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Forums :: Blog World :: Matt Ross: Catnip: Zito Thoughts
Author Message
Matt Ross
Joined: 03.15.2013

Sep 9 @ 10:12 PM ET
Matt Ross: Catnip: Zito Thoughts
HenryHockey
Season Ticket Holder
Detroit Red Wings
Location: Gwinn, MI
Joined: 01.26.2020

Sep 9 @ 11:44 PM ET
kinda lonely down here........
jimbro83
New York Rangers
Location: LETS GO RANGERS, NY
Joined: 12.25.2009

Sep 10 @ 7:47 AM ET
they gave Yandle a NMC, and guys never want to waive their NMC to get traded from a no tax state like Florida and he'll have to be protected in expansion draft

they can leave Matheson unprotected and hope Seattle bites
Bob Habib
Philadelphia Flyers
Joined: 08.01.2020

Sep 10 @ 8:51 AM ET
Auto is such a good signing!! It is about time he got his shot.
I'm a flyers fan and was silently cheering for zito to be our guy before chick Fletcher took over.
Zito has a history of success everywhere he goes. Hia passion for the sport and for winning are unbridled..
I think you guys will really be happy with Zito. The days of mediocrity may be behind you guys.

Congrats on the hire!
harveykline
Joined: 09.01.2009

Sep 10 @ 8:52 AM ET
I have no problem with Zito. He has a proven resume. My problem was with the people making that decision. Again, time will tell.
And yes, no one is untouchable. And yes you have to be willing to part with guys like Barkov, Ekblad, Huberdeau because those are your only assets besides draft picks.
As a watch the playoffs the one glaring thing missing from the team is toughness especially on defense.
Matt Ross
Joined: 03.15.2013

Sep 10 @ 9:05 AM ET
I have no problem with Zito. He has a proven resume. My problem was with the people making that decision. Again, time will tell.
And yes, no one is untouchable. And yes you have to be willing to part with guys like Barkov, Ekblad, Huberdeau because those are your only assets besides draft picks.
As a watch the playoffs the one glaring thing missing from the team is toughness especially on defense.

- harveykline


Could not agree more, Harv.
Matt Ross
Joined: 03.15.2013

Sep 10 @ 9:06 AM ET
they gave Yandle a NMC, and guys never want to waive their NMC to get traded from a no tax state like Florida and he'll have to be protected in expansion draft

they can leave Matheson unprotected and hope Seattle bites

- jimbro83


Oh, totally. That’s why I was saying it would be a tall order to move Yandle, but would be great if they could figure out how. Haha.
Matt Ross
Joined: 03.15.2013

Sep 10 @ 9:06 AM ET
Auto is such a good signing!! It is about time he got his shot.
I'm a flyers fan and was silently cheering for zito to be our guy before chick Fletcher took over.
Zito has a history of success everywhere he goes. Hia passion for the sport and for winning are unbridled..
I think you guys will really be happy with Zito. The days of mediocrity may be behind you guys.

Congrats on the hire!

- Bob Habib


Ross77
Winnipeg Jets
Joined: 11.21.2014

Sep 10 @ 10:30 AM ET
hi Matt,

what is more likely;
a complete tear down/re-build or minor tweaking?
Udogs
Joined: 09.19.2019

Sep 10 @ 12:15 PM ET
Ekblad for Laine, lets make it happen!
Ross77
Winnipeg Jets
Joined: 11.21.2014

Sep 10 @ 12:53 PM ET
Ekblad for Laine, lets make it happen!
- Udogs


I've seen much worse proposals,

Huberdeau - Barkov - Laine
would be sick, just sick!!!
DK002
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Evanston, IL
Joined: 06.12.2012

Sep 10 @ 1:28 PM ET
Hey Matt,

good luck to Zito. Looks like a real solid hire. Just need to upgrade the D a bit and get Bob to wake up. That contract for him is a killer.

Sorry to see Dale get bounced, but it was time. He did leave a good group of players and a good coach. I don't know the ins and outs and the time line regarding when Dale was in and then out and then back in again during his tenure but the giveaways to the Knights in that draft def hurt.

