|Forward Rob Globke |
Before training camp started, Rob Globke called this a “make or break year.”
When the Panthers head to New York on Sunday to prepare for their season opener Thursday against the Rangers, Globke can take satisfaction in the fact that, for now, he’s made it.
By announcing Saturday that forwards Anthony Stewart and Kamil Kreps had been assigned to the Panthers’ American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate in Rochester, N.Y., GM and coach Jacques Martin was also stating that Globke has earned the 12th and final forward spot on the Panthers’ roster.
As the team prepared to head to the United States Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., for three days of practicing and team bonding before their season opener, Martin settled on his 22-man roster. The Panthers will have 12 forwards, eight defenseman and two goalies.
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“I’m pleased,” Martin said. “I think, overall, our goaltending is strong, I like the way our defense played (in Friday’s last preseason game), and we’re pretty solid up front. I think now it’s just a matter of getting some combination and pairings as we enter the last phase of training camp while building some more team chemistry.”
Globke is quite familiar to Panther fans. A graduate of Notre Dame, he became the highest drafted player in Notre Dame history when he selected 40th overall by the Panthers in the 2002 Entry Draft. The 6-2 right winger has spent parts of the last two seasons shuttling between South Florida and the Panthers’ American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate in Rochester, N.Y.
Throughout his two-plus seasons up-and-down with the Panthers, Globke, who’s played 37 NHL games, has been a consistent player. “He’s more mature,” Martin said. “I think he understands his role. He also does a good job penalty killing and he brings a physical dimension to his game.”
Kreps, a 22-year-old center from the Czech Republic, “had a fairly good camp,” Martin said.
“He’s reliable, he has good speed, but I felt he could still get better and have a more important role going to Rochester,” he added. “I think he can become a little more consistent and I’d like to see him get a little more offensive flair.”
|Forward Anthony Stewart |
Martin said he and Stewart, the 25th overall pick in the 2003 Entry Draft, had a good discussion about what he needs to improve on when he returns to Rochester.
“Anthony is beginning to understand his role,” Martin said. “He needs to be a power forward. He needs to simplify his game and bang some people and use his strength. I don’t want to use him on the fourth line, and he’s not a penalty killer. I told Anthony he needs to be a dominant player in the AHL. I told Anthony usually when players are dominant at that level, they get an opportunity to come back.”
Stewart, who played in 10 games with the Panthers last season, had a goal and was a plus-2 in five preseason games. Kreps, who played 14 games with the Panthers last season, also played in five preseason games with no points and an even rating.
In addition to making his final roster, Martin announced the signing of defenseman Peter Aston to an entry-level contest.
Aston, 21, played 41 games last season for Oshawa of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), scoring eight goals and 32 points. In nine playoff games the Toronto native had eight points (one goal). Aston was the Panthers’ 155th overall in the 2006 NHL Draft.Click Here
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