John Madden

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Florida Panthers and New Jersey Devils open their series in Sunrise tonight

April 13th carries a lot of history for Kevin Dineen, coach of the Florida Panthers. It was on this day in 1997 that he scored the last goal in Hartford Whalers history. A good goal it was, too - the game-winner in a 2-1 game vs the Tampa Bay Lightning. Dineen, who was captain of the team, also became the first captain of the Carolina Hurricanes, and he scored the first goal for the 'Canes. So April 13th is a bittersweet day in Hartford hockey history.

Tonight, Kevin Dineen will be in the playoffs. But this time, he's going to be there in his first year as a head coach in the NHL, as the head coach of the Florida Panthers, who will be in their first playoff game since 2...

Blackhawks vs Panthers: a little friendly competition

 

Tonight, when the puck drops for the Blackhawks vs. the Panthers, the last of the players who was traded away (and still plays in the NHL) who helped earn the Stanley Cup banner that hangs in the rafters will get their first turn at playing under it.

Kris Versteeg was a popular player while in Chicago, but the post-Cup salary cap purge sent him to Toronto. From there, he would be traded to Philadelphia, and then on to Florida. He was the last of the Cup winners to play against the Blackhawks and had to wait until this season to do it - a November 3 Chicago shootout win at Sunrise. And particularly in light of his current season, where he is one of the Panthers'...

If Lombardi is Healthy, it's Time to Cut Bozak Loose

Early yesterday morning Leaf fans were informed of the positive news that Matthew Lombardi is planning on attending training camp. Seeing as I've been excited since his acquisition, I quickly posted on Twitter that this meant there would be no place for Tyler Bozak.

If Lombardi is healthy, he will slide into the third line centre position between Armstrong and Kadri. That line will be able to provide the Leafs with plenty of offensive support, as well as checking strength (mostly through Armstrong and Lombardi). Depth at the centre ice position, something that the Leafs have been glaringly lacking, will be a welcome strength now that Lombardi seems to be on the mend....