Category Archives: Florida Panthers Pro Shop

MacKenzie Weegar Jersey

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Expect MacKenzie Weegar to be a reliable fantasy starter the rest of the season. His 61 projected fantasy points puts him at #50 behind Philippe Myers and ahead of Oscar Klefbom. He has averaged 1.27 fantasy points in his past 87 games. Our projected per game average is virtually the same. He is projected to average 1.24 fantasy points. His rank based on avg proj (#53) is worse than his rank based on total fantasy points. MacKenzie Weegar is expected to improve on this season-to-date’s #66 fantasy position rank.

#48 Rasmus Ristolainen (78% OWN) 62 FP, 1.32 per game 108 FP, 78 gp, 1.39 per game (#82)
#49 Philippe Myers (22% OWN) 62 FP, 1.27 per game 108 FP, 78 gp, 1.39 per game (#82)
#50 MacKenzie Weegar (27% OWN) 61 FP, 1.24 per game 66 FP, 64 gp, 1.03 per game (#126)
#51 Oscar Klefbom (87% OWN) 60 FP, 1.3 per game 88 FP, 61 gp, 1.44 per game (#75)
#52 Michal Kempny (49% OWN) 60 FP, 1.27 per game 125 FP, 71 gp, 1.76 per game (#50)
These projections power SportsLine’s Computer Picks and Fantasy Data. But for contest winning DFS optimal lineups by top experts like Mike McClure visit SportsLine’s new Daily Fantasy Hub.

MacKenzie Weegar is projected for 1.07 fantasy points in one game the rest of the week in week 11 which ranks him as the #101 projected defenseman for the week and a starter for most fantasy teams. This is projected to be a below average game with fewer fantasy points than he is projected to average per game the rest of the season. He is ranked above Ryan McDonagh but behind Rasmus Ristolainen the rest of the week. Week 12 will be better based on projected rank (#57). He is projected for 3.73 fantasy points.

#99 Tyler Myers (19% OWN) 1.1 FP, 2 GP 0.59 FP
#100 Rasmus Ristolainen (78% OWN) 1.09 FP, 1 GP 1.32 FP
#101 MacKenzie Weegar (27% OWN) 1.07 FP, 1 GP 1.24 FP
#102 Ryan McDonagh (47% OWN) 1.07 FP, 1 GP 1.12 FP
#103 Samuel Girard (37% OWN) 1.07 FP, 1 GP 0.75 FP
#55 Ryan Pulock (58% OWN) 3.79 FP, 3 GP 1.26 FP
#56 Oliver Ekman-Larsson (89% OWN) 3.76 FP, 3 GP 1.17 FP
#57 MacKenzie Weegar (27% OWN) 3.73 FP, 3 GP 1.24 FP
#58 Alex Goligoski (69% OWN) 3.65 FP, 3 GP 1.14 FP
#59 Justin Holl (2% OWN) 3.63 FP, 3 GP 1.06 FP
The tables below show projected stats (totals and averages) for the rest of the season and upcoming weeks. Also included are actual stats from the current and last season.

Rest of ’19-20 61 18.9 5.4 13.5 82 71
– Per Game (49 Proj) 1.23 0.39 0.11 0.28 1.68 1.44
12/9 to 12/15 (1 Game) 1.07 0.37 0.10 0.26 1.58 1.41
12/16 to 12/22 (3 Games) 3.73 1.15 0.33 0.82 4.8 4.1
’19-20 Season 44.5 11 3 8 41 25
– Per Game (23 GP) 1.93 0.48 0.13 0.35 1.78 1.09
’18-20 Seasons 110 26 7 19 120 128
– Per Game (87 GP) 1.27 0.30 0.08 0.22 1.38 1.47

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Following a breakout 2018-19 season for the Florida Panthers, forward Frank Vatrano is continuing to thrive on Florida’s third line.
The 25-year-old native of Massachusetts was previously acquired from the Boston Bruins during the 2017-18 NHL season for only a third-round draft pick. As a member of the Florida Panthers, Frank Vatrano has produced consistent numbers on the offensive end, earning a permanent role on the top-nine forward unit.

The undersized winger has seemingly developed into a reliable sniper and 5-v-5 weapon for Florida. While participating in 81 regular-season games during the 2018-19 campaign, Vatrano recorded career-high marks in goals (24), assists (15), points (39), penalty minutes (38), and games played (81).

More impressively, Frank Vatrano recorded 22 even-strength goals, providing the power-play reliant Cats with a much-needed 5-v-5 goal-scoring option. Furthermore, Vatrano also developed into a dependable two-way winger on Florida’s third line, playing a proficient game on the defensive end, too.

