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Panthers won't re-sign Upshall, Kopecky, Ellis

by Alain Poupart

SUNRISE, Fla. -- The Florida Panthers will not attempt to re-sign pending unrestricted free agents Dan Ellis, Tomas Kopecky and Scottie Upshall, general manager Dale Tallon said Thursday.

"We're going to move in a different direction,"?Tallon said. "We're going to go with our own guys. We're going to go young, and then we're going to see what's available July 1. I like young teams, I like young players, and we have some good young players in our system and we're going to give them an opportunity. I think that's the direction that we need to go in.

Scottie Upshall
Left Wing - FLA
Goals: 8 | Assists: 7 | Pts: 15
Shots: 93 | +/-: -8
"My goal is to have 20 guys on our team that are all drafts of ours. I don't think that can happen, but that's the goal."

Kopecky and Upshall each signed with Florida in the summer of 2011, when Tallon remade the roster in his second season as Panthers GM. Kopecky, a right wing, scored 31 goals in 240 games with Florida, and Upshall, a left wing, had 29 in 192.

Ellis was 4-8-1 with an .876 save percentage and one shutout in 14 games with Florida. He was acquired March 5, 2014, in a trade with the Dallas Stars for goalie Tim Thomas.

Ellis spent most of this season with the San Antonio Rampage of the American Hockey League,???but he was 4-3-1 with a .2.35 goals-against average and .914 save percentage late in the season when starter Roberto Luongo and backup Al Montoya each was sidelined with an injury.

Kopecky had eight points (two goals) in 64 games this season and his minus-19 rating was the worst on the Panthers. Upshall had eight goals and seven assists in 63 games.

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