Best of luck next season.
JimboCoppertone
Florida Panthers
Joined: 01.22.2016

Sep 10 @ 2:12 PM ET
Hey Matt,
Nice write up. I think you hit the nail on the head with Zito--the more I see/read, the more hope that I have. At the least, it wasn't an obvious mistake or an attempt to fill the role at a bargain price. So, I am looking forward to see what he (and Q) can do.

Now that we're back to Square 1, I think the vision and identity are critical, as you pointed out. We need a guy who knows what the ultimate winning Panthers look like and play like and then finds players to fill those roles. Talented guys who don't play as a team and don't play hard when it counts aren't going to get us there.

No one builds a championship race car from the best available parts. The right parts in the right systems make the total performance package. The Panthers have been too piecemeal, in my revised analytical opinion. It's time to build to an identity, style of play, etc.

Zito and Q need to get on the same page asap. I imagine those discussions will be interesting. I assume Zito will want to build from Bob up, since he is most familiar with Bob and Bob had proven success in Columbus. Q needs to figure out if Matheson and Yandle, in particular, can be coached and fixed or get the green light to nail their butts to the bench, until alternative homes are found. Everybody needs to get the message that loafing will not be tolerated. I'm sure that Zito knows how to deliver that message to the appropriate agents. If they can do that, that's the beginning of the cultural change we're desperate to see.

Go Panthers!
NewYorkNuck
Vancouver Canucks
Location: New York, NY
Joined: 07.11.2015

Sep 10 @ 2:41 PM ET
If Florida does go the rebuild route, what would it take to get Ekblad? Picks? Prospects? Not sure what your team is missing in the system
Ratsreign
Florida Panthers
Joined: 10.27.2017

Sep 10 @ 2:58 PM ET
hi Matt,

what is more likely;
a complete tear down/re-build or minor tweaking?

- Ross77

Something in between. I don’t see them tearing it all down, but just letting both Dadonov & Hoffman walk is already a pretty big tweak. Try to find a taker for Matheson, and somewhere that Yandle would want to go. FL will not trade Barkov, I also really doubt that they’d move Ekblad. Huberdeau could be a possibility if the return is a top pair d man, but Idk about doing that this offseason if both Dads & Hoff are gone.
For now, I still see Barkov, Huberdeau, and Ekblad as the core they build around.

Will be interesting to see what Zito does. GR asked him if he already had an idea of what the team needed to take the next step, Zito’s eyes kinda lit up when he answered that he certainly did... we’ll see.
Matt Ross
Joined: 03.15.2013

Sep 10 @ 7:04 PM ET
hi Matt,

what is more likely;
a complete tear down/re-build or minor tweaking?

- Ross77


I think what Rats allied to (a few comments down) is probably pretty likely - something in between?
Matt Ross
Joined: 03.15.2013

Sep 10 @ 7:05 PM ET
Hey Matt,

good luck to Zito. Looks like a real solid hire. Just need to upgrade the D a bit and get Bob to wake up. That contract for him is a killer.

Sorry to see Dale get bounced, but it was time. He did leave a good group of players and a good coach. I don't know the ins and outs and the time line regarding when Dale was in and then out and then back in again during his tenure but the giveaways to the Knights in that draft def hurt.

Best of luck next season.

- DK002


Thanks, DK! I agree with you, it was time for Tallon to move on, but he certainly brought some nice pieces in over the years.

Matt Ross
Joined: 03.15.2013

Sep 10 @ 7:07 PM ET
If Florida does go the rebuild route, what would it take to get Ekblad? Picks? Prospects? Not sure what your team is missing in the system
- NewYorkNuck


Ready-now defensemen are much needed. Haha.

I know TOR and FLA are in a similar spot when it comes to the blueline...we’re all in the same (unfortunate) boat!
Matt Ross
Joined: 03.15.2013

Sep 10 @ 7:07 PM ET
Something in between. I don’t see them tearing it all down, but just letting both Dadonov & Hoffman walk is already a pretty big tweak. Try to find a taker for Matheson, and somewhere that Yandle would want to go. FL will not trade Barkov, I also really doubt that they’d move Ekblad. Huberdeau could be a possibility if the return is a top pair d man, but Idk about doing that this offseason if both Dads & Hoff are gone.
For now, I still see Barkov, Huberdeau, and Ekblad as the core they build around.