While averaging roughly 15 minutes of ice time per game, Vatrano recorded a whopping 139 hits as well as 74 blocked shots. As well, he even registered more takeaways (33) than giveaways (30) on the season. While things didn’t necessarily work out with Vatrano’s hometown Bruins, the Panthers certainly found themselves a diamond in the rough.

Vatrano’s contributions during the 2019 NHL season earned himself a well-deserved three-year contract extension. The extension carries an annual average salary of $2.53 million per season. Considering he’s already established himself as a polished top-nine scoring weapon, GM Dale Tallon locked up “Frank the Tank” for an absurd bargain price.

The 2019-20 season has been a pretty good one for the consistent producing Vatrano. While participating in 18 games, the durable Vatrano has already recorded 6 goals and 3 assists for 9 total points, averaging approximately 0.50 points per game.

In addition, Vatrano has seemingly gained the trust of new bench boss Joel Quenneville, playing a career-high of nearly 16 minutes of ice time per game.

As well, Quenneville has given the versatile, speedy Vatrano with opportunities on the power-play and penalty kill units. Despite producing mostly during 5-v-5 action, Vatrano has already recorded one goal on the PP and one goal on the PK, thus far.

On the defensive end, Vatrano has continued his brilliance in his own zone. The lightning-quick winger has produced 16 blocked shots as well as 14 total hits, along with more takeaways (5) than giveaways (3) on the season.

Essentially, Vatrano has been a crucial component in Florida’s race for a top-three seed in the Atlantic Division this season. Moreover, the feisty Vatrano has provided the Panthers’ third line with stability, forming excellent chemistry with speedy linemate Denis Malgin.

In essence, Frank Vatrano has unquestionably provided a positive impact on the Panthers, helping the Cats win a majority of games by embracing a more significant role on the team.

He’s arguably been one of the most underrated and underappreciated players on this team, as he always brings maximum effort and hustle on a nightly basis.

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The Florida Panthers lost their third game of this nine-game homestand Thursday night, as the New York Islanders took care of business in a tightly-contested affair.
This was the second straight game the Florida Panthers scored just one goal, but also the second straight game the power play was held scoreless. Going zero for three for the second straight game on the man advantage shows that the Panthers are really struggling to adapt to a new power play philosophy on a consistent basis.

On the other side of special teams, the Cats weren’t much better. The Islanders scored their first two goals on power plays, with the Panthers clearly outmatched by Islanders’ power play coach Jim Hiller.

After a very tight first period looked to be going in with nothing to separate the sides, Frank Vatrano took an ill-advised penalty in the neutral zone. While the Panthers didn’t concede in the first, it set up New York to take advantage in the second.

They would do just that 49 seconds into the second. Devon Toews got space to shoot near the blue line and put the shot past Sergei Bobrovsky, who was being screened on the play, to make it 1-0.

Bobrovsky, who Joel Quenneville praised earlier Thursday morning, was yet again impeccable tonight. Bob won third star of the game, saving 27 of the 29 shots he faced, and similarly to Tuesday night, keeping the Florida Panthers alive.

Unfortunately for the 30-year-old Russian, the rest of the players kept digging a bigger hole. Vincent Trocheck tripped New York forward Anthony Beauvillier just three minutes after the first goal, and New York went back on the man advantage.

Similarly to the first power play, the Islanders would score again. MacKenzie Weegar made an ill-advised pass trying to clear the zone, which was seized upon by winger Josh Bailey. Bailey would deflect the puck to fellow winger Jordan Eberle, who had the primary assist on the first goal and would get the primary assist on the second.

Eberle, in one swift movement, turned, looked up, and passed the puck to Matt Barzal on the left side, who swept the puck in, leaving Bobrovsky with no chance, and just like that, 2-0 Islanders.

Florida wouldn’t just roll over, however, and eventually got back into the game. Michael Dal Colle‘s giveaway to Brett Connolly snapped the Panthers into high gear, with Mark Pysyk excellently picking out Mike Hoffman on the odd-man rush. Hoffman gave New York goaltender Thomas Greiss no chance, slotting it top shelf near side to make it 2-1.

This was Hoffman’s 12th goal of the season. Hoffman has been in a solid groove as of late, with five points (two goals, three assists) in his last four games. This one gave Florida a lifeline.

It was a lifeline that the Cats just couldn’t seem to take. Despite playing just as good as the Islanders were, despite getting multiple power-play opportunities, the Panthers yet again could not capitalize. A few fantastic saves from both goalies and an empty-net goal from New York Captain Anders Lee with three seconds to go polished off the third period, with Florida losing 3-1.

The loss makes it the fourth loss in the last six and puts Florida down to sixth in the Atlantic Division. Sure, the division is about as compact as any, but dropping four spots in the span of two games as pathetically as the Panthers have is something to be concerned with.

The team is trying to find the answer, but ultimately it might not be with this 22-man roster. If it was me, I’d start looking at players to bring up, to give a spark to this offense. It was on display tonight, the forward core looks flat and out of ideas.

Let me reiterate one thing, the Florida Panthers did not play a terrible game of hockey tonight. This is a very good New York Islanders team, and the Panthers were even, if not better than New York, in almost every major stat. The big one is power-play opportunities; Islanders go 2/4, Panthers go 0/3, New York wins 3-1.

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The sudden winner is always a sweet one.

The grin on Elias Pettersson’s face, as wide as it gets for the young Swede, as we finished up talking about his game winner on Thursday night, told the whole story.

It wasn’t far off from the grin he flashed last season after breaking Pavel Bure’s rookie scoring record.

Winning hockey is better than anything.

“I always go with my first thought, if I think two times or doubt my abilities, the play might be gone,” he said of the crazy moment.

Working on picking up loose pucks isn’t necessarily something he does specifically in practice, but it’s something teams work on all the time. Just this week in a practice, skills coach Glenn Carnegie had the Canucks working on collecting loose pucks that had caromed off obstacles placed in front of the crease.

The read Pettersson made when the puck didn’t skip over the lost stick — it was Jaccob Slavin’s — was lightning fast. No shock there.

And the shot was as tough a shot as you can get off. It looked like Mrazek was caught off guard by it.

“I feel comfortable with getting pucks up high from short range,” he said, again with modesty. “I’m very happy with the win.”

Brock Boeser said he knew the loose stick was there but knew he didn’t have many options, so it was just about getting it near his star centre.

“Unreal,” he said of the shot that Pettersson pulled off.

Worries about Brock?
Big picture, kids, big picture. The missed breakaways stung him. But he’s healthy. The goals will come back.

Did you notice?
It’s not often your top ice-time man is a forward, but it was on this night: J.T. Miller’s 22:08 eclipsed Quinn Hughes’s 22:00.

Who wouldn’t want a top-six winger?
I did chuckle a little when Jim Benning said he’s after a top-six winger. It wasn’t earth-shattering more than it was confirmation of something you’d expect to hear from a GM who has ambitions of sending his team not just into the playoffs, but deep into the postseason party.

So, of course, he’s after a winger who would make an impact. Every GM should be.

But as you know, the Canucks’ roster has some wrinkles to it. As it stands, the only way to really add another winger to the roster would be if it works out that Micheal Ferland is out long-term. As yet, that’s not clear.

He’s dealing with post-concussion symptoms, it seems, though the team’s medical staff is still investigating.

If he’s out long-term, the Canucks could park him on LTIR, which would allow them to add a player whose cap hit comes in at about $3.6 million — while he’s on LTIR, anyway.

If he were to recover and play, there would be other moves to make, of course.

But in the summer, things would be pretty hairy.

Pondering free agents
Beyond the numbers we can see publicly at places like CapFriendly, there are undisclosed cap penalties that teams carry around from time to time. It’s well known among league personnel and capologists that in rare instances clubs have had cap charges for contract-related settlements not publicly known.

Add the interest in adding another winger to the not-surprising news that Benning would like to retain Jacob Markstrom — I mean, think about it, it makes sense, you need two NHL goalies anyway and there are two years between now and the Seattle expansion draft, and while some might argue that going ride or die with two young goalies next year in Thatcher Demko and Mike DiPietro would be worth the risk — we must think about the whole picture.

The Canucks’ No. 1 is pulling in $3.6 million this year. Assuming he carries forward with his solid play, he’s going to be after a raise. Think about it: Jake Allen is making more than he is. Freddy Andersen makes $5 million and he’s younger and probably better. A raise, maybe not a big one, but a raise nonetheless.

Is Semyon Varlamov, who makes $6 million, a comp? It does seem unlikely he goes that high.

Josh Leivo: An unrestricted free agent next summer, he’s on pace to post career highs in points. That said, this is his first full NHL season. He signed a one-year, $1.5-million show-me deal last summer and he’ll be after some kind of raise, that’s for sure.

Adam Gaudette: The next face in the 10.2(c) contract wars, the sophomore centre is set for a breakout season. But he also has no leverage. Brock Boeser missed training camp before he signed last fall. Will Gaudette wait that long before signing on for a small raise over $916,000?

Tim Schaller is making $1.9 million this season and may be a coach’s favourite, but it’s going to be hard to keep him around if there are raises elsewhere. Surely he’ll go back on the unrestricted free agent market.

