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Therrien sees Semin as 'nice challenge' for Canadiens

Tuesday, 08.11.2015 / 4:30 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

TERREBONNE, Quebec -- When the Montreal Canadiens signed free agent forward Alexander Semin to a one-year contract last month, one of the first questions that jumped to mind was how would he mesh with coach Michel Therrien.

The Carolina Hurricanes bought out the final three years of Semin's five-year, $35 million contract because, as general manager Ron Francis said, they did not feel he competed enough on a consistent basis.

Therrien is known as a coach with high demands on his players in terms of work ethic, and he said Tuesday at his charity golf tournament he's eager to start working on making sure Semin is able to meet those demands.

"It's a nice challenge, that's how I look at it," Therrien said. "He's a guy that's full of potential, and there's an opportunity for him to get back to where we think he can be as a player, and where I imagine he also thinks he can be as a player. We're going to give him an opportunity, and it's the type of player we were missing when you looked at our team. He's a guy who can score, who can make plays and who's shown in the past that he can contribute to the success of a team offensively. But as far as I'm concerned, I see it as a challenge."

Cammalleri sees Devils' changes as refreshing: report

Tuesday, 08.11.2015 / 9:20 AM / News

New Jersey Devils left wing Mike Cammalleri said the atmosphere may change this season without former general manager Lou Lamoriello in charge, according to

Ray Shero replaced Lamoriello as GM in May and John Hynes was introduced as coach in June. Lamoriello, who signed Cammalleri to a five-year contract reportedly worth $25 million on July 1, 2014, is GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs after 28 seasons in New Jersey.

"Lou had a unique way of doing things and he did them for so long one way," Cammalleri told the website. "The organization was so used to things being done one way and now there is a different take on things. So there will be a different feel for sure."

Offense, aging veterans key questions for Panthers

Tuesday, 08.11.2015 / 3:00 AM /'s 30 in 30 package: 2015-16

Alain Poupart - Correspondent

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Although a 25-point improvement in 2014-15 was the best in the NHL, the Florida Panthers missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the 13th time in 14 seasons.

The only time in that span they qualified for the postseason was in 2011-12, when the Panthers won the Southeast Division title after a big spending spree in the free agent market. The approach this season is to rely on a young nucleus and hope the maturation process has reached fruition.

Here are three important questions that will determine if the Panthers return to the playoffs:

Panthers pinning their future on young talent

Tuesday, 08.11.2015 / 3:00 AM /'s 30 in 30 package: 2015-16

Alain Poupart - Correspondent continues its preview of the 2015-16 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout August.

SUNRISE, Fla. -- The Florida Panthers made the biggest improvement in the NHL last season and are counting on their young players to continue that progress.

The Panthers that will open training camp in September will be almost the same team that closed 2014-15 with 91 points, an NHL-best 25-point increase from the previous season. The only veteran addition of note during the offseason was forward Reilly Smith, who came from the Boston Bruins in a trade along with the contract of injured center Marc Savard for forward Jimmy Hayes.

The Panthers stayed very quiet during free agency; the five players they signed each received a two-way contract.

It was quite a contrast from the previous summer, when on July 1 the Panthers signed five established veterans who figure to play prominent roles again this season: Dave Bolland, Jussi Jokinen, Shawn Thornton, Willie Mitchell and Derek MacKenzie.

This summer turned out to be more about clearing roster space for the young players. Florida made no effort to re-sign its veteran free agents, forwards Scottie Upshall and Tomas Kopecky, and goalie Dan Ellis. They released forward Brad Boyes, who led the Panthers with 21 goals in 2013-14.

Crouse, Matheson among Panthers' top five prospects

Tuesday, 08.11.2015 / 3:00 AM /'s 30 in 30 package: 2015-16

Alain Poupart - Correspondent

SUNRISE, Fla. -- The Florida Panthers have emphasized stockpiling draft picks since Dale Tallon took over as general manager in May 2010, and they've generally hit more often than they've missed.

The Panthers have two of the past three Calder Trophy winners: Jonathan Huberdeau (2013) and Aaron Ekblad (2015). The nucleus of their up-and-coming team consists of their recent draft picks. The good news for Florida is there appears to be some more quality prospects ready to help soon, particularly at defenseman.

Here is a look at the Panthers' top five prospects, according to

Full season of Jagr has Panthers optimistic

Tuesday, 08.11.2015 / 3:00 AM /'s 30 in 30 package: 2015-16

Alain Poupart - Correspondent

SUNRISE, Fla. -- The Florida Panthers are hoping they can build on their improvement and strong finish from last season to reach the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2015-16.

The Panthers made few personnel changes in the offseason, confident that their mix of young talent and half-dozen veterans can help them get back to the postseason for the first time since 2011-12.

Here are four reasons the Panthers should be optimistic about doing so:

Florida Panthers fantasy hockey outlook

Pete Jensen - Fantasy Insider

As part of's offseason 30 in 30 package, fantasy hockey insiders Matt Cubeta and Pete Jensen will break down each team's fantasy landscape. They will look at the players at the top of the ranks, an undervalued player, an overvalued player, a deep sleeper (players likely ranked outside the top 200 overall players) and the goalie outlook for each NHL team.

Leading the way: Roberto Luongo and Aaron Ekblad

The Florida Panthers sport an impressive nucleus of young forwards to complement Jaromir Jagr, but those players will be on the board well outside the fantasy top 100. When examining Florida's roster in the first 10 rounds of drafts, you should only consider Luongo and/or Ekblad -- anchors at more scarce positions. Luongo missed time in March with a shoulder injury, but still started 60-plus games and remains an elite fantasy goalie. He leads active players in career wins (401) and posted strong peripheral numbers (2.35 goals against average, .921 save percentage) in 2014-15 despite little goal support.

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