GM Journal

G.M. Journal: On The Road Again

Friday, 09.24.2010 / 11:31 AM ET / Blogs
Florida Panthers
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G.M. Journal: On The Road Again
A exclusive, Panthers general manager Dale Tallon will be sharing his thoughts with Panthers and hockey fans throughout the year in his blog entitled G.M. Journal.


We’re halfway through our four-game preseason road trip, and I have to admit, it’s good to finally be playing games. After two exhibition games – a 4-1 win at Carolina and a 3-2 win over Boston last night in Rochester – we’re starting to get a sense of what type of team we have.
For fans, it must have been exciting that young players like goalie Jacob Markstrom (17 saves, 0 goals against) and Erik Gudbranson (1 goal, 1 assist), excelled in their first NHL game action. And of course its nice to have David Booth back and playing the way he is capable of, with two goals in last night’s win over Boston.
All told, it’s been a successful training camp thus far. It was incredibly positive for the organization to spend a week of rookie camp and a week of main camp in South Florida at the Iceplex. From a player and staff point of view, we were home and able to spend time with our families and sleep in our own beds every night.
It was an added bonus to practice in front of our own fans, whose support has been nothing short of extraordinary since we opened camp. I was particularly impressed with the turnout for our first rookie game against the Nashville Predators, when over 1,500 fans packed the Iceplex.
That tells me that there is some real, sincere excitement about this organization, and for hockey in South Florida. But now it’s time to do our jobs, to reward that support and grow it by putting a winning team on the ice.
We know it can be done here. Talk to Director of Player Development Brian Skrudland or Assistant Coach Gord Murphy – both original Panthers – and they’ll tell you about the mid-90s when the Panthers won, and subsequently owned the town.
We want to bring that feeling back, as quickly as possible, and this Training Camp is just another step toward that goal. The puck has dropped and the evaluation process has truly begun.
During the offseason, it’s easy to envision where everyone will fit. It’s during the offseason when every piece fits neatly together, and forms a team that plays well, plays hard, and accomplishes our goals of making the playoffs and contending for the Stanley Cup this year, and into the future. But once the puck drops, that’s when you see what people are made of, what their true colors are, and how the pieces really fall in to place.
Thus far, we’re seeing that we’ve got some pretty good pieces. You’ve got to be impressed with our goaltending, which has seen Tomas Vokoun, Scott Clemmensen, Tyler Plante and Markstrom all play well, allowing three total goals. 
We’ve had a bunch of fresh faces get in the mix as well. Forward Mike Santorelli and defensemen Dennis Wideman and Nathan Paetsch all scored goals, Andrew Peters dropped the gloves, and Joe Callahan and Scott Timmins got on the scoresheet as well.
Tomorrow night we get back at it with the Bruins in Boston, and then on to Montreal for a good test in front of hostile crowd at the Bell Centre. Finally, next week the BankAtlantic Center will host its first game of the 2010-11 season, and I expect those same passionate fans to make a good showing.
As of today, we’re just over two weeks until the regular season opener, and I will admit that I’m filled with a mixture of nervousness and excitement. After spending the bulk of my career in Chicago, this is my first season with a new team in over a decade.
Obviously, working with a new franchise with new expectations, and moving with my wife to a new city, lends to the nervousness. But for the most part, I am excited about the challenge that lies ahead. I’m excited to help this franchise get back to the days when hockey ruled this town and our fans had a team that they could all be proud of. Every day is a new step toward that goal.




1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69


J. Jagr 79 27 39 23 66
J. Jokinen 81 18 42 25 60
A. Barkov 66 28 31 18 59
J. Huberdeau 76 20 39 17 59
V. Trocheck 76 25 28 15 53
R. Smith 82 25 25 19 50
A. Ekblad 78 15 21 18 36
N. Bjugstad 67 15 19 -8 34
B. Campbell 82 6 25 31 31
B. Pirri 52 11 13 -4 24
R. Luongo 35 19 6 .922 2.35
A. Montoya 12 7 3 .919 2.18 is the official Web site of the Florida Panthers. Florida Panthers and are trademarks of the Florida Panthers Hockey Club, Ltd. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks and NHL Draft name and logo are trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2016 Florida Panthers Hockey Club, Ltd and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.