Tyler Motte will be an unrestricted free agent, making $975,000 this year. He’ll surely be retained, especially if there isn’t room for Schaller.

Chris Tanev is making $4.45 million. If he finally stays healthy for a full season, it seems a safe bet the Canucks will look to re-up with him. He’s three years younger than Anton Stralman, who signed for $4.5 million this summer, but they feel like reasonable comparables.

Oscar Fantenberg has been fine as a depth option at $850k, but surely he’s a placeholder for Olli Juolevi?

Which brings us to restricted free agent Troy Stecher . He’s making $2.325 million this year and could push for an arbitration case. That’s if the Canucks qualify him.

A former Eastern Conference exec told me Stecher’s agent would likely go in asking for No. 4 d-man money, which would take him to the doorstep of $4 million. A team will argue that he is what he’s been used as this year, more like a No. 5, which should be valued at $2.75 million.

“Defensive defencemen don’t get points and that’s OK,” is the classic agent argument, vs. the team argument: “Points is how D get measured.”

“But you can basically argue a guy like this is worth $2.5 or $4.5,” he said.

It may be hard to keep Stecher this summer. Could he be trade bait before then?

Jake Virtanen is in a similar boat to Stecher in that he’s got arbitration rights if he doesn’t agree to his qualifying offer. But he’s also making “just” $1.25 million this year. He doesn’t kill penalties, the exec noted, and doesn’t get a lot of power-play time. But he has, nonetheless, been putting up points. Counting stats are good for your case.

“If he keeps scoring he has a case. Also could post best plus/minus of his career,” he said. “His arb profile will be between $1.75 and $2.1m. Really no leverage there unless agent convinced team he’s a 40+ point power forward for good now and he signs for term at closer to $3m.”

So there you go, there are some raises to be had. It’s going to make for another tight salary cap next year.

And this is without getting into the cap challenges posed by the performance bonuses Pettersson, Quinn Hughes and even Adam Gaudette could acquire this year. Much of that money could get applied to next year’s salary cap.

Call it by my name
Smythe Division. Let’s make it great again.

Standings etc.
It’s a log-jam, folks.

Good news: the Canucks have games in hand on the three Smythe Division teams above them. The nervous news: those Preds, lurking below.

Could do some serious damage to opposition hopes this weekend, but that Sunday tilt in Vegas is scary scheduling.

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (Dec. 13, 2019) – FOX Sports Florida, the television home of the Florida Panthers, will debut the an all-new “Inside the Panthers LIVE” tomorrow before the start of Florida’s game against the Boston Bruins. Fans can tune in Saturday at 6 p.m. as host Jessica Blaylock brings viewers inside the Panthers efforts to teach the game and make it accessible for every part of South Florida. Former Panther and current Director of Hockey at the Panthers IceDen in Coral Springs Peter Worrell will join Jessica live on set to talk about these programs.

Through the “Learn To Play” program, the Panthers provide low-cost access to training, uniforms and equipment for adults and children. Viewers will hear from Panthers teammates Mike Hoffman and Mike Matheson about why they like to give their time to young hockey players. Girls are included in the “Learn To Play” program, both in co-ed classes and in special girls-only classes. Emily Pfalzer Matheson, a Team USA Olympian and wife of Mike Matheson, is one of many female role models helping to teach the sport to these young ladies.

Floorball is an off-ice version of the sport which uses a small lightweight stick and plastic ball to build fundamentals. The Panthers have implemented Floorball in approximately 250 schools in the tri-county area. “Inside the Panthers LIVE” visits Forest Glen Middle School in Coral Springs, where students and school administrators share their thoughts on the game and the Panthers’ assistance to grow the sport. The Panthers also provide Floorball clinics at the BB&T Center for local educators. Viewers will get an inside look at how these teachers get hands-on experience to bring the game and $1000 worth of Panthers-donated equipment back to their classrooms.

Additionally, the Panthers have provided a Community Champions Grant to the American Special Hockey Association, which provides access to the sport for disabled youth and adults. Viewers will get a feel for this incredible program that is touching lives in ways more meaningful than wins and losses. A Community Champions Grant was also recently awarded to the Panthers Warriors, an ice hockey team comprised of military veterans. Viewers will hear from participants and their part-time coach, former Panthers defenseman Anders Eriksson, about how important this program is for healing these brave Americans.

Finally, Senior Director of the Florida Panthers Foundation and Community Relations John Colombo and Panthers Youth Hockey Manager Matt Janusz guide viewers through a variety of programs, on and off the ice.

