Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Blueline Bolstered - Cullimore Signed

According to floridapanthers.com; The Panthers have reacquired the services of Jassen Cullimore. The 35 year old defenseman played in 65 games for the Panthers last year, and averaged over 18 minutes of ice time per game.

Definitely seen as more of a "defensive defenseman," this move shores up the injury riddled blue line for the Cats. Jay Bouwmeester, Keith Ballard, and Nick Boynton have been moving the puck into the attack very effectively this year. Noah Welch and Karlis Skrastins have been vying for ice time, and they should start seeing some on Thursday. Jason Garrison was called up for the game in St. Louis, and played admirably, even seeing some power play time. Now, adding Cullimore into the mix makes for an interesting balance on the back line.

I'm interested to see what coach DeBoer will do with his defensive pairings. He's kept the ex-Coyotes (Boynton and Ballard) together lately, and they have been playing well. Bouwmeester could see some time with Cullimore or one of the younger players (not that Jay is exactly old, but he is much more a veteran than Welch or Skrastins). Or we could see Ballard and Boynton broken up to allow for an attack-minded D-man with a more patient, defensive minded guy in each pairing. In any case, for a team that has been so weak defensively over the past 3 or 4 or 8 seasons, this seems like a nice problem to have. See you on Thursday.

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