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Free Agent Frenzy 2015: Live Blog

MGreen

Sunshine State Hockey will be live blogging from 11:30 AM to 4:00 PM EST during the first day of NHL free agency. Stick with us all day for updates on the biggest signings and possible trades.

11:32 AM – We are officially live and just 28 minutes away from the start of free agency. Some early reports indicate that more than eight teams are interested in Joel Ward, including his current team, the Washington Capitals.

11:40 AM – David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period reports that the Bruins and Red Wings are in the mix for Mike Green. On the trade front, it seems Calgary and Toronto have talked about a deal for Phil Kessel, but nothing incoming yet.

11:45 AM – The Calgary Flames have re-signed goalie Karri Ramo to a one year contract. That takes him off of our top 30 UFA list.

11:52 AM – A highlight reel of the good and bad free agent signings from 2014 is being shown on the NHL Network. Dave Bolland was the first player shown on the bad list.

11:57 AM – The Penguins are currently the front runners for Phil Kessel.

12:00 PM – Free agent frenzy begins now!

12:02 PM – Blackhawks have signed newly acquired forward Artem Anisimov to a five year contract. Anisimov was traded to Chicago in the seven player deal for Brandon Saad.

12:10 PM – Toronto signs Matt Hunwick

12:11 PM – The signings are rolling in. Colorado signs Beauchemin to a three year contract. Goalie Thomas Greiss has signed with the Islanders for two years, $1.5 million per year.

12:14 PM – Adam Pardy re-signs with Winnipeg for one year while Washington signs Taylor Chorney.

12:21 PM – Just a reminder for Panthers fans. Scottie Upshall, Tomas Kopecky, and Brad Boyes are all free agents and will not be brought back to Florida.

12:27 PM – Hearing both Mark Letestu and Andrej Sekera are close to signing with the Edmonton Oilers.

12:38 PM – Paul Martin inks a four year deal with the San Jose Sharks.

12:41 PM – Andrej Sekera and Mark Letestu have signed with the Edmonton Oilers. Sekera will receive $5.5 million per for six years.

12:45 PM – Forward Blake Comeau goes to Colorado for three years. Chicago brings Viktor Tikhonov back to the NHL.

12:47 PM – TSN’s Bob McKenzie reporting that Michael Frolik might be heading to Calgary, nothing official yet but it seems to be a long term deal.

12:48 PM – David Pagnotta reporting that Michal Neuvirth has signed with Philadelphia.

12:49 PM – Brad Richardson and Steve Downie have signed with the Arizona Coyotes.

12:51 PM – Panthers seem to be searching for a backup goalie. That market is shrinking fast.

12:54 PM – Phil Kessel has been traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Kasperi Kapanen, Harrington, and a first round pick.

12:58 PM – Michael Frolik to Calgary is now official.

1:02 PM – Goalie Anders Lindback signs a one year contract with Arizona.

1:05 PM – Panthers quiet so far today. George Richards reporting that Tallon is working on a new contract for Huberdeau.

1:13 PM – Vancouver signs Matt Bartkowski to a one year contract worth $1.75 million.

1:16 PM – Barret Jackman moving from the Blues to the Predators for two years, $4 million per year.

1:19 PM – Florida Panthers sign three minor league players, goaltender Mike McKenna, forward Shane Harper, and defenseman Sena Acolatse.

1:21 PM – Zbynek Michalek is heading back to Arizona on a two year deal.

1:29 PM – Another backup goalie off the table as Jhonas Enroth signs a one year deal with LA.

1:31 PM – More pieces to that Phil Kessel deal. Details still coming in but Nick Spaling is heading to Toronto as part of the trade.

1:37 PM – Alex Burmistrov is coming back to North America, and back to the Jets on a two year contract.

1:51 PM – Rangers sign Diaz.

1:53 PM – Tampa Bay Lightning sign Eric Condra to a three year contract.

2:08 PM – Cody Hodgson signs with the Nashville Predators.

2:14 PM – Vancouver trades Kassian and a 5th round pick to Montreal for Prust.

2:19 PM – John Moore heads to New Jersey for three years.

2:26 PM – The finalized Phil Kessel trade can be seen on Sunshine State Hockey by clicking here.

2:27 PM – Senators sign Zack Stortini.

