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Panthers owner tells GM Tallon he can spend to cap

Jan 12, 2014, 1:44 PM EDT

Dale Tallon AP

The Florida Panthers are losing $20 million to $30 million annually and are asking for additional help from Broward county in an attempt to stop or slow the bleeding.

At the same time, owner Vinnie Viola wants to make it clear that he’s not abandoning his commitment to turning the Panthers into a competitive franchise. In fact, he gave GM Dale Tallon the green light this week to spend to the salary cap.

“They’ve given me an open [wallet]. I’m pumped up,” Tallon told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “We can do hockey deals now, what the best deal is as far as hockey is considered.”

That gives Tallon a tremendous amount of flexibility as the Panthers currently have the lowest cap hit in the NHL, according to Cap Geek.

They also have around $40.5 million in cap space committed to 12 players for the 2014-15 campaign, but with the ceiling projected to reach $71.1 million, they can afford to be very aggressive in the trade and free agent markets as they work to build around their young and still developing core.

Related:

How the Panthers make money despite, er, losing money

  1. rbbbaron - Jan 12, 2014 at 1:55 PM

    Welcome back Brian Rafalski, you retired too early and probably will have tried to return a bit too late.
    Maybe the Wings can eat some of Weiss’ contract in effort to help send him back to Florida?
    Maybe Kovalchuk now remembers why he left Russia in the first place? Were there any restrictions on him being able to return to the NHL following his ‘retirement’?

    • lowenni - Jan 12, 2014 at 1:59 PM

      Every player you listed has 0% chance of going to Florida.

      • nj666 - Jan 12, 2014 at 2:50 PM

        rafalski is playing for the florida everblades in the echl…

      • lowenni - Jan 12, 2014 at 3:16 PM

        Fair enough, but a) he could sign with any team in the NHL, not just the Panthers because he’s already in Florida and b) doubtful Rafalski actually makes it back to the NHL in the first place.

      • kyegrace - Jan 12, 2014 at 3:38 PM

        Rafalski has made it clear he has not interest to reside anywhere but Florida. So, yes, there is little likelihood of him signing anywhere but as a Panther or Lightning.

        As to whether he can still play in the league. Very valid question.

    • jennettalia - Jan 12, 2014 at 2:02 PM

      Kovy can’t come back until he’s 35. That being said, I don’t think any of that had anything to do with the article.

      • greatmiamisportsmind - Jan 12, 2014 at 11:25 PM

        If Kovalchuk comes back tomorrow or in 24 years, the Devils would still own his rights. Basically his mega contract he signed is just frozen in time and would resume upon coming back to the NHL.

      • jennettalia - Jan 13, 2014 at 1:08 AM

        No great, Kovalchuk is a free agent as of his 35th birthday. The Devils would then no longer own his rights.

    • amyekessler - Jan 12, 2014 at 3:03 PM

      $85 an hour! Seriously I don’t know why more people haven’t tried this, I work two shifts, 2 hours in the day and 2 in the evening…And what’s awesome is I’m working from home so I get more time with my kids. Heres where I went… w­­­w­­­w.Buzz19.COM

      • coolkidchris - Jan 12, 2014 at 4:59 PM

        I’m sure there’s a very good reason(s) people haven’t tried this….

  2. crazemastercraze - Jan 12, 2014 at 2:02 PM

    Can we please just move this team already.

    • greatmiamisportsmind - Jan 12, 2014 at 11:26 PM

      No

  3. ejbigg - Jan 12, 2014 at 2:16 PM

    I know there is a lot of cynicism around the Panther from the hockey community, but this is actually great news for the team. As the link at the bottom indicates, the Panthers were used as a gateway to create the entertainment company that really makes all the money. The Panthers will still be used to offset the gains from the company’s other ventures, but at least the owner is willing to put in money to help the team be competitive.

  4. atwatercrushesokoye - Jan 12, 2014 at 2:17 PM

    The Canadian dollar has dropped below $0.92 US for the first time is several years, with 35% of the league revenue coming from Canada this has to be a real concern, I think we should hold off on assuming the cap will go to $71.1 million at this point.

    • greatmiamisportsmind - Jan 12, 2014 at 11:32 PM

      Except the new Canadian tv deal is more than double the previous tv deal the Canadians had. So even if the Canadian dollar falls to .75 to the American dollar, it’s still more money for NHL teams to spend (since cap is determined by revenues gener

    • greatmiamisportsmind - Jan 12, 2014 at 11:33 PM

      Except the new Canadian tv deal is more than double the previous tv deal the Canadians had. So even if the Canadian dollar falls to .75 to the American dollar, it’s still more money for NHL teams to spend (since cap is determined by revenues generated) and more money for owners to bank

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Jan 12, 2014 at 11:39 PM

        That’s true but keep in mind that the tv deal is paid in Canadian dollars all expenses (salaries) are paid in US dollars. The tv deal has gone down 5% since it was signed. It’s not like the cap is going to crash and go down, but estimations on what it will be are a little premature at this point.

        One question I have, perhaps you know the answer: is there a lag between revenue and the cap? For example next season is the first with the new tv deal, is it factored into the 2014-15 cap or does it roll in the year after?

      • greatmiamisportsmind - Jan 13, 2014 at 12:45 AM

        As far as I know, the cap is adjusted to the prior year’s revenue. So the cap this year was determined from 2012-13 season.

        Next years cap will be based on revenue’s from this season.

  5. storminator16 - Jan 12, 2014 at 2:41 PM

    I see another possible destination for Cam Ward….

  6. flyeredup - Jan 12, 2014 at 2:50 PM

    Quebec soon please.

  7. beergold - Jan 12, 2014 at 4:43 PM

    Neon for Jovanoski and Kessel for Hurberdeau straight up.

    Please call Nonis today and spend that money!!!!!!!

    • greatmiamisportsmind - Jan 12, 2014 at 5:54 PM

      At least people in Florida can spell Huberdeau correctly.

      Why on earth would Florida give up Huberdeau who was the Calder winner last year for Kessell, who is 6 years older?

      • beergold - Jan 12, 2014 at 8:38 PM

        Whoosh feel the wind as it went by your head. Huberdeau is twice the complete player Kessel (softer than Charmin Ultra) ever will be no question but since Florida is opening the bank well……..you want him?

      • hubeydubeydoo11 - Jan 12, 2014 at 10:39 PM

        Beergold youre stupid to think Florida would give him up for kessel…Tallon made is clear huberdeau is off the trade block and wouldnt be moved. Plus Huberdeau loves the franchise and doesnt want to move anytime soon. Sorry The Leafs would have to give up way more then that to get Huberdeau

  8. tougie24 - Jan 12, 2014 at 6:37 PM

    The only way they can entice players to a non-traditional hockey market is by giving them horrendous contracts, so this is certainly good news for players and for the team. As long as those horrendous contracts go to players who are worth it and not over the hill.

  9. greatmiamisportsmind - Jan 12, 2014 at 11:21 PM

    I’d say having nice weather year round and no income tax in the state of Florida would be enough to entice players to come.

    That’s pretty much how Brad Boyes, Tim Thomas, and Tom Gilbert were signed here. All of them signed here after Vinny Viola bought the team. At least he’s making an honest effort to put a winning team on the ice.

    Now that maybe he’ll pay for players to come here, we could make the playoffs a little more often than once every 13 years (1 time since 2000-01 season), and the fans will start show up more. Kind of like the following season after they made the playoffs and sold 97.3% of tickets in the 6th largest NHL arena

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