First off I would give some props to Dale Tallon for the quick signing of Tomas Kopecky for some offense (stats below), albeit I think he overpaid a bit a 4 years 12 million (especially since Kopecky made 1.2 mil last year). They could have gotten him for a bit cheaper but there trying to reach the cap floor with a little over 20 million left to spend and Kopecky was a bigger winner for that reason.
2009–10 Chicago Blackhawks 74 10 11 21 28 (GP G A PTS PIM )
2010–11 Chicago Blackhawks 81 15 27 42 60
The Panthers are continuing to talk with Vokoun and are trying to get him signed before Free Agent Frenzy. My take on it is that:
1. I don't think they'll get him signed before July 1
2. I'd be happy letting him go based on the amount of soft goals and terrible games he had last year (does know one remember this or do they just attribute it to the Panthers lack of any semblance of offensive production)
3. Jacob Markstrom. (Vokoun's not going to accept a 1 or 2 year deal to stay with the Panthers when he can get a long term $$$ contract elsewhere....The Panthers should only require his services for another year or two so I don't see anything happening in the long term unless they plan to trade him in 2 years. Markstrom should be ready this year or next to make the long awaited transition to the NHL and be the Panthers' goalie of the future.
Other than that, I am very hesitant to see what happens in the next couple of days with Tallon's Blueprint. Having only 13 players under contract with 20+ million to reach the floor sounds nice but can be used up quickly (he just spent 11 mill on 2 players-Campbell and Kopecky) and he better pay market value during free agency not this cap-floor based salary (because you know once the Panthers reach the floor they're staying in the lobby and aren't spending anymore).
I didn't and still don't understand not offering a contract to Bergfors. Tallon traded for him to be a part of the blueprint than ditched the young promising player (I really hope this doesn't turn into a Grabner situation- Never forget!)
Lastly, Shout out to Dan Spiegel for holding down things on the Panthers front with respect to his sole blog on the Cats, I think there's room for a couple more (especially when the Panthers start winning again?)