Will be interesting to see what Zito does. GR asked him if he already had an idea of what the team needed to take the next step, Zito’s eyes kinda lit up when he answered that he certainly did... we’ll see.

- Ratsreign



Matt Ross
Joined: 03.15.2013

Sep 10 @ 7:11 PM ET
Hey Matt,
Nice write up. I think you hit the nail on the head with Zito--the more I see/read, the more hope that I have. At the least, it wasn't an obvious mistake or an attempt to fill the role at a bargain price. So, I am looking forward to see what he (and Q) can do.

Now that we're back to Square 1, I think the vision and identity are critical, as you pointed out. We need a guy who knows what the ultimate winning Panthers look like and play like and then finds players to fill those roles. Talented guys who don't play as a team and don't play hard when it counts aren't going to get us there.

No one builds a championship race car from the best available parts. The right parts in the right systems make the total performance package. The Panthers have been too piecemeal, in my revised analytical opinion. It's time to build to an identity, style of play, etc.

Zito and Q need to get on the same page asap. I imagine those discussions will be interesting. I assume Zito will want to build from Bob up, since he is most familiar with Bob and Bob had proven success in Columbus. Q needs to figure out if Matheson and Yandle, in particular, can be coached and fixed or get the green light to nail their butts to the bench, until alternative homes are found. Everybody needs to get the message that loafing will not be tolerated. I'm sure that Zito knows how to deliver that message to the appropriate agents. If they can do that, that's the beginning of the cultural change we're desperate to see.

Go Panthers!

- JimboCoppertone


Totally agree, Jimbo!

Think about those early Panthers teams...Not a lot of talent, but a lot of guys willing to do the work and grind it out. That was their identity and they found success with it.

The current Panthers have no identity and need to establish one. I believe that comes with someone/people (Zito and Q) having a clear vision of what this team should look like, how they should play, and how to get there.

From there, it’s all about finding the pieces to build that machine!
Ratsreign
Florida Panthers
Joined: 10.27.2017

Sep 11 @ 11:48 AM ET
Listened to George Richards’ latest podcast @ FL Hockey Now, Zito was a guest as well as two Columbus beat writers.
It seems Zito notices the lack of toughness, commitment, or whatever you may describe it as, that we as fans see. He said something along the lines of; Imagine if you could get these guys to all commit 100% to always doing whatever it takes, then it’s already a pretty good group... then Zito talked about how 100% commitment will be expected from everyone, starting with himself.
As far as his eye for young talent goes, one of the Columbus writers mentioned how Zito built his agency up from scratch by being able to pick out under the radar players to represent, who went on to become solid NHL players. It was mentioned that he negotiated Wisniewski’s big contract with CBJs, then after he joined CBJ front office, Zito bought Wisniewski out. It was also mentioned that he is a savvy and tough negotiator, “...a few of those contract negotiations in Columbus left a mark.”
It was also humorously noted that he is now reunited with Bob, and how Bob NEVER would’ve gotten his current deal from Zito.
harveykline
Joined: 09.01.2009

Sep 14 @ 8:30 AM ET
Would have liked Zito give Habs for rights to Edmundson
Ratsreign
Florida Panthers
Joined: 10.27.2017

Sep 15 @ 8:19 PM ET
Kitchen out as asst coach. Allegedly kicked player sitting on bench in the back (a “full on kick”) after player slammed water bottle in frustration and got Kitchen wet. Happened back in January during game @Minnesota. Guess Tallon was gonna let it slide but Zito isn’t. He should’ve been fired anyway, just for his performance as coach of the defense.
https://www.tsn.ca/florid...icking-incident-1.1524767

Dudley hired as senior advisor to the GM, Fenton also hired with same title.
Gregory Campbell is vp of player development, Blake Geoffrion is AGM, both were with Zito in Columbus for the last several years.
https://www.nhl.com/panth...rations-staff/c-319046126