Tag:Keaton Ellerby
Posted on: January 18, 2012 3:50 pm
Edited on: January 18, 2012 4:13 pm
 

Panthers' Jovanovski out two months (broken hand)

By Brian Stubits

The Florida Panthers are so close to being healthy again. They have seen their Southeast Division lead slip all the way down to one point over the Washington Capitals while they have dealt with a rash of injuries, including one to starting goaltender Jose Theodore and at one time seven forwards.

One place they have been lucky in that regard, though, has been on defense. The Panthers have been carrying seven defensemen all season long, rotating the healthy scratch between Erik Gudbranson and Keaton Ellerby, both former first-round draft picks by the organization.

Now they are going to have to rely on both Ellerby and Gudbranson to play together, for their defensive corps finally took a hit. Literally.

The Panthers announced on Wednesday that veteran defenseman Ed Jovanovski could be out for as long as two months after undergoing surgery on his broken hand.

How did he break his hand, you ask? By engaging in a fight with the Bruins' Daniel Paille this week in Florida. In an interesting note of skewed stats, it was Jovanovski's first fight in a Florida uniform since 1999.

So that means that Ellerby will be pressed into action. As mentioned, he has been splitting scratches with Gudbranson this season, but Ellerby has been the one in the press box more often than not, including the last eight games. So now he'll have a chance to prove he belongs.

"[Dineen] just said he knows it's been a tough little stretch and he respects the way that I've handled myself," Ellerby told the Sun-Sentinel on Tuesday. "It's a tough spot, but he said you're going to get that chance. Lucky or unlucky, it happened [Monday night]. I know he's going to expect a lot from me and I expect a lot from myself. I need to go in and prove to them that I can play in this league and just help the team."

Dineen expressed his own confidence in Ellerby to fill the shoes of one of the Panthers' alternate captains (incidentally, Dineen still hasn't named a full-time captain).

"I'll give him credit that he's put in the work, and now the opportunity has presented itself," Dineen said. "He's had days where you could see he had some real jump and he was trying to go out there and improve. And then there were days that he maybe was not as sharp as he should have been.

"I like his size and his skating and his willingness to be a physical player, and to engage and be a guy that is hard to play against."

Jovanovski, who the Panthers brought back to the franchise this summer in free agency, has two goals and six assists this season for Florida. The injury will ensure a third straight season where he played less than 70 games.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: December 22, 2011 9:25 pm
Edited on: December 22, 2011 9:27 pm
 

Nick Foligno ejected; Should he have been?

By: Adam Gretz

Senators forward Nick Foligno was ejected early in the second period of his team's game against the Florida Panthers on Thursday night for charging Keaton Ellerby.



Is that a good call? I think it's tough, and at first glance that appears to be more of a nasty collision than a dirty hit, especially when you watch the second and third angles in slow motion.

Foligno has found himself in the middle of a few controverial plays this season, most of which he was on the receivin end of, including the elbow from Sidney Crosby that sparked a near month-long debate, as well as a recent knee-on-knee hit from Boston's Adam McQuaid.

In a game against Vancouver earlier this month he delivered a pair of huge hits, one of which resulted in a boarding call and a game misconduct.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: May 31, 2011 4:19 pm
Edited on: May 31, 2011 8:59 pm
 

Panthers start busy month by re-signing Skille

The Panthers begin what should be a very busy couple of weeks by re-signing forward Jack Skille. According to TSN's Bob McKenzie, the contract is worth $1.65 million over two years.

Skille, acquired from the Blackhawks in a trade for Michael Frolik and goalie Alexander Salak -- who also just got a deal from his new team in Chicago -- didn't do much in his limited time with the Panthers last season. He played in just 12 games, sitting 13 because of a high ankle sprain. In those 13 games, he scored just one goal and added one assist.

But Panthers GM Dale Tallon clearly still believes in Skille. It was Tallon, of course, who drafted Skille in Chicago with the seventh overall pick back in 2005. He might fit into what Tallon wants the 'Cats to become as Skille brings a physical presence and a tendency to crash the net, two things Florida has been lacking in recent years.

"We are pleased to have Jack return for the next several seasons," Tallon said Tuesday. "He is a high energy and hard working player who made the most out of his opportunity with our team, despite missing 12 games due to injury. We look forward to Jack’s continued contributions to our organization both on and off the ice."

Tallon is just getting warmed up.

The only other move he's made so far this offseason was re-signing young defenseman Keaton Ellerby and, according to the Miami Herald, is working on a new deal for Mike Santorelli -- who was the surprise of the team last season with his 20 goals and 21 assists.

Tallon did, however, take care of another item on the agenda on Tuesday, making a coaching hire to be officially announced on Wednesday. Reports suggest it's former NHLer Kevin Dineen.

But where Tallon really made his name is in the draft, and the Panthers, much like last season, will be very active. Tallon doesn't have quite the arsenal of picks he had last year -- 13 in total -- but he plans on getting them.

"If we can achieve that and get a couple more picks this year, that would give us 24, 25 picks in a year -- that's like four drafts," he told nhl.com. "That really can set us up or the future and give us a strong foundation. That's what we're doing."

In addition to the plethora of draft picks Tallon will have, starting with third overall, he will have plenty of space under the cap to be active in free agency if he so chooses. More money might be available, too, depending how the rest of their free agents play out. The team's highest-paid player last season, Tomas Vokoun, is weeks away from becoming a free agent and the team is yet to decide if they will bring him back. Point being, Tallon will be an active part of the free-agent scene this year.

But his stated goal is to build through the draft, so while the Panthers might try and haul in some players from the market, don't hold your breath.

-- Brian Stubits

-- Photo: US Presswire

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com