2:33 PM – The Flames sign Derek Grant, former Ottawa center, to a two way deal.

2:40 PM – We lost one in the shuffle of this frenzy. Toronto signed P.A. Parenteau.

2:42 PM – Aside from those minor league trades earlier in the day Florida has been completely silent so far. It is possible that they make no moves this year, which puts pressure on the young guys to carry the Panthers to a playoff berth this year.

2:52 PM – TSN’s Darren Dreger reporting that Viktor Stalberg is now a member of the New York Rangers.

2:54 PM – The Buffalo Sabres have signed 2015, 2nd overall pick Jack Eichel to a three year, entry level contract.

3:01 PM – Ruslan Fedotenko signs a two way contract with the Minnesota Wild.

3:10 PM – Blues LW Vladimir Tarasenko has received an offer sheet from the Dallas Stars for six years, $45 million, reports are that St. Louis will match.

3:11 PM – Carolina inks TJ Hensick.

3:14 PM – Mike Kostka signs a two way deal with the Ottawa Senators.

3:30 PM – We will be live blogging for 30 more minutes. It seems the signings and trades are starting to slow down.

3:31 PM – Former Blue Jackets player Brian Gibbons has signed with the Rangers.

3:41 PM – Penguins sign D-man David Warsofsky to a one year contract.

3:46 PM – George Richards just tweeted this quote from Panthers GM Dale Tallon: “We would have signed someone if it was a bargain. We weren’t going to overpay and block one of the kids.”

3:51 PM – The biggest signing of the day, Detroit inks defenseman Mike Green to a three year contract. Green was listed as our top available free agent.

3:56 PM – We will be live for just four more minutes. There are still plenty of big names available for the taking, such as Martin St. Louis, Justin Williams, and Joel Ward. Be sure to check all the major NHL news networks for any breaking deals after 4:00 PM. If the Panthers make any moves after 4:00 PM we will report them as soon as they happen.

4:00 PM – It is time for us to sign off for the evening. Thank you for joining us today and we hope everyone enjoyed our coverage of the 2015 free agent frenzy.

Free Agent Frenzy 2015: Top UFA’s

It’s that time of year again in the National Hockey League. Tomorrow, when the clock strikes 12:00 PM EST, all 30 teams will be able to sign any unrestricted free agent they choose. While this year’s free agent class lacks depth there are still some good players to be had for the right price. Below is our list of the top 30 UFA’s that will be available tomorrow.

Ranking Player Position Former Team
1 Mike Green D WSH
2 Martin St. Louis RW NYR
3 Justin Williams RW LAK
4 Mike Ribeiro C NSH
5 Michael Frolik LW WPG
6 Cody Franson D NSH
7 Matt Beleskey LW ANA
8 Joel Ward RW WSH
9 Antoine Vermette C CHI
10 Francois Beauchemin D ANA
11 Andrej Sekera D LAK
12 Chris Stewart RW MIN
13 Johnny Oduya D CHI
14 Christian Ehrhoff D PIT
15 Michal Neuvirth G NYI
16 Eric Fehr C WSH
17 Shawn Matthias C VAN
18 Karri Ramo G CGY
19 Zbynek Michalek D STL
20 Brad Richards C CHI
21 Jiri Tlusty C WPG
22 Curtis Glencross C WSH
23 Brad Boyes RW FLA
24 Lee Stempniak RW WPG
25 Mike Santorelli C NSH
26 Daniel Winnik LW PIT
27 Blake Comeau RW PIT
28 Thomas Greiss G PIT
29 Barrett Jackman D STL
30 Sean Bergenheim LW MIN

Be Sure to check back with Sunshine State Hockey tomorrow when we begin live blogging at 12:00 PM EST for the free agent frenzy.

Former Panthers Dominate Playoff Rosters

Aside from the actual Florida Panthers making the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs there are a lot of former Cats on the other teams participating in the post-season. What is the point of bringing this up? During the 12 year’s without playoff hockey Panthers fans would use this time of year as an excuse to cheer on former members of the organization. Thankfully that is not the case this season as fans in South Florida finally have their club to cheer for in the final 16. Of course that does not mean we should completely forget about our team’s history, especially the bright spots (David Booth) in the dark 12 year’s without playoff action. To help bring back some memories, good or bad, we have compiled a complete list of former Panthers players currently playing for the other organizations in the post-season.

