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08-09-2010, 09:44 AM
Georgia Panther
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Dale Tallon's Latest Blog

Update on the state of the Panthers.

Meanwhile, with the addition of defenseman Mike Weaver, a top penalty killer and player who logged almost 17 minutes per game for St. Louis last year, we have positioned our blueline for healthy internal competition in training camp, leading to a better overall defensive unit once the season begins in earnest in October.

If you look at our defense right now, in front of Tomas Vokoun and Scott Clemmensen, we have Bryan McCabe, Bryan Allen, Dennis Wideman, Dmitry Kulikov, Jason Garrison, Nathan Paetsch and Mike Weaver, all competing for regular playing time. They could also be pushed in camp by players such as rookie Erik Gudbranson, youngsters Keaton Ellerby and Colby Robak, and new signing Joe Callahan.

The fact is, as head coach Pete DeBoer has said even before I got here in May, we need to cultivate a competