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Becoming A Destination

Becoming A Destination

Sunday, 07.1.2012 / 8:07 PM ET / News
Associated Press
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Becoming A Destination

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) - Scott Clemmensen watched the direction of the Florida Panthers change with a roster overhaul last summer. And because he believes better days are ahead, he's not leaving anytime soon.

Clemmensen and Florida agreed on a two-year extension, the first move the team announced Sunday when the NHL's free agent window opened. The Panthers also announced two-year contracts with defenseman Filip Kuba - a Florida draft pick in 1995 - and right wing George Parros, the enforcer who played for Anaheim when the Ducks won the Stanley Cup in 2007.

"I said it at the end of the year and it still holds true today and last week and four months ago," Clemmensen said. "I want to be a Panther. I'm just glad we were able to reach a deal and I'm able to remain a Panther. I'm very excited about it."

Panthers general manager Dale Tallon said the team is still aiming to add offense, but was satisfied with Sunday's work.

"They are hockey moves, solid hockey moves with guys that wanted to come here," Tallon said. "We solidified our goaltending and our defense and added some grit and toughness to our front line and protected a couple of spots for some of our young guys to come in and make our club. We're still not done. We still have a few things in the fryer right now."

Clemmensen was 14-6-6 in 30 regular-season appearances last season for the Southeast Division champions. He went 1-2 with a 2.35 goals-against average in the playoffs against New Jersey, essentially splitting time in that series with Jose Theodore, who is under contract for one more season but may not be back.

Vancouver is willing to trade goaltender Roberto Luongo - a former Panther who still has many ties to South Florida, along with 10 years left on his contract. The Luongo-to-Florida buzz has been growing steadily for weeks, although Clemmensen said Sunday that he enjoyed working with Theodore this past season when the Panthers snapped a 12-year postseason drought and won their first division title.

"If things change, then obviously you adjust accordingly," Clemmensen said. "But from my side, and my point of view as of right now, I'm not really going to worry about what trades or signings might or might not happen. You play the hand that you're dealt and you play to the best of your ability and you go forward from there."

Kuba was an eighth-round pick by the Panthers 17 years ago and last played for the Panthers on Jan. 6, 2000. He was traded to Calgary in March 2000, then claimed in the expansion draft by Minnesota three months later. Kuba played five seasons with the Wild, two more with Tampa Bay and the last four with Ottawa.

He has 69 goals and 254 assists in 792 NHL games.

"Filip is an experienced player who adds further depth to our blue line," Tallon said. "He is a big, strong and responsible, shutdown defenseman."

Kuba's signing indicates that defenseman Jason Garrison, who had 16 goals and 17 assists for Florida last season, will not be back with the Panthers.

Parros, former Princeton player, has 950 penalty minutes in 413 NHL games, all but 57 of those with the Ducks. Parros - probably best known for his dark, distinctive moustache - wrote on Twitter that he leaves Anaheim with "a heavy heart."

Parros said the Panthers' return to the playoffs last season made him and plenty of other players around the league see Florida differently.

"Florida impressed a lot of people and was on everyone's radar," Parros said. "I think we all saw that. It seems like that they've got a good young team together."

Tallon said the reception he's been getting from free agents have been positive for that reason.

"People are starting to look at us and we've been contacted by a lot of top players," Tallon said. "We're excited about our future."

Also Sunday, the Panthers announced one-year, two-way contracts with center Greg Rallo and goaltender Dov Grumet-Morris - who both played for Florida's AHL club in San Antonio last season - as well as right wing Jon Rheault.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
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

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
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
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 35 19 6 .922 2.35
A. Montoya 12 7 3 .919 2.18

 
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