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What's Next for the Panthers?

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61What's Next for the Panthers? - Page 5 Empty Re: What's Next for the Panthers? on Wed Jun 03, 2009 2:56 pm


Uh...did the Panthers get sold?

I just heard that and thought I was keeping up with things? Shrug

62What's Next for the Panthers? - Page 5 Empty Re: What's Next for the Panthers? on Wed Jun 03, 2009 7:12 pm


Heater> Panthers sold to an investment group the day after Jacques Martin took the job in Montreal...details in my post further up the thread\\

63What's Next for the Panthers? - Page 5 Empty Re: What's Next for the Panthers? on Wed Jun 03, 2009 7:14 pm


davetherave wrote:Heater> Panthers sold to an investment group the day after Jacques Martin took the job in Montreal...details in my post further up the thread\\

I went back and read that. Interesting Balsille didn't try like you were saying, but I see where Shabbs was coming from as well.

64What's Next for the Panthers? - Page 5 Empty Re: What's Next for the Panthers? on Wed Jun 03, 2009 7:22 pm


504Heater wrote:
davetherave wrote:Heater> Panthers sold to an investment group the day after Jacques Martin took the job in Montreal...details in my post further up the thread\\

I went back and read that. Interesting Balsille didn't try like you were saying, but I see where Shabbs was coming from as well.

Check out my post on the Hamilton Tigers thread about what the former CEO of Copps Coliseum thinks...

65What's Next for the Panthers? - Page 5 Empty Re: What's Next for the Panthers? on Mon Jun 08, 2009 11:41 pm


There's talk that either Rick Dudley or Jacques Lemaire will be named GM of the Panthers. There's apparently a possibility that they will both be named to the organization.

It's believed that Lemaire turned down the Lightning (as a senior consultant) for this unknown job - and now it appears it might be as GM of the Panthers.

No link, it's getting late, and I can't remember where I found it in the first place. :^^^^:

66What's Next for the Panthers? - Page 5 Empty Re: What's Next for the Panthers? on Wed Jun 17, 2009 6:03 pm


Things look increasingly bleak for the Cats, according to this report:

Alan Greenberg,, June 16, 2009

During the height of the exciting Stanley Cup Finals, in South Florida one wouldn’t know the sport of pro hockey even existed.

The local papers reported the Cup happenings via abbreviated wire service summaries.

As for the Panthers, the news of the departure of General Manager Jacques Martin and the confirmation that the team is in the process of being sold put the Panthers ahead of NASCAR and high school baseball on the sports pages for one day.

None of this is good news for the Panthers who missed the playoffs for the eighth straight year, albeit by the slimmest of margins. There was progress this year despite the excruciatingly painful season ending.

One can’t blame Martin for bailing. In accepting the offer from Montreal, he returns to his French Canadian roots and his true passion, which is coaching. His record as coach and GM in Florida was mediocre. Unfortunately his departure in the critical month of June leaves ownership dealing with the search for a replacement simultaneously with negotiating the sale of the team and arena to a new management group at a time when it should be preparing for the draft and free agent market.

The search for a new GM is being led by former team President Bill Torrey. Several names have surfaced as possible replacements but the answer might be right at home ice in the person of Assistant GM Randy Sexton. Sexton, who had GM experience in Ottawa and has been very active in Panthers’ contract negotiations has stepped up to the role, at least temporarily, knowing that he is a long shot candidate for the job.

He assumed a host of priorities which Martin was tackling.

With all of the uncertainties one would have to question whether David Booth will now be in any great rush to sign a multi-year deal. That negotiation was a top Martin priority.

Booth may now choose to opt for a one year wait and see arrangement like Jay Bouwmeester did a year ago.

Another of Martin’s off-season objectives was to try to get some value for UFA Bouwmeester who is as good as gone.

As if things aren’t complicated enough, there will be a goaltending void with the sure departure of capable backup, UFA Craig Anderson. The Cats must secure competent relief for Tomas Vokoun who cannot be expected to shoulder the full goaltending load, considering the Panthers tendency to be near the top of the charts in shots against and Coach Peter DeBoer’s propensity to give Vokoun games off after a few soft goals.

Sexton has already hinted that the Panthers may attempt to move up in the draft where they now have the fourteenth pick. This can be done via player trade or possibly for the exclusive negotiating rights to Bouwmeester before the July 1 free agency deadline. The likely loss of Bouwmeester and a few high priced veterans will create cap room for some interesting deals.

The Snowbirds are gone and the South Florida hockey situation is near critical.

The Panthers have no GM at a most crucial point of the hockey year.

Randy Sexton will do a yeoman’s job given the tools and limited time availability. In the June-July time frame there is the draft, development camp, pouring through scouting reports, and negotiating with existing free agents (such as Bouwmeester, Radek Dvorak, Karlis Skrastins, Ville Peltonen, Nick Boynton, Craig Anderson and Richard Zednick who has an out clause in the KHL contract he signed if an NHL team matches their offer).

Based upon what happens at the Draft tables June 26th and 27th and who is left unsigned come July 1st the cattle auction promises to be very interesting and critical to the survival of the team.

The financial bleeding and ticket giveaways can’t go on forever.

Hockey may not get much press during Florida’s off-season but the behind the scenes action is fast and furious.

67What's Next for the Panthers? - Page 5 Empty Re: What's Next for the Panthers? on Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:14 pm


The complete text of George Richards' article, the link having been posted on the Bouwmeester thread:

Bill Torrey Speaks: Say Goodbye to Jay Bouwmeester
George Richards, On Frozen Pond/ June 18, 2009

Bill Torrey, who is leading the search for the Panthers new general manager, spoke to the Florida beat writers today on a conference call to update us on the search.

So far, Mr. Torrey has interviewed a few people saying he spent a few days in Toronto. He'll be meeting with more people next week in T.O. and Montreal as well.

He also alluded to the trade of Jay Bouwmeester's exclusive rights, saying he expects to be on the phone all weekend. He added that assistant GM Randy Sexton is working the phones as well.

"We're at the point where decisions have to be made and we have to move ahead,'' Torrey said. ''We're working on the process.''

He won't rush this process, he says, because he would rather be long than be wrong.Torrey adds that he has about 60 legitimate applicants for the gig.

"It's been a very interesting process,'' he said. "I thought there would be quite a bit of interest in the job, have over 60 inquiries one way or another.

''I've gotten far enough along, starting to do face to face interviews. I want to get to the point where the serious candidates are personally interviewed, perhaps more than once. There are very few who I don't know something about previously.''

On not naming names:

"It will encumber the process, slow it a bit and create some situations I don't really need. I have been given permission by teams to talk to people, but they don't what those names out there. I promised I wouldn't. So what's good for some is good for all.

"I've spoken to Alan and the ownership here, they understand the circumstances. We have this issue [draft, free agency], that they've asked me to participate in. It's a very busy week. I won't complete the process before the draft. I will meet people up north next week. We're moving along well. Interest is very encouraging.

''I would like be able to announce it tomorrow in a certain sense, but this is too important a hiring. This franchise will benefit from stability. I hope the man I pick will be here a long time and bring this franchise a lot of success.

"I want this hire to be as permanent as it can be in this business. We have stability behind the bench, with our scouting staff. I've been impressed with how they've dug in and prepared for the draft. We're moving ahead in all areas.

"We have a few decision that have to be made before the first of July. The process is going to go forth. Most important thing is finding the right person. We have some good people in place, and that's different. I've made that clear to the candidates. Pete DeBoer is going to be our coach and so on down the line. I haven't heard a single negative about that by anyone. Everyone was really impressed with the job Peter did. People in hockey have known him for years. He's a real benefit.

''It's my responsibility to identify the best candidate. I've been in touch with present ownership as well as prospective ownership. They are aware of what we're doing and where we're at. They seem very comfortable with it.''


The context in which all of this is evolving is key. Bill Torrey, the architect of the New York Islanders' championship success and one of the key figures in the launch of the South Florida franchise, has now stepped in and taken over the stewardship of the Panthers.

Wayne Huizenga, the founder of Blockbuster Video, was originally awarded the Panthers' franchise back in December 1992.

However, like all of Huizenga's sports ventures in South Florida (including the NFL Dolphins and the MLB Marlins), the Panthers could not sustain a fan base, nor could they achieve a consistent success as a team.

The fact is that South Florida is a black hole for pro sports except for the NBA.

I would not be surprised if the Panthers are moved within 12-24 months.

68What's Next for the Panthers? - Page 5 Empty Re: What's Next for the Panthers? on Fri Jun 19, 2009 2:40 pm


Steve Gorten of the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel provides his update on the Reinprecht trade as well as the transcript from his conversation with GM Randy Sexton.

Steve Gorten,, June 19, 2009

I haven't been able to speak to center Steve Reinprecht about his trade to the Panthers from the Coyotes and subsequent three-year contract signing with Florida. According to the Panthers, Reinprecht is vacationing right now on an island off the coast of Spain.

However, Panthers' assistant general manager Randy Sexton, before boarding a plane to head north, did speak to the local media on a conference call a little while ago about Reinprecht. Here is what Sexton said:

*** (What does Reinprecht bring?)

First and foremost, he brings speed. The last four years since the lockout we’ve seen the speed in the league increasing each year and we’ve made a very focused effort to increase our overall team speed.

No. 2, [Nathan Horton] did a good job in the middle last year, but everybody that saw us play regularly knows he’s really a shooter, not a set-up guy. We felt strongly in order to get maximum productivity out of Hordy, we needed a center that could play with either he or Michael Frolik. Stephen Weiss fits the bill, but we really needed another guy, and Steve Reinprecht fits the bill. …He’s got good skill, he’s put up decent numbers, won a Stanley Cup, he’s good on faceoffs, which is a critical area for us, and he’s got a pretty good percentage in shootouts, so he addressed a lot of needs.

*** (Do you see him playing on the top two lines next season?)

Ultimately it’s up to [coach] Peter [DeBoer] who plays where, but Pete and I talked a lot about this deal before we did it. We felt strongly, along with our pro scouts this was a guy that could realty help us, so I full expect him to play in our top six. [/size]

*** (Was Reinprecht’s experience in the NHL the reason you were willing to give up Meyer?)

Stefan has done a great job for us for four years, but was never able to make the next step on a consistent basis. You want to give him an opportunity to show what he can do on another organization. And at the same time, we’ve got a bonafide NHL guy who has played about 600 games, he has won a Stanley Cup, played a prominent role in Colorado when they won the Cup and has a very consistent track record. So while we didn’t want to give up Stefan, it was a great opportunity to upgrade our team.

*** (What kind of guy is he?)

He’s a high-end quality character guy with good leadership skills. I talked to [Panthers’ defenseman and former Reinprecht teammate in Phoenix] Keith Ballard today, he raved about him. Keith said to me he thought he’d fit in really well with our group – funny guy, good guy, works hard on and off the ice.

*** (Did this deal come together quickly or is it something you’ve been working on?)

He’s a guy we identified early on in the process. But until I took over responsibilities here, nothing could be done. …We pulled the trigger yesterday afternoon and spent a good chunk of the evening last night on the phone with Steve’s agent working out the details of his contract.

*** (Why did you choose to go in this direction by making this deal?)

He’s a guy that has played almost 600 games in the National Hockey League, so he comes bonafide. He’s a smart player. He’s a good playmaker. We experimented with Hordy at center last year. It had mixed success. Peter and I felt strongly we needed to get Nathan back on the wing, and we needed a playmaker that could get the puck for he and Cory Stillman or [David Booth] and Michael Frolik, whoever Peter ultimately plays him with. [Reinprecht] has that ability.
*** (You see him being a scoring-line guy even though most of his career he hasn’t been put in that situation?)

Well, he has the capability. He played in Colorado a number of years behind Peter Forsberg and Joe Sakic. There are an awful lot of players who put in that role would be in a similar situation. Ideally, he’d be an 80-point guy, but if he was an 80-point guy we’d be paying him $5 or $6 million. We think he’s a very, very good fit for the top six we have. He’s more of a playmaker than a scorer.

*** (He hasn’t averaged many games – is that the result of healthy scratches or injuries?)

He has had some injuries in the past, but if you look at the last couple of years, especially last year, he was healthy. He was a healthy scratch a couple of times late in the year when
Phoenixhad a number of kids up from the minors and made the trade to send Olli [Jokinen] to
Calgary. But there’s no doubt in anybody’s mind that knows the game and the league that Steve Reinprecht is a legitimate National Hockey League player. He has played most of his career as a third-liner, but has the skills and the smarts to be a second-line player.

69What's Next for the Panthers? - Page 5 Empty Re: What's Next for the Panthers? on Sat Jun 20, 2009 6:29 pm


ESPN's EJ Hradek and Puck Prospectus' Richard Pollock cogitate on the Cats.