Replay Schedule:

Tue 10/08/19 6:00 PM
Fri 10/11/19 10:30 PM
Sat 10/12/19 6:30 PM
Mon 10/14/19 7:00 PM
Fri 10/18/19 6:00 PM
Sat 10/19/19 7:30 PM
Tue 10/22/19 6:00 PM
Sun 10/27/19 7:00 PM
Sat 11/02/19 6:00 PM
Thu 11/07/19 6:00 PM
Sat 11/09/19 3:00 AM
Sun 11/10/19 4:00 PM
Sun 11/10/19 3:00 AM
Mon 11/11/19 10:00 PM

FOX Sports Florida & FOX Sports Sun are the regional television homes of the Orlando Magic, Tampa Bay Rays, Miami Heat, Miami Marlins, Tampa Bay Lightning and the Florida Panthers. The regional sports networks have been fixtures in the homes of sports fans throughout the Sunshine State for over 30 years. Today, the networks combine to produce more than 700 live sporting events and over 300 studio based and original programs year round. FOX Sports Florida and FOX Sports Sun are committed to making a positive impact in the communities we serve by engaging our audiences and providing award-winning TV and web coverage of Florida’s hometown sports teams. For more information, channel listings and how you can get involved with FOX Sports Florida / FOX Sports Sun, visit

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Thursday night, the Cardiac Cats made their dramatic return, erasing their second 4-0 deficit in a matter of two weeks in a 5-4 OT win over the Anaheim Ducks.
Let’s be clear, the Florida Panthers were nowhere near their best. The comeback win was very impressive, but it’s not a game that this team can play consistently and expect to pull off results.

It’s highly improbable, there have only been four games in which a team has overcome a four-goal gap to earn a win. The Florida Panthers have done it twice.

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on Day Off

It came with logical lineup changes and some selfless passing, but Florida somehow got the job done, scoring five goals in a span of 24:00 to defeat the Ducks on home ice. For the first 36:00, however, the Panthers should not be proud of how they played.

It was a kind of game that Anaheim wanted to play, and Joel Quenneville‘s team were surprisingly being not just out-played, but out-coached. The game was very narrow, neither team really spreading the puck out in the neutral zone, but rather staying condensed, patient, defensive. This is not how the Florida Panthers win games, but for the Ducks, they were quite content with the pace.

It showed on the scoreboard, too. Four goals unanswered left Florida in a deep hole with less than 2:00 to go in the second. Brett Connolly‘s quickfire two goals might’ve been the spark of the comeback, but it wasn’t anything different from how the Panthers had been playing. The real change came coming out of the locker room, heading into the final 20.

In previous years of coaching, the Florida Panthers have been very gung-ho to making drastic changes when facing a huge lead. Tom Rowe and Bob Boughner are both equally as guilty to messing with all four lines over one intermission. Players like Mike Hoffman would go through three lines in one game in an effort to make something work.

Now, Joel Quenneville knows what he has in his players, and knows how to get the best out of them. Instead of trashing the first line because they’d been held scoreless by putting someone like Connolly on it, Quenneville made just one change; Frank Vatrano to line two, Mike Hoffman to line three.

The change didn’t seem too meaningful but was a stroke of genius. While he didn’t get any points in the 3rd period or OT period, Vatrano was electric in this comeback. Vatrano laid hit after hit and started chasing the pucks deep in the Anaheim zone, something Florida did very little of in the first two periods.

Anaheim’s first goal of the game came off an extended shift in which the Panthers’ forwards eventually lost focus and left Max Jones wide open at the side of the net. Florida’s 2nd, 3rd, and 4th goals all came on extended shifts, moving around in the zone, and catching the Ducks napping.

Before we get too much into the goals, two players deserve some immense credit for keeping the Ducks at bay; Mike Matheson and Sergei Bobrovsky.

Matheson, who is usually to blame on a nightly basis for a goal, was really impressive at getting back in defense. He made a great play on Derek Grant in the second period (even though Denis Malgin would trip Grant seven seconds later, leading to ANA’s third goal) to poke the puck free on a potential breakaway. In the third, he did that same thing, stripping Troy Terry of the puck when he could have iced the game.

For Bobrovsky, it’s pretty straightforward. Look at the stats tonight, you’ll think he struggled again, but see how three of the four goals really weren’t his fault (Jones wide open in the slot, Jakob Silfverberg screening the goalie on Rickard Rakell‘s power-play goal, and Keith Yandle‘s giveaway leading to Ondrej Kase‘s unassisted goal). Yet again, Bobrovsky was immense in the fourth period, saving all 12 shots on goal to keep Florida alive.

For certain, however, this comeback does not happen without Aaron Ekblad. He has been, to put it lightly, fantastic under Joel Quenneville. His defense looks improved, he’s smarter with the puck, and he finally got to flash some of his two-way value, getting two goals and a primary assist to lead the Cats’ charge.

