On Friday evening the Florida Panthers will begin their process of building (again?) for their future through the draft but chances are it’ll have little impact on the Rochester Americans. It typically takes two years for a draft pick to work his way up through the junior ranks and into minor league systems. Things could change, but at this point all signs are pointing to this probably being the last season the Amerks and Panthers are affiliated which means we’d never see these draft picks in Rochester.
That could all change once Tallon visits Rochester. If he can sell the Amerks that they really are committed to a winning culture and strong business commitment the affiliation could be saved.
** To get the reaction of Panthers fans about the draft and to even talk about anything else, visit LitterBoxCats.com. There’ll be an open thread and continued analysis of the draft and all moves.
** The Panthers have the 3rd pick in the draft and are likely to pick Erik Gudbranson or Cam Fowler. All signs seem to be pointing to Gudbranson who has been compared to Chris Pronger. Gudbranson is the player that can hit and hit hard but is not as good with the puck. Fowler appears to be the player that is smart with the puck and has a great eye for setting up plays.
** The Cats also have the 15th pick in the draft as well as three second round picks. A number of NHL GM’s and scouts have said this draft has a deep pool of players available. The Panthers have plenty of room to build a roster or make some moves.
** For some video interviews with those players along with Tallon and Scott Luce visit the Panthers video page and click on “Panthers Locker Room.”
** Steve Gorten reported that Keaton Ellerby could possibly be up for a trade. Ellerby was drafted 10th overall in the first round of the 2007 draft and is still working on showing he’s ready for full time duty in the NHL. Pete DeBoer did not seem to have much confidence in Ellerby at the end of the season when even after the Panthers were eliminated from the playoffs he still gave Ellerby very little ice time.
** Jack Birch fired? It appears that he no longer works for the Florida Panthers.
** Dale Tallon says he’s going to work on hiring an assistant GM, a director of player personnel and assistant coach for the Panthers after the draft. (On Frozen Pond)
** Still no word at all on any type of search for a coach for the Rochester Americans. A side note, Benoit Groulx was not named coach of the Amerks until late August 2008. The search could be near the bottom of priorities for Dale Tallon.
I’ll be sitting on a beach all weekend and won’t be tracking the draft like most, but keep an eye on our Panthers affiliate site Litter Box Cats on SB Nation for all types of news and recaps of the draft.