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What's Been Written: 2011 Free Agency

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
2011 NHL ENTRY DRAFT

Panthers Get Busy On First Day Of Free Agency

Associated Press

The Florida Panthers began preparing last year for the beginning of free agency and were one of the busiest teams in the NHL on Friday.
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OTHER LINKS:
Panthers Sign C Greg Rallo
Panthers Sign RW Matt Bradley
Panthers Sign LW Sean Bergenheim
Panthers Sign D Nolan Yonkman
Panthers Sign RW Tomas Fleischmann
Panthers Acquire RW Kris Versteeg
Panthers Sign C. Marcel Goc
Panthers Sign D Ed Jovanovski
Panthers Sign LW Scottie Upshall
Panthers Sign G Jose Theodore

The Panthers had just 13 players under contract (on the big roster) entering the start of free agency on July 1st.

In a little over 24 hours, the Panthers brass, led by Panthers GM Dale Tallon and Assistant GM Mike Santos, just about doubled that total.

In the opening day of free agency, the club added seven forwards, two defensemen and a netminder to the organization either via free agency or trade as they were one of the busiest teams once the clock struck noon on July 1st. 

Below you'll find a listing of some of the articles that have been posted about the Panthers from the first few days of free agency.

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Florida Panthers get rare glimpse of spotlight

July 4, 2011
Israel Guttierez - Miami Herald

It wasn’t planned this way.
The Panthers didn’t wait for the NBA and NFL to be in simultaneous lockouts to steal the South Florida sports spotlight with an historic player haul.
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JovoCop brought back to police the blue line
July 4, 2011
Harvey Fialkov - Sun-Sentinel

Partially overshadowed in the Panthers' 10-player haul this weekend was the return of JovoCop.
Ed Jovanovski, the only No. 1 draft pick (1994) in franchise history, was an integral part of the magical "Year of the Rat" run to the Stanley Cup finals in 1996. His combination of toughness and offensive skill quickly made him a fan favorite.
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Tomas Vokoun loses game of musical goalies
July 4, 2011
Mike Berardino - Sun-Sentinel

A strange thing happened to Tomas Vokoun on his way to a fat new contract via NHL free agency.

It never materialized.
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July 3, 2011
James O'Brien

There were more than a few teams who experienced dramatic makeovers in the last couple weeks or so. The Philadelphia Flyers baffled the hockey world by jettisoning Mike Richards and Jeff Carter then signing Ilya Bryzgalov to a risky, long-term contract. The Toronto Maple Leafs made some interesting moves, including stealing John Michael-Liles from the Colorado Avalanche and Cody Franson from the Nashville Predators.

We’ll get to some of those other interesting makeovers in the next few days, but it’s probably safe to say that the Florida Panthers will be the most dramatically different team when the 2011-12 season begins. (At least as of this moment.)
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The Flash – Tomas Fleischmann
July 3, 2011
Patrick McLaughlin - The Rat Trick

On what may be the single most important day in the history of the Florida Panthers since December 10, 1992 (when Miami was awarded a NHL franchise), the Panthers made a series of moves to completely reshape their roster; an effort to end a decade of missing the playoffs. Eight players came to Florida, including 27 year old Czech forward Tomas Fleischmann.
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New Panther: Marcel Goc
July 3, 2011
David Lasseter - The Rat Trick

With the departure of Marty Reasoner to the New York Islanders via free agency, the need to find for a center to play on the 3rd line became important. The Florida Panthers fit the bill with the signing of C Marcel Goc from the Nashville Predators. Goc’s 2010-2011 season was derailed by a shoulder injury that finally required season-ending surgery in February. To that point, he had compiled 24 points (9 G) and a +10 rating through 51 games, only six points shy of his career best total.
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Panthers add toughness with Bradley
July 3, 2011
Harvey Fialkov - Sun-Sentinel

After eight days of reshaping the Florida Panthers, General Manager Dale Tallon had no intention of resting.

In Friday's eight-player haul, Tallon and assistant GM Mike Santos opted mostly for skilled forwards who can put the puck in the net. Saturday they added toughness with the signing of longtime Washington Capitals right wing Matt Bradley to a two-year deal.
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Tallon’s Panthers make day’s biggest splash – now what?
July 2, 2011
Craig Custance - The Sporting News

It'd been 16 years since Dale Tallon had a drink. A real drink. But he made a pact with Kris Versteeg and he planned on keeping it, even if he was no longer the general manager of the Chicago Blackhawks. They decided if they ever won the Stanley Cup, Tallon would end the drought.

