Not as funny as Norm MacDonald, less irritating than Jimmy Fallon, probably more informative then Kevin Nealon, and certainly more coherent then Dennis Miller, this is weekend update!
Ok, the big news of the weekend was the waiving of Wade Belak. His ice time was dwindling, and his performances were uninspiring, to say the least. His role as "enforcer" has no meaning if he has to start fights every game because the Cats are down 4-1 every night. The goal is to win games, not fights. So he hit the wire. And according to "On Frozen Pond," the team was not too pleased about it. Read his post for more. Maybe it'll "upset" the team enough to make them work harder, maybe it'll backfire. We'll just have to wait and see on that one. It is still possible for him to remain in the organization, and more then likely sent to AHL Rochester, if no one claims him by noon tomorrow (Monday). Very unlikely. But a message was sent.
This move came two days after making Rostislav Olesz a healthy scratch in Boston. While many in South Florida may not be devastated by the Panthers woeful start, it is clear that Pete DeBoer is not happy. According to quotes from floridapanthers.com, “I think everyone here should be on notice,” said DeBoer. “The status quo isn’t good enough… It’s not good enough where we’re sitting and there’s going to be consequences throughout the lineup because of that.” Watch out, Horton. Better pick it up, Bouwmeester. The bright spots of the season are the acquisitions that Jacques Martin made this offseason. Cory Stillman, Keith Ballard, and Bryan McCabe have all contributed. The returning guys who fans and coaches were depending on have not (Weiss, Bouwmeester, Zednik, Olesz...) If things don't improve quickly, starting tomorrow night against division rival Carolina, expect moves to be made. Bouwmeester has been disappointing, failing to score a goal in the first 19 games and really assert himself like he has shown in the past. Add the early season dropoff with his refusal to sign a long term deal, and he's being openly shopped, and Martin isn't exactly trying to hide it. From the Miami Herald; "I've been talking to other managers, trying to make different moves,'' Martin said. "You get to a point where we need to send a message to our players that we're not going to accept this. We need better performances. If we don't turn it around, we're going to have to do something.''
I love seeing DeBoer accept nothing but success. In previous years, it's felt like the Panthers just sat around and accepted slow starts to the season, waited until February before flipping the switch. Now, here we are in the waning days of November, and it's improve or hit the pine. I love the attitude. I just hope it actually shows on the ice... and yes, I realize I'm not exactly adept at photo editing, it's crude but does the job. Oh well. Puck drops tomorrow at 7:30.