He won the first star of the night, getting the game-winning goal and primary assist to Dominic Toninato‘s game-tying goal, but it still just doesn’t say enough about his game. He was great defensively, the only time he gave up a goal was Yandle’s giveaway, he kept multiple plays alive with his effort, and was rewarded handsomely. Also, the celebration on the game-winner was sick.

It all comes with one thing: confidence. Under Rowe, Ekblad suffered a bad concussion, in which he was rushed back into the lineup, and played well below his standard. Under Boughner, Ekblad was constantly put into bad situations and really began to lack courage on a nightly basis.

Now, Ekblad has transformed back into 2015-16 all-star Ekblad. 23:30 of time on ice, the most amongst all Panthers, two blocks, three shots on goal (two goals, one which led to a goal), two blocks, three points, arguably the best game of his career.

As I said in the beginning, the Panthers cannot continuously play like this. Coming back from 4-0 down is so improbable, there have only been four seasons in which teams have come back from 4+ goals more than three times. This is the first time of this century there have been four 4+ goal comebacks.

The Panthers, however, deserve some massive praise for this. For a team to play as bad as they did, yet still find a way to win isn’t just the sign of a good team, but a sign of champions.

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Following a spectacular 2019 season for the Florida Panthers, Jonathan Huberdeau is making a strong case for the 2020 All-Star Game with a phenomenal start.
The former third overall draft selection from the 2011 NHL Entry Level Draft experienced a breakout campaign during the 2018-19 NHL season. While suiting up in all 82 regular-season games for the Florida Panthers, Jonathan Huberdeau recorded a sensational slash line of 30 goals and 62 assists for 92 total points.

Simply put, the 2019 season was a historic one for Huberdeau, breaking a franchise record for the most assists in a single season with 62. Moreover, Huby was a pivotal contributor to the success of the team’s first line, forming a dynamic trio alongside Evgenii Dadonov and captain Aleksander Barkov.

Furthermore, Huberdeau was a main part of Florida’s 2nd ranked power play last season. Huberdeau registered a superb 11 goals and 23 assists for 34 total points on the man advantage last year for the Cats.

While Huberdeau certainly experienced a memorable year, a 90+ point campaign for Huby was not rewarded with a trip to the 2019 All-Star Game, unfortunately. The 26-year-old native of Quebec currently has his eyes set on a potential trip to the 2020 All-Star Game in St. Louis with a marvelous start this season.

While participating in 27 games, the longest-tenured Panther (8 seasons) has already recorded 11 goals and 22 assists for 33 total points. More impressively, despite being an integral piece on Florida’s top PP unit, all 10 of Huberdeau’s goals have been scored at even strength.

In addition, Huberdeau has also shown major improvements on the defensive end under Coach Q’s new system. While finishing the 2019 season with a -14 rating, Jonathan Huberdeau currently possesses a +3 rating during the 2020 campaign.

Also, Huberdeau’s giveaway to takeaway ratio has improved tremendously, as well. During the 2019 seasons, Huby recorded an atrocious ratio of 84 giveaways to only 43 takeaways. However, the tide has turned in 2019-20, with Huberdeau producing only 19 giveaways to 16 takeaways.

In essence, Huberdeau has developed into a polished two-way superstar at the NHL level. The 26-year-old has not even entered the prime of his career and is already shattering numerous franchise records as a member of the Florida Panthers organization.

At this current moment, Huberdeau is on pace to establish a career-high mark for most points in a season. Essentially, Huby is currently playing at a 100+ point pace, forming an elite dynamic duo alongside two-way superstar Aleksander Barkov.

Quite frankly, not only does Barkov deserve a spot on the 2020 All-Star Game roster for the Atlantic Division, but Jonathan Huberdeau most certainly deserves to join his linemate. Huberdeau is currently leading the Cats in total points with 33, producing more points than Sasha Barkov, thus far.

Considering Jonathan Huberdeau has never been selected to participate in an NHL All-Star Game, the 2020 All-Star classic should be the first of many in the tremendous career of Huberdeau. The former Calder Trophy winner has helped guide the Florida Panthers to the second seed in the Atlantic Division, hence demonstrating that Huby’s individual success directly correlates with team success.

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Même s’il l’a invité à jeter les gants à plusieurs occasions, Mike Hoffman n’a pas convaincu son ancien coéquipier des Sénateurs d’Ottawa Erik Karlsson, dimanche soir, lors du premier duel entre les deux hommes depuis leur départ de la capitale fédérale.