When Chicago won the Stanley Cup in 2010, Versteeg held Tallon to that promise. On the night of the championship parade in Chicago, during a party at the W hotel, Tallon gave in.
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Panthers sign Canadian Olympic Gold medalist
July 2, 2011
Jeremy Freeborn - Examiner

The Florida Panthers opened up their wallet big time yesterday and signed six free agents.
Among them was Canadian Olympic Gold medallist Ed Jovanovski, who signed a four year deal worth $16.5 million from the Phoenix Coyotes. He had five goals and nine assists in fifty games last year.
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Former Capital Matt Bradley signs with Florida Panthers
July 2, 2011
Katie Carrera - The Washington Post

Veteran right wing Matt Bradley has become the latest former Capital to join part in the rebuilding of the Florida Panthers.

Bradley signed a two year deal with the Panthers, joining fellow unrestricted free agents and former Capitals winger Tomas Fleischmann and goaltender Jose Theodore in South Florida.
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Panthers, Rangers improve most with early free agency moves
July 2, 2011
Kevin Allen - USA Today

With Brad Richards now signed, here are the teams that have done the most to improve themselves in the first 24 hours of free agency (as of noon Saturday):

1. Florida Panthers: The consensus would be that the Panthers overspent on their contracts, but there is no denying that they made their team stronger with the signings of Tomas Fleischmann, Scottie Upshall, Ed Jovanovski, Sean Bergenheim, Marcel Goc and Jose Theodore. They also traded for Kris Versteeg. With Stephen Weiss and David Booth already on the roster, the Panthers can piece together a much more dangerous offensive lineup. The Panthers haven't made the playoffs since 2000, and general manager Dale Tallon had to spend a little more to attract free agents, just as he did when he was in Chicago.
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Panthers go big again, like huge: Sean Bergenheim to cap off eventful day
July 2, 2011
Matt Reitz - NBC Sports

Dale Tallon said the Florida Panthers were going to be busy, but no one expected this. They were by far the busiest team on Friday as they signed six unrestricted free agents en route to giving the team a complete facelift. Through the first day of free agency, they were able to recruit and sign four forwards, a defenseman, and a goaltender to start for the starting position next year.
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Panthers sign Sean Bergenheim
July 2, 2011
Scott Burnside - ESPN.com

The Florida Panthers made yet another Day 1 deal Friday, signing free-agent forward Sean Bergenheim to a four-year deal, the team announced.

Bergenheim seemingly came out of nowhere and became a postseason hero, scoring nine goals in 16 playoff games to help lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to the Eastern Conference finals.
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Settle down, Canada!
July 2, 2011
Bill Whitehead - NHL Hot Stove

Before diving into this, I feel the need to say this up front: I like Canada. I really do, though I have to admit my familiarity with it is lacking.

First, I’ve never been to Canada, but I have visited its exhibit in EPCOT, a 30-minute long, 360-degree panoramic view narrated by comedic actor Martin Short, whose performance is sterling, especially when he bursts through a snowy whiteout and proclaims that all Canadians, in fact, do not live in igloos. I love the band Rush and to a lesser degree its comrade-in-maple-leaves Triumph, both whom I’ve seen live multiple times. Bryan Adams and Honeymoon Suite are good, while Glass Tiger, the Kings, Chilliwack and Toronto are all Canadian bands that I like exactly one song from each. Admittedly, my opinion changes drastically when Anne Murray, considered a national treasure much like Molson beer and Tim Hortons, is mentioned.
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Florida Panthers make free-agent splash by bringing back Ed Jovanovski
July 2, 2011
Brian Biggane - Palm Beach Post

JovoCop is back in South Florida - and he's got plenty of company on a Panthers roster that has undergone almost a complete overhaul by General Manager Dale Tallon over the past week.

Defenseman Ed Jovanovski, who in 1994 became the only No. 1 overall draft pick in franchise history and became a fan favorite before being traded five years later, was one of seven players worth in excess of $60 million acquired Friday by Tallon on the NHL's opening day of free agency.
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Meet the new Panthers: six free agents, eight new players in all
July 2, 2011
Harvey Fialkov - Sun-Sentinel

The Panthers added seven new players Friday, including five free agents, a trade acquisition and minor league defenseman with some NHL experience
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Tallon reshapes Panthers’ roster in most prolific one-day, free-agency haul in franchise history
July 2, 2011
Harvey Fialkov - Sun-Sentinel

With $20 million burning a hole in his pocket, Panthers General Manager Dale Tallon wasted no time in reshaping his roster in the most prolific free-agent binge in franchise history Friday afternoon.