Eastern Conference

#1 New York Rangers:

#44 Steve Eminger – D, played 9 games for Florida during the 2008-2009 season.

#2 Boston Bruins:

#11 Gregory Campbell – C, was a member of the Panthers from 2003 to 2010.

#18 Nathan Horton – RW **, drafted 3rd overall by Florida in 2003.

#44 Dennis Seidenberg – D, Traded to Boston from Florida on March 3rd, 2010.

#4 Pittsburgh Penguins:

No former Panthers on Pittsburgh’s active roster.

#5 Philadelphia Flyers:

#6 Andreas Lilja – D, played in 135 games for the Panthers.

#6 New Jersey Devils:

#18 Steve Bernier – RW, spent the 2010-2011 season in South Florida, registering 15 points in 68 games.

#20 Ryan Carter – C, started this season with the Cats before being claimed off of waivers.

#7 Washington Capitals:

#29 Tomas Vokoun – G, was the Panthers #1 goaltender for four seasons before signing with Washington.

#6 Dennis Wideman – D, picked up 9 goals in one season with Florida.

#8 Ottawa Senators:

#41 Craig Anderson – G, a definite fan favorite during three year’s in Sunrise, FL.

#35 Alex Auld – G, part of the blockbuster trade that sent Luongo to the Canucks.

#17 Filip Kuba – D, played only 18 games in two year’s with the Panthers.

Western Conference

#1 Vancouver Canucks:

#4 Keith Ballard – D, still famous in South Florida for his hip check on Evgeni Malkin.

#34 Byron Bitz – RW, was injured during the majority of his time with Florida.

#7 David Booth – LW, spent six year’s with the Panthers before being traded at the start of this season.

#20 Chris Higgins – LW, another member of the 2010-2011 “blueprint” squad.

#1 Roberto Luongo – G, a member of the Cats for five seasons before being dealt to Vancouver.

#2 St. Louis Blues:

No former Panthers on St. Louis’ active roster.

#3 Phoenix Coyotes:

#13 Ray Whitney – LW, was on Florida’s roster the last time the team made the playoffs.

#4 Nashville Predators:

No former Florida players on the Predators active roster.

#5 Detroit Red Wings

#44 Todd Bertuzzi – RW, traded to Detroit for Shawn Matthias in 2007.

#6 Chicago Blackhawks:

#67 Michael Frolik – RW, drafted by Florida in the 2006 entry draft.

#5 Steve Montador – D, played as a d-man and forward during his three year’s with the Panthers.

#7 San Jose Sharks:

#22 Dan Boyle – D, stayed in South Florida for four seasons and played in 129 games for the Cats.

#18 Dominic Moore – C, NHL journeyman that spent one season in Florida.

#8 Los Angeles Kings

LA does not have any former Panthers on their active roster.

** indicates currently injured players

That makes for a total of 23 players that played for the Florida Panthers at one time during their careers. Some, like Roberto Luongo and David Booth, had a bigger impact on the Panthers history than others, but the fans in South Florida still appreciate the time those men gave to their favorite hockey team.

Do not forget to tune into game 3 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals match-up between the Florida Panthers and New Jersey Devils. Tonight’s game will be a good one, especially since the series in now tied 1-1 after Florida’s win on Sunday, their first in 15 year’s. Coverage begins at 7:00 PM EST on the NHL Network.

Panthers Sign Skille

Finally some hockey news out of South Florida that does not involve sponsorship deals tweeted by Michael Yormark. Dale Tallon has made another move in what is suppose to be a busy off-season, re-signing Jack Skille to a two year contract. Skille was acquired from the Blackhawks back in February along with Hugh Jessiman and David Pacan for Michael Frolik and Alex Salak. The deal is one way and is worth $1.65 million over two years.

The Panthers never got a complete look at Skille and what he had to offer because of injuries. During his first stint with Florida he only picked up a goal and an assist in 13 games. With this signing the Cats have locked up two of their possible free agents, the first being Keaton Ellerby. According to George Richards of the Miami Herald the Panthers next target to lock up is center Mike Santorelli. Talks are supposedly on-going between the two parties but there is no deal done yet.