En juin 2018, la femme de Karlsson, Melinda, a demandé à la Cour de l’Ontario une ordonnance de protection contre la fiancée de Hoffman, Monika Caryk, alléguant qu’elle l’aurait harcelée et intimidée sur le web à de nombreuses reprises. Elle avançait même que Caryk avait souhaité la mort de l’enfant qu’elle portait. L’enfant était mort-né en mars.

Hoffman et sa conjointe ont nié ces accusations, mais quelques jours plus tard, le joueur était échangé aux Sharks de San Jose, qui l’envoyaient à leur tour aux Panthers de la Floride. Trois mois plus tard, ce fut au tour de Karlsson d’être refilé à l’équipe de la Californie.

Dimanche, c’était les grandes retrouvailles, lorsque les Sharks étaient de passage en Floride.

«Je pensais à ce duel depuis longtemps», a dit Hoffman au site internet The Athletic après l’affrontement.

«Je lui ai demandé s’il voulait se battre et il ne voulait évidemment pas, a poursuivi l’attaquant. Je lui ai couru après durant ma première présence sur la glace, je n’arrêtais pas de lui demander. Il ne voulait rien savoir. Il n’arrêtait pas de me dire: “Je ne me battrai pas avec toi”.»

S’il n’a pas obtenu la chance de faire parler ses poings, Hoffman a obtenu une mention d’aide dans un gain de 5 à 1 de ses Panthers.

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WASHINGTON — Brett Connolly couldn’t help thinking back to his time with the Washington Capitals during the previous two days.

Connolly returned to Washington for the first time since signing with the Florida Panthers as unrestricted free agent on July 1 and scored a goal in a 4-3 loss to the Capitals at Capital One Arena on Wednesday.

The memories came back easily while retelling stories during dinner with some of his former teammates at Washington forward Tom Wilson’s home on Tuesday. Connolly relived some of them again during the video tribute that played on the Capital One Arena scoreboard during the first television timeout Wednesday.

“I owe a lot to these guys, these fans and the coaches,” Connolly said. “I’ve said it a million times before, but I do.”

Winning the Stanley Cup with the Capitals in 2018 helped Connolly forge some lifelong bonds and the 27-year-old forward will forever appreciate the career-changing three seasons he spent with Washington. But Connolly has quickly settled into his new life with the Panthers.

He leads Florida with 12 goals in 25 games, including six in his past six games, and is fitting in seamlessly with his new teammates. He’ll celebrate Thanksgiving with several of them at defenseman Keith Yandle’s home Thursday.

Connolly’s breakaway goal
00:36 • November 28th, 2019

The Panthers begin a nine-game homestand, their longest since entering the NHL in 1993, when they host the Nashville Predators at BB&T Center on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, FS-F, FS-TN, NHL.TV)

“It’s been a very easy transition,” Connolly said. “The coaching staff, the teammates have been a very comfortable group to come in and be myself. I’m getting a good opportunity here and it’s been a good start to the season for me.”

On pace for a 39-goal season, Connolly’s fast start with Florida is a carryover from 2018-19, when he set NHL career-highs with 22 goals, 24 assists and 46 points in 81 regular-season games playing mostly on Washington’s third line. With the Capitals having limited salary cap space to re-sign him and unable to provide the top-six forward role he was seeking, Connolly capitalized on his career season by signing a four-year contract with the Panthers, who were looking to add scoring depth and experience.

He’s thriving at left wing on the second line with center Vincent Trocheck and right wing Denis Malgin, helping Florida get off to a 12-8-5 start. Connolly is fifth on the Panthers with 19 points (12 goals, seven assists), putting him on pace to finish with 62.

“He’s been really good for us. His production has been very good for us,” Panthers coach Joel Quenneville said. “He’s got a deceptive shot, can play on the power play. He’s scored some big goals for us, timely goals. He added some size (6-foot-3, 192 pounds) to our team as well, and he has the puck a lot.”

Connolly joined Florida as a different player than the one who arrived who arrived in Washington as an unrestricted free agent in 2016 after the Boston Bruins chose not to make him a qualifying offer to retain his restricted free agent rights. Selected by the Tampa Bay Lightning with the No. 6 pick in the 2010 NHL Draft, Connolly struggled to live up to his high draft position and was traded to Boston on March 2, 2015, for second-round picks in the 2015 and 2016 NHL Drafts.

Connolly’s second of the game
00:33 • November 22nd, 2019

The Bruins gave up on Connolly after he had 25 points (nine goals, 16 assists) in 71 games in 2015-16, and he knew he was running out of opportunities when he signed with the Capitals.

“I was at a crossroads before I came here, there’s no question,” Connolly said. “Kind of like this group [with Florida], right away I was welcomed in and I was comfortable, and the coaching staff just let me play and let me have fun with it. There was no pressure. I just played and it was a really good environment over there to work on your game and be comfortable.”