"It was a great team effort today to help push this franchise in the right direction,'' a beaming Tallon said at BankAtlantic Center while discussing his eight-player haul, including six free agents.
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Dale Tallon: Florida Panthers will play with passion
July 2, 2011
George Richards - Miami Herald

A message was sent by Dale Tallon last summer when he surprisingly traded Nathan Horton to the Bruins: If you don’t want to be a part of the Florida Panthers, we don’t want you to be.

Tallon is working on ending the days of the Panthers being a punchline. One way Florida’s general manager has gone about doing that is by bringing in players who, like him, are committed to turning things around and getting the Panthers back into the postseason for the first time since 2000.
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Florida Panthers bring back Jovanovski, replace Vokoun among several moves
July 2, 2011
George Richards - Miami Herald

General manager Dale Tallon promised he was going to rebuild the Panthers when he arrived in town last summer, and he took his biggest step Friday.

Tallon and assistant GM Mike Santos were the busiest executives in professional sports Friday as the Panthers either signed or traded for eight new players.
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Free agents cash in on suspect spending spree by several NHL GMs
July 1, 2011
Brad Ziemer - The Vancouver Sun

The really big catch, centre Brad Richards, wasn't signed, but more than 50 other players inked deals Friday as the NHL's free-agent frenzy began in earnest.

The players should perhaps pause today to give thanks to the salary cap floor. It was teams like the Florida Panthers, desperate reach that $48.3 million threshhold, who led the charge, handing out contracts that seemed to border on the ridiculous.
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Panthers lock up Fleischmann
July 1, 2011
Sports Network - Toronto Sun

The Florida Panthers signed right wing Tomas Fleischmann to a four-year contract on Friday.



Fleischmann had 12 goals and 19 assists between the Washington Capitals and Colorado Avalanche last season.
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Flurry of free-agent activity for Panthers, Flyers
July 1, 2011
Dave Pollard - Toronto Sun

The makeovers of the Florida Panthers and Philadelphia Flyers continued with a free-agent flurry Friday.

Whether it was a case of slapping another coat of lipstick on a sow or simply ouching up a supermodel's blush, well, that remains to be seen.
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GM Dale Tallon quickly redefines Panthers
July 1, 2011
Scott Burnside - ESPN.com

Watching the dramatic transmogrification of the long-suffering Florida Panthers and their gung-ho dive into free agency Friday, we can't help but think of the situation GM Dale Tallon was in during the first couple of seasons after the lockout.

Then with Chicago, Tallon knew he had some good young talent in Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. He also knew he needed to try to accelerate the growing curve, and to do that meant spending money and, in some cases, over-spending.
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Jovanovski among signings as Panthers make splash
July 1, 2011
Adam Kimelman - NHL.com

Twelve years after trading Ed Jovanovski away, the Florida Panthers re-signed the defenseman to a four-year contract Friday.

That was one of four moves on an active day for the Panthers
General Manager Dale Tallon, who also added forwards Scottie Upshall and Marcel Goc, and goaltender Jose Theodore on a two-year deal.
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Busy Panthers get Versteeg in trade, sign five
July 1, 2011
Brian Stubits - CBS Sports

Dale Tallon has been one of the busiest men today, and now he's made another move. The Florida Panthers GM acquired Kris Versteeg from the Philadelphia Flyers for a pair of draft picks down the road.

There had been a lot of talk around the draft last week that the Panthers were trying to get Versteeg from the Flyers. Now, it actually goes through. You might remember that Versteeg played for Tallon while he was in Chicago, making it another former Blackhawk added to the Panthers roster, joining Brian Campbell, Tomas Kopecky and Jack Skille in the past six months.
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Florida Panthers acquire Kris Versteeg from Philadelphia Flyers
July 1, 2011
The Sporting News

Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon continues to collect former Blackhawks.

The Panthers announced that Tallon sent a conditional second-round pick in the 2012 or 2013 NHL Draft along with San Jose's third-round pick (acquired earlier) in the 2012 draft to the Flyers for Kris Versteeg. Tallon has already traded for former Blackhawks Brian Campbell and Tomas Kopecky.
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