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Reaction from the hockey world regarding the Panthers recent acquisition of Alex Auld, Todd Bertuzzi and Bryan Allen

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers

Bob McKenzie, TSN

For whatever shortcomings he [Todd Bertuzzi] might have had, the power forward is still a prime asset in today's National Hockey League. Bryan Allen has developed into a top-four defenceman, while Alex Auld became a credible NHL netminder after the season he put in.

David Neal, Miami Herald

When a focused Bertuzzi wants to dominate a shift, he is akin to a nimble Tyrannosaurus Rex. He's a penalty-drawing juggernaut. He'll own the slot when the puck is in the offensive zone and has enough speed and hockey sense to score off the rush. His crushing hits overwhelm and intimidate. Bertuzzi at his best could be described by paraphrasing an old Incredible Hulk utterance: "Bertuzzi will smash."

Dave Joseph, Sun Sentinel

Bertuzzi and Auld are the keys. If Bertuzzi can be the power forward the Panthers have desperately needed for several years creating space for Jokinen and Horton and drawing penalties and Auld can continue growing in goal, the Panthers are still on track to be a playoff contender. The deal gets even better if Bertuzzi can draw unrestricted Vancouver defenseman Ed Jovanovski back to South Florida.

Scott Cullen, TSN

A fresh start could be just what Bertuzzi, 31, needs to get his game back on track. While his 71-point season wasn't terrible, he is better than that and might be able to thrive with a little less scrutiny in South Florida. The Panthers could try and put together a power-packed line that combines Bertuzzi (6-foot-3, 245 pounds) with Olli Jokinen (6-foot-3, 205 pounds), but no matter which line Bertuzzi ends up with, he gives the Panthers another offensive threat.

Auld stepped up in the absence of Dan Cloutier last season and performed beyond expectations, though he was overworked without an adequate backup for much of the year.

Allen is developing into a solid stay-at-home blueliner and he'll provide some much-needed size to the Panthers blueline. At 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, Allen will help clear the front of the net and likely play a top-four role in Florida with Jay Bouwmeester, Mike Van Ryn.

Ed Jovanovski on Alex Auld in the Palm Beach Post (Brian Biggane)

"Alex Auld gave us a chance in goal to win every night, and he'll do that for Florida. Going into the year, we figured on him playing once every seven to 10 games, and he wound up playing 50-plus (actually 67). He's young, he needs more playing time and he's got a lot to learn, but he's so calm and collected out there. He had an opportunity and he excelled at it."

Ed Jovanovski on Bryan Allen in the Palm Beach Post (Brian Biggane)

"He's a solid top-four guy," he said. "He's tough, blocks a lot of shots... and he'll punish a few guys. He's a guy who fans are going to love because of the way he hits."

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