Bouncing between the third and fourth lines, Connolly scored an NHL career-high 15 goals and had 23 points in 66 games in 2016-17. He followed that with 27 points (15 goals, 12 assists) in 70 regular-season games in 2017-18 and had nine points (six goals, three assists) in 24 Stanley Cup Playoff games to help Washington win its first championship since entering the NHL in 1974. Included in that total was an assist on Lars Eller’s winning goal in the Capitals’ clinching 4-3 win in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Vegas Golden Knights.

“He became confident in what his game was, and he was just using his abilities to his strengths, using his shot and getting confident in how he needed to play to score goals,” Eller said. “I think he really built that here the last couple years and I’m not surprised to see he’s doing well. He always had the talent.”

In addition to playing a larger role at 5-on-5 and seeing increased power-play time (1:27 per game, up from 56 seconds), Connolly is enjoying having a leadership role with a transitioning team looking to qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2016.

“I knew that opportunity was going to be out there, and they’ve definitely given me that,” Connolly said. “I’m a little older. We’ve got a little younger team here and, especially in Washington, everybody was older than me here. It’s a little different (with Florida); a little more responsibility for me, a little more weight on my shoulders to produce and be a consistent player. It’s been a good change, for sure.”

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ISLANDERS (20-7-2) at PANTHERS (15-10-5)

7 p.m. ET; FS-F, MSG+, NHL.TV

The Game
The New York Islanders will look to complete a season sweep of the Florida Panthers when they meet at BB&T Center on Thursday.

The Islanders, 4-2-0 in their past six games, won 3-2 in a shootout at Nassau Coliseum on Oct. 12 and 2-1 at Barclays Center on Nov. 9.

Goalie Thomas Greiss will start for New York; he’s 1-3-0 with a 2.84 goals-against average and .917 save percentage in his past four starts after winning his previous eight starts.

The Panthers look for their fourth victory in six games (3-2-0) following a three-game losing streak. Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky will make his fourth consecutive start after stopping 109 of 113 shots against the Columbus Blue Jackets (4-1 win on Saturday), San Jose Sharks (5-1 win on Sunday) and Tampa Bay Lightning (2-1 loss on Tuesday).

Players to watch
Islanders forward Josh Bailey has seven points (one goal, six assists) in his past six games.

Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau has six points (one goal, five assists) in a four-game point streak.

They said it
“Both Florida teams have outstanding special teams. [The Panthers have] got some high-end guys. We can’t lose the special teams war; that’s a big advantage for them. Five-on-five we can play with anybody.” — Islanders coach Barry Trotz

“He’s been unbelievable. He’s absolutely stood on his head. We kind of let him down the other night against Tampa [Bay]. He did a great job behind us, but we’re looking to build on his big performances so far.” — Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad on goalie Sergei Bobrovsky

Islanders projected lineup
Ross Johnston — Mathew Barzal — Josh Bailey

Anthony Beauvillier — Brock Nelson — Michael Dal Colle

Anders Lee — Derick Brassard — Jordan Eberle

Matt Martin — Casey Cizikas — Cal Clutterbuck

Noah Dobson — Johnny Boychuk

Adam Pelech — Ryan Pulock

Devon Toews — Scott Mayfield

Thomas Greiss

Semyon Varlamov

Scratched: Leo Komarov

Injured: Nick Leddy (lower body)

Panthers projected lineup
Jonathan Huberdeau — Aleksander Barkov — Evgenii Dadonov

Mike Hoffman — Vincent Trocheck — Brett Connolly

Frank Vatrano — Noel Acciari — Denis Malgin

Dominic Toninato — Brian Boyle — Colton Sceviour

Keith Yandle — Aaron Ekblad

MacKenzie Weegar — Anton Stralman

Mark Pysyk — Josh Brown

Sergei Bobrovsky

Chris Driedger

Scratched: Mike Matheson

Injured: Jayce Hawryluk (upper body)

Status report
Leddy practiced Wednesday and took part in the morning skate Thursday but will miss a second consecutive game. Trotz said Leddy was “progressing quite well.” … Hawryluk, a center, was assigned to Springfield of the American Hockey League on a conditioning loan Monday. … Malgin will return to the lineup after being a healthy scratch the past three games. He will replace forward Aleksi Saarela, who was loaned to Springfield on Monday. … Matheson will be a healthy scratch for the first time this season.

Stat pack
The Islanders are 18-0-1 when scoring three or more goals. … New York has been outshot in each of its past seven games. … Florida has been assessed the fewest penalties (88) and fewest penalty minutes (204) in the NHL. … Barkov has seven points (three goals, four assists) in his past six games.

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