest, this is the worst time of the year," Luongo said. "Not only are we skating now, but you're still going to gym, working out every day. It's a lot of work. August is the toughest month because you're doing so much. It lends for some pretty long days. The fun part is being on the ice, knowing it's getting close. But I think this month is more important than training camp because of the work being put in." He is skating at informal workouts now with the first practice of training camp set for Sept. 18.
Aug 28 - 11:32 AM

Tomas Kopecky praised Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville as the best coach he's ever played for and said he'd be willing to return to Chicago.

It seems like a moot point, as the Blackhawks are already up against the cap and still need to re-sign Marcus Kruger. If nothing else, one would assume that Kopecky would be pretty cheap.
Aug 22 - 7:24 PM

Florida prospect Juho Lammikko will return to Assat to play in Finland's top league this season.

He posted 18 goals and 44 points in 64 games with the OHL's Kingston Frontenacs last season. Lammikko just wrapped up an Evaluation Camp for the 2016 World Junior Championship with Team Finland. He is excited for the tournament, which will be held in Helsinki, and likes the team's chances even though they won just one of five games against the United States and Sweden during the Evaluation Camp's exhibition play. Lammikko was a third-round pick (65th overall) of the Panthers in 2014.
Aug 17 - 7:15 PM

Shawn Thornton isn't sure what his future holds after the 2015-16 season, but right now he is open to continuing his career.

"Honestly, I don't know," said Thornton, who has one year remaining on his current contract. "I'm OK either way. I'm going on my 19th year pro, I think, and for my job, I'm very happy with what's happened over my career and I'm OK if I have to shut 'er down. If I have a tough year and that's it, then so be it, but if I happen to have a good year and things work out and somebody wants to give me a paycheck for another year, I'm more than happy to [continue playing]." Thornton dropped the gloves just six times in 46 appearances last season, but he can still play an energy role as a fourth liner even without the fighting.
Aug 17 - 10:43 AM

Roberto Luongo wants to get back into the playoffs this year.

"Last year we weren't quite sure what we were going to get; we had a lot of new faces and a new coaching staff," he said. "This year it's time to take that next step. It's really all about the playoffs for our team; nothing beneath that will be acceptable. I think as a group we realize that and demand that of ourselves." The Florida netminder believes the team "can do some special things in the coming years" because they have plenty of potential.
Aug 14 - 3:13 PM

Dylan Olsen is expected to be pushed by prospects Mike Matheson and MacKenzie Weegar for a roster spot.

"There will be healthy competition for jobs and Dylan's got the ability," GM Dale Tallon said. "It's a matter of him getting in a proper frame of mind and [being] physically fit." Olsen struggled to hold his position on the Panthers last season, mostly because of costly turnovers. Tallon feels the 24-year-old defender has grown since then and he'll be better prepared to play in the NHL.
Aug 7 - 10:28 AM

Jaromir Jagr needs 20 goals to move up two spots to number three on the NHL all-time goals list.

Jagr is currently in fifth place on the list with 722 career goals, and will catch oldtimer Marcel Dionne if he scores 10 goals in 2015-16. He could then surpass the great Canadian/American sniper Brett Hull if he scores 20 goals this year. Jagr scored 17 goals with the Devils and Panthers last year, but managed 24 the year prior in 2013-14.
Jul 18 - 10:57 AM

The Florida Panthers have signed John McFarland to a one-year, two-way contract extension.

McFarland recorded 10 goals and 19 points in 46 AHL games last season. He was taken with the 33rd overall pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
Jul 15 - 11:12 PM

Quinton Howden has signed a one-year, two-way deal with the Panthers.

Howden had six points and 10 penalty minutes in 16 games with Florida last season. He also scored three goals and 18 points in 33 AHL contests.
Jul 15 - 11:11 PM

Alex Petrovic has signed a two-year contract extension with Florida.

Petrovic had three assists and 34 penalty minutes in 33 games with Florida in 2014-15. He also had 20 points and 59 penalty minutes in 41 AHL contests. "We are very pleased to have re-signed Alex," said Panthers GM Dale Tallon. "Alex is a strong, physical defenseman who possesses great size and strength. He took great strides last season, logging valuable minutes for the Panthers. He was one of the Rampage’s top players and was named an American Hockey League All-Star. He is another building block for our team’s future."
Jul 15 - 11:10 PM

Lawson Crouse has accepted a three-year, entry-level contract with Florida.

Crouse was taken with the 11th overall pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. He recently attended the Panthers' development camp and made a good impression on GM Dale Tallon, who praised his skating and toughness. Crouse had 51 points and 70 penalty minutes in 56 OHL contests last season.
Jul 15 - 8:08 PM

The Florida Panthers have signed Garrett Wilson to a one-year, two-way deal.

Wilson played in two games with the Panthers last season. He also had 23 goals and 38 points in 71 AHL contests.
Jul 8 - 9:56 AM

Corban Knight has agreed to a one-year, two-way contract.

Knight had 16 goals and 36 points in 58 AHL contests in 2014-15. Florida acquired him from Calgary in January in exchange for Drew Shore.
Jul 8 - 9:55 AM

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