The Florida Panthers made official this morning the firing of Assistant GM Stever Werier, as Dale Tallon continues to undo moves made by the previous administration, now including the hiring of Werier. TSN’s Bob McKenzie, who first reported the front office change, states that the order may have come down even prior to last week’s Expansion Draft, but is just now being made public. The move corresponds with Tallon’s recent hiring of Chris Pronger and Bryan McCabe to front office positions, as the old guard is being moved out and Tallon is taking the team in a new direction.
- Part of that new direction is adding more toughness to the lineup, which Tallon plans to do today with the expected signing of enforcer Micheal Haley. TSN’s Bob McKenzie confirmed that the Panthers plan to sign Haley, 31, when free agency opens. The veteran forward has only played in 130 NHL games, but skated in a career-high 58 contests with the San Jose Sharks last season, recording 12 points and 128 penalty minutes.
- Another new movement in Florida is a desire to get quicker. According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, that means that 45-year-old legend Jaromir Jagr will have to move on to yet another destination if he wishes to continue his career. Dreger’s TSN colleague Pierre LeBrun has stated that Jagr has cut ties with the Panthers and is on the hunt for a new team to give him a chance at extending his hockey playing days.
- One player sticking with the Panthers (for now) is defenseman Jason Demers. The veteran righty, a major 2016 free agency acquisition, has been on the trade block this past week, but Pierre LeBrun reports that he used his No-Trade Clause to nix a deal with the Vancouver Canucks earlier this week. Florida seems intent on moving Demers, but he seems reluctant to move. The impending impasse could prove to be an intriguing story this off-season.
- Two players the Panthers do want around are prospects Reece Scarlett and Chase Balisy. TVA’s Renaud Lavoie revealed that the young defenseman and forward have inked new deals with Florida as of this morning. Both one-year and two-way, Scarlett will make $650K at the NHL level, while Balisy will make $675K.