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GM Journal

G.M. Journal: Reflections On 2011, A Look At 2012

Sunday, 01.01.2012 / 7:00 PM / Blogs
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G.M. Journal: Reflections On 2011, A Look At 2012
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.


Happy New Year Panthers fans. As we close the book on 2011 I thought it would be a good time to reflect on an important year of growth and development for our organization, while also looking ahead to an exciting 2012.
Clearly, our team has come a long way over the last 12 months. It starts at the top where our owner Cliff Viner made the commitment to making this team better and building it the right way.
Behind the bench we hired head coach Kevin Dineen who has brought an incredible level of passion, commitment and coaching acumen to our team. Then we went out and acquired a host of new players to boost the skill, speed and character of our roster.
Once training camp began the big question was: how long would it take to develop the chemistry we needed to compete and start winning hockey games. Thanks to our coaching staff, and the commitment of both our new players and returnees, that happened pretty quickly.
Thus far, we’ve gotten solid goaltending from Jose Theodore, Scott Clemmensen and even rookie Jacob Markstrom when he’s been called upon. Meanwhile, our defensemen have made an impact not only in keep in our zone, but also in contributing offensively.
Brian Campbell and Jason Garrison have been very effective playing the points on our power play, Ed Jovanovski and Mike Weaver have been solid on the ice and great leaders off of it, and youngsters like Dmitry Kulikov, Erik Gudbranson and Keaton Ellerby have shown glimpses of the impact they could make in the future.
Up front, there’s no doubt we’ve been carried at times by our first line of Stephen Weiss, Kris Versteeg and Tomas Fleischmann, but we’ve got contributions up and down the lineup from players such as Tomas Kopecky, Shawn Matthias and others.
Our fans have to be excited that, sitting here on Jan. 1, 2012, the Panthers are sitting in first place in the Southeast Division, but there is still a long way to go. Looking ahead to the next few weeks, I’m hoping some of our injured players heal up and get back in the lineup. Certainly we are missing the contributions of forwards such as Marcel Goc, Sean Bergenheim, Jack Skille and Scottie Upshall, though we’ve gotten solid contributions from the likes of Tim Kennedy, Bill Thomas and others.
I’d also be remiss if I didn’t comment on the support that we have gotten from our fans all season long. For a franchise that has struggled through a long run of disappointing seasons, the energy and size of the crowds during our games at the BankAtlantic have been nothing short of spectacular. To have three straight home games with 20,000-plus fans over the last week tells me that we have only scratched the surface of South Florida’s passion for hockey, and for our team.
I would only expect our crowds to continue to grow as the season goes on and we continue to jockey for playoff position in the Eastern Conference. I think we’ve proved a lot during the first half of the 2011 season. We’ve show that we have a clear direction and plan for this franchise, and it is starting to pay dividends. We’ve shown that, led by Kevin Dineen, we work hard and play an exciting brand of hockey. We’ve also shown that we can compete with any team in the league on any given night.
It’s going to be exciting 2012 there’s no doubt, and I want to personally thank all of our fans for continuing to support us and make South Florida a great hockey town. Happy New Year.




1 PIT 32 22 6 4 102 72 48
2 NYI 33 23 10 0 104 91 46
3 MTL 34 21 11 2 92 83 44
4 TBL 35 20 11 4 113 93 44
5 DET 34 17 8 9 94 84 43
6 TOR 34 19 12 3 114 102 41
7 NYR 31 17 10 4 93 81 38
8 WSH 32 16 10 6 95 85 38
9 BOS 34 17 14 3 86 88 37
10 FLA 31 14 9 8 69 79 36
11 OTT 33 14 13 6 89 92 34
12 PHI 33 13 14 6 92 99 32
13 CBJ 32 14 15 3 79 102 31
14 NJD 35 12 17 6 77 102 30
15 BUF 34 13 18 3 66 109 29
16 CAR 33 9 20 4 68 92 22


N. Bjugstad 31 12 7 0 19
A. Ekblad 31 5 14 4 19
J. Jokinen 30 3 13 -2 16
B. Boyes 30 5 9 0 14
J. Hayes 23 7 6 2 13
J. Huberdeau 28 3 10 0 13
V. Trocheck 20 3 9 2 12
S. Bergenheim 21 5 4 2 9
S. Upshall 20 4 5 1 9
T. Fleischmann 29 3 5 6 8
A. Montoya 2 2 2 .915 2.27
R. Luongo 12 7 6 .926 2.28 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 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 © 1999-2014 Florida Panthers Hockey Club, Ltd and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.