Per a CBS Sports
article, Bobvrosky will miss the start of the season:
“When asked about whether he plans on rotating Chris Driedger and Samuel Montembeault in Bobrovsky's (undisclosed) absence, coach Joel Quenneville said "Hopefully it's not long, we'll see how many games that is," David Dwork of Local 10 Miami reports.
The Panthers have yet to release any information regarding why Bobrovsky has yet to take the ice during training camp or when he might be ready to return, but Quenneville's comments all but confirm the 32-year-old netminder likely won't be ready when Florida's season gets underway Sunday against Chicago. If that ends up coming to fruition, Driedger will begin the campaign as the Panthers' No. 1 netminder with Montembeault serving as his backup.”
It’s a tough break for the Cats, who need Bob to bounce back and be the guy they spent a small fortune on to persuade to come to Florida. As if it wasn’t already an extremely important position, in a condensed/compact season like the one coming up, goaltending (and how a team uses theirs) is going to be crucial and the difference-maker as this type of season grinds teams down.
What’s concerning is that Bob hasn’t had any on-ice action yet and it sounds like it’s not clear when he’ll be back - so who knows how long it can take to get back up to game speed.
The good news is that we know Driedger is more than capable of handling the role, so I’m not too concerned about that. But if Bob is out longer than we think (hopefully nothing like LTIR), Driedger will need some rest days and so Monty will slot in. I like Monty a lot, and he’s looked good in camp, had some nice games in a Panthers sweater too, but is he ready for an expanded role in a fast-paced season like this? Some guys are stronger with more reps (games), others are better with more time in between their starts. I’m not quite sure which one Monty is yet, so we’ll have to see if (or when) that time comes.
Yandle On the Outs?
It guess CBS is on top of their game lately, because they reported
two days ago that Yandle might be on the outs with Florida:
“Yandle skated with the second group during Sunday's practice, George Richards of Panthers Press Box reports.
Head coach Joel Quenneville split the team into two groups Sunday -- guaranteed lineup locks and guys on the bubble. Yandle landed in the latter group. Quenneville relayed that these groups are fluid and reiterated that he wants to see what the younger defensemen can do. Yandle's $6.35 million cap hit and no-move clause provide plenty of job security -- but it's certainly alarming that he's falling out of favor in Florida. It'll be interesting to see if his training-camp demotion translates into less playing time to start the season.”
Pretty interesting development and one that has certainly caught the attention of a lot of Cats’ fans.
This news started to really swirl in the usual hockey rumor mills today, but is also starting to get picked up by legitimate sources:
And George Richards has a number of articles/Tweets following the story:
Who knows what’s going on. It could be a number of things. It might be as simple as what Q is saying, or it could be that Yandle is being out-played by some of the younger group of defensemen the Panthers are looking at.
If the Panthers are looking to move Yandle, I think it will be kind of tough. Aside from the full-NMC, he’s an aging defenseman that’s owed a good chunk of change. I personally don’t think he contributes much for a team in the way of toughness/an edge or true defense - something the Panthers are desperately trying to achieve. His best fit will be on a team that’s looking for a PP specialist.
I don’t doubt his locker room persona and that he’s good for team morale, but if the Cats are going to improve the blue line and make it tougher to play in their zone, replacing Yandle with someone that can do that should be a no-brainer *cough* Stillman *cough* The tough part is just figuring out how you can move him (if possible).
Let’s face it, Zito has been bringing in a lot of defensemen to look at and my gut tells me there might be someone in that lot who plays a game more in line with what the Panthers are looking to shape their backend to.
Sit tight and keep this one on the radar...
Here’s some encouraging news from the young guys and a pretty interesting line:
Getting closer...Go Panthers!