Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Second Expansion Go 'Round in Sunrise

Traveling this past week or so has been the reason for the delay on new stuff-- so apologizes or something.

As the introduction of the new Florida Panthers happen, the questions will always come up about how this new team could actually make an impact and whether or not they will actually be worth all this spending to get to the salary floor. In all honesty, I think a lot of people are rooting for them, but with the guys they brought in for how much they brought him in for-- there's not a lot of hope for this team.

This team is an expansion team for a second time. There's no way around it, but with what the Panthers have done, they will have to learn to how to play together and have to form some kind of chemistry in a short period of time in order to be somewhat competitive. In the early going, you have to think they may have a rough time about it; but they could throw some other teams off because you won't know what's going to happen when them-- though trying to sustain that for the long-term is the real task.

It was a necessary evil for the Panthers to do, however. With the team being wreck from previous GM's tenures; they don't have any "homegrown" talent. The guys they did have who they groomed from the start are off to greener pastures-- whether it's because the GM at the time didn't like them and traded them out or if they didn't feel like dishing out the money to keep them there-- something went wrong. I doubt that Dale Tallon fully expected to spend like a sailor on shore leave with this free agency season-- but at the same time; he had to. He was damned if he did, damned if he didn't in all honest. If he didn't go on this spree, people would be on his case and the Panthers case for not caring. He did make these moves and people are wondering why the hell he gave such big contracts to menial players for big dollars.

The contract length is something I can totally understand, but maybe-- just maybe-- they're giving their newly stocked prospects a chance to grow and learn the system before rushing them into the line-up-- which could be worse than inflated contracts. Odds are, with the younger kids (if they were around) they would be as bad as the veterans they signed and lack the chemistry these new Panthers would have. Plus, there's no guarentee that any of the younger kids would pan out in the NHL style and speed of play-- which could also be worse due to the fact that it could ruin their mentality when playing; being more destructive in the long-run.

While the idea is if a team can't hack it, they should be moved or even eliminated from the league-- which I think should happen-- the NHL won't do it and the NHLPA won't agree to it because it would eliminate many jobs and ruins a lot of the market the NHL has built up. The Panthers, along with the Phoenix Coyotes, are prime examples of why there should be NHL contraction-- mostly in a business sense. It has nothing to do with on-ice product (at least in Phoenix), but the mismanagement that happens off the ice-- that's what kills it for everyone and makes the common fan look down on the organizations; if they even pay attention to them at all.

The bottom-line is that the Florida Panthers, from pillar to post-- were and are in a bit if disarray. While they had some kind of building blocks come their way in the past couple days (Keith Seabrook, Sergei Shirokov, and Angelo Esposito), it's nowhere near what they could have had if they keep and grew their talent from back in the day....or did, but didn't want to dole out the money when contract time was up. Granted-- two of those three names I mentions have bounced around many organizations-- which shows that it's probably going to be even harder to develop because they can't hack it with any team much less this one.

Best of luck to the Panthers-- because they'll need it.

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