Departure of top defensemen leaves Panthers with big problem
EJ Hradek, Richard Pollock, ESPN INSIDER, June 17, 2009

Plugging Holes - Florida Panthers

What's Next for the Panthers? - Page 5 Fla
The Hole: Defenseman

What was the Florida Panthers' greatest strength last season may very well be its biggest weakness in 2009-10. Unless Jay Bouwmeester stuns the hockey world and stays in Florida, the Panthers are going to have to replace 25-plus minutes of All-Star defensive play on the back end. With Tomas Vokoun between the pipes, and a nice core of young forwards, Florida is going to need to move swiftly in order to replace Bouwmeester's myriad of skills. Considering the Panthers had the second-worst even strength defensive GVT (-26.2) with Bouwmeester, it is scary to think how this defensive group is going to struggle without his services.

The Fix: Sign D Greg Zanon (UFA, Predators)

Most expect it to be difficult for the rebuilding Panthers to sign a high-profile veteran free agent defenseman. As a result, targeting an effective player under 30 is probably the team's best opportunity to improve. In Zanon, the Panthers would be getting an underrated defenseman who was overshadowed by the likes of Shea Weber, Dan Hamhuis and Ryan Suter in Nashville. Zanon is very physical (second on team in hits), blocks shots (first on team) and has good on-ice awareness. In fact, his GVT in 2008/09 was 5.3 -- an impressive number for a defensive defenseman (ahead of fellow defenders Chris Phillips 3.4, Robyn Regehr 2.1 and Mike Komisarek 0.7) and top ten overall on his own team.

E.J.'s Take: First things first, the Panthers are currently interviewing candidates for their vacant GM position. That makes it a little difficult to predict what the club might do. Whomever they hire, it's hard to imagine a circumstance where Bouwmeester decides to return to South Florida. So, they will need to make some fixes on defense.

While I think adding free agent Greg Zanon would be a nice depth move, I hardly think that would solve the full problem. Zanon could be one of two or three defensive additions that would help fortify the Panthers' back line.
Florida would be wise to pursue Ds like Francois Beauchemin, Dennis Seidenberg and/or Mike Komisarek. Penguins' defenseman Rob Scuderi would bring grit and winning experience. Any of these guys would give them the tougher edge they need.

If they're looking for a puck-mover, they might take a run at Devils free agent Johnny Oduya, a terrific skater who should be affordable after making just $600,000 last year. If the Panthers wanted to make a pitch for a bigger fish, they could make an offer to Canucks free agent Mattias Ohlund, who should be among the most sought-after defensemen on the market.

Richard Pollock is a writer for Puck Prospectus. E.J. Hradek is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine.

Note: A mainstay of Puck Prospectus's metrics is "Goals Versus Threshold" (GVT). The stat blends an array of offensive and defensive figures to measure the value, in terms of goals, a player contributes above what the marginal player would over the course of the season. A marginal player is one that could be replaced with a player of equivalent skill, e.g. from the minors. For instance, Evgeni Malkin had an offensive GVT of +18.9, a defensive GVT of +4.5 and a total GVT of +23.4 for the 2008-9 regular season, meaning that Malkin was worth 23.4 goals more than a marginal player over the course of the season, or worth about 0.3 additional goals per game. In the team context, GVT refers to performance above an NHL average team. For the regular season, the Detroit Red Wings had a +30.8 offensive GVT, a +15.1 defensive GVT, a -21.5 goaltending GVT, for a +24.4 total GVT. Therefore, at even strength, Detroit was 24.4 goals better than the average team.

70What's Next for the Panthers? - Page 5 Empty Re: What's Next for the Panthers? on Mon Jun 22, 2009 9:17 am


Craig Custance, The Sporting News, June 21, 2009

His responsibilities are endless: Get ready for the draft, figure out what to do with free agent-to-be Jay Bouwmeester, plan for free agency -- and he's not even sure he'll be a long-term general manager for Florida.

Randy Sexton still is the Panthers' assistant GM But until a replacement for former GM Jacques Martin is found, he has been told to do whatever it takes to improve the team.

Sexton chatted with Sporting News' Craig Custance about his unusual situation and the upcoming plans in Florida.

Q: Does a new management team in Florida help the cause when it comes to keeping Jay Bouwmeester in Florida?

A: I don't know. There are changes in management too frequently in professional sports. In tough economic times, sometimes there are changes of ownership. From my perspective, it's simple. I've got a full plate of things I want to get done to improve our team between now and the draft and July 1.

Q: What's the latest on the ownership situation in Florida?

A: I'm not in that loop. I don't honestly know. I speak to (Florida owner Alan) Mr. Cohen daily -- it's all focused on the hockey operations.

Q: How does the general manager vacancy affect things?

A: They've been very clear. Mr. Cohen and (alternate governor) Bill Torrey said, 'Look, there's a search going on. In the interim, act like you are the G.M. You know what to do, get to work.'

Q: Is it safe to assume you want to be considered for the job when they make a hire?

A: I do.

Q: Have they formally interviewed you or is this more like a trial run?

A: I don't want to talk about myself. I don't think that's appropriate, to be honest.

Q: Would there be a G.M. hire made before the ownership situation is settled?

A: I don't know the answer to that. That's a good question. I don't really know. I have lots to do, a very clear set of activities. ... We are very well prepared for the draft and still have work to do to make sure our list is pristine. ... I've talked to a number of teams around the league to see what they're looking for at the draft. We've talked about moving up and moving down. Picking at 14, we're going to get a very good player and don't feel a need to go up and down.

Q: Would you be willing to trade your first-round pick if it helped to acquire a player who could get the Panthers in the playoffs this season?

A: I don't think so, unless somebody blows our socks off with a deal. I don't get the sense that's going to happen. We're committed to a long-term strategy here. We don't want to be a one-year wonder. We're finally building some true depth and strength in our organization. ... I'd like to have more picks. There's a chance we'll pick up a few (draft picks). We're not at the stage yet that we'll move a first-round pick. We think we can get to the promised land with the people we have returning and the free agents signed.

Q: David Booth can become a restricted free agent, I imagine getting a deal done with him is a priority.

A: We're making good progress; a number of conversations with David's agent. They've been clear, they want to come back, we want him to come back. Ultimately, it's about finding the common ground.

Q: With Jacques Martin's departure for Montreal, is there any change in the organizational philosophy?

A: I would say for the most part, it's the same. We need to build depth and strength at all positions. I would say, the one difference between Jacques and I is that I like to have a team that's more physically aggressive. It's not that Jacques was against that, but we vary slightly there. I like a team that can play all styles of play. If we're going to Philadelphia and Washington and they want to get physical, I want to make sure that our coaches are armed to play physical.

Q: I've got to ask. Any interest in Dany Heatley?

A: No thanks. We wouldn't be able to fit Dany into our budget.

71What's Next for the Panthers? - Page 5 Empty Re: What's Next for the Panthers? on Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:09 pm


The Cats pick Kulikov to replace Jay.

72What's Next for the Panthers? - Page 5 Empty Re: What's Next for the Panthers? on Sat Jun 27, 2009 6:39 pm


Pierre Lebrun, 27, 2009

MONTREAL -- Randy Sexton deserves to have the interim tag dropped from his GM title after the move he pulled off this weekend at the NHL draft.

Doug Risebrough appears to be the front-runner for the Panthers job (Doug MacLean, Neil Smith and Jay Feaster are also in the mix), but Sexton, it says here, should get some consideration given Saturday's trade.

In trading
Jay Bouwmeester to the Calgary Flames for Jordan Leopold and a third-round pick, Sexton somehow got solid value in return for the defenseman, who the entire hockey world knew was going to walk into the open free-agent market Wednesday. A 2009 third-round pick may not sound too sexy to the average hockey fan, but half a dozen other GMs we spoke to Saturday saluted Sexton for getting a tangible asset.

"A third-round pick is a lot," said one GM.

"An unconditional third-round pick is, to the best of my knowledge, the best anybody's ever gotten for somebody who's going to go UFA," said Sexton. "We felt we had to get some intrinsic value. And when there's nobody else in the race, it limits your negotiating position.

"So we held tight for as much as we could get. And, at the end of the day, we felt it was important to do a deal and get some value instead of none."

If Sexton is able to sign pending UFA blueliner Jordan Leopold, the other asset Florida got in the deal with Calgary, then that's icing on the cake.

"For our organization, it was a critical day," said Sexton. "When it became apparent we couldn't sign Jay, we wanted something of value. We worked very hard over the last two weeks to put together a deal."

Bouwmeester seemed even-keeled Saturday when asked about the trade in an interview with

"I was very aware of all the rumors, so to say it was a surprise, I'd be lying," Bouwmeester said after a round of golf with family. "I half expected for something to happen."

When Sexton lost the Flyers as a dance partner (Philadelphia was hot to trot on Bouwmeester, but went another route and grabbed
Chris Pronger on Friday), the Panthers were a little worried.

"We were well along the way with three teams, but they were all in these other deals," said Sexton. "So when the Flyers did their deal for Pronger, it kind of knocked them out of the box. We went back last night, we regrouped, put together another game plan, came in today, talked to three or four teams and [Calgary GM] Darryl [Sutter] and I shook on a deal."

The deal was consummated at 9:30 a.m. ET on the draft floor. And as Sexton revealed, Panthers fans were lucky they got this past season out of Bouwmeester, whose camp told the Panthers of their intention to exit a long time ago.

"About 18 months ago, they gave us a list of teams they were interested in and Calgary was right at the very top," said Sexton. "He's an Alberta boy and Darryl is an aggressive guy. He's clever, he's creative. I think he'll find a way to get [a deal] done."

Sutter, for our money, has taken a worthy gamble. He gave up a solid asset for a short, five-day window of exclusivity with Bouwmeester. But given the amount of interest that would come on the open market for the 25-year-old stud blueliner (15 teams contacted Florida about Bouwmeester this week), Sutter was smart to give himself a private audience for a few days.

"We now have the opportunity to talk to him, which we didn't have before," said Sutter. "Obviously, we've had interest in Bouwmeester for a long time. Now we have to see if we can make something happen."

But Sutter downplayed the Alberta angle.

"I don't think that has any bearing on it," he said. "If it did, then everybody in Edmonton and Calgary would be playing in Edmonton and Calgary."

Bouwmeester obviously has a lot of friends and family in his native Alberta, but he said everyone realized just because the Flames acquired his rights doesn't mean he'll sign with them.

"Everyone is aware of the situation," said Bouwmeester. "There's not much I can say right now. I'll definitely listen to what they have to say, but it is what is."

He knows Sutter was on his way to see him over the next few days. "It'll be good to talk, so we'll see what happens," said Bouwmeester.

What is probably most enticing is that the Flames are routinely in the playoffs and already boast two highly talented blueliners in
Dion Phaneuf and Robyn Regehr.

"If I was even an average defenseman, I'd want to play on a defense that had Robyn Regehr and Dion Phaneuf," said Sutter.

Sutter has five days to convince Bouwmeester to forgo a July 1 day the defenseman's been circling for more than a season. Expect the odd phone call from
Jarome Iginla, perhaps, and maybe a sales pitch from Regehr and Phaneuf, as well.

It's all hands on deck now as the Flames try to lock up the most attractive commodity on this year's market.
Pierre LeBrun covers the NHL for

73What's Next for the Panthers? - Page 5 Empty Re: What's Next for the Panthers? on Sat Jun 27, 2009 7:14 pm


Kulikov's a great choice for them. He can step in right away.

74What's Next for the Panthers? - Page 5 Empty Re: What's Next for the Panthers? on Sun Jun 28, 2009 2:54 pm


Their D future actually looks quite bright.
this is the kind of team that may add 1 or 2 elite forwards and contend.

75What's Next for the Panthers? - Page 5 Empty Re: What's Next for the Panthers? on Thu Jul 02, 2009 7:46 pm


ESPN's Pierre Lebrun rates Randy Sexton's moves...


• Also deserving credit is Florida Panthers interim GM Randy Sexton, who Thursday night signed UFA Jordan Leopold to a one-year deal worth $1.75 million, meaning he was able to get a top-four blueliner and a third-round pick from Calgary in exchange for Jay Bouwmeester's rights last weekend. Of course, Bouwmeester will be sorely missed, but the point is, he was walking out the door no matter what so Sexton was able to recoup some nice value at the 11th hour.

Keep that in mind next March at the trade deadline when a bubble team doesn't sell off a pending UFA; there's still time to trade him in June and get some value back.

Sexton also gets kudos for reacting to the loss of free-agent goalie Craig Anderson by signing Scott Clemmensen at only $3.5 million total for three years and keeping David Booth, a cornerstone of the franchise, with a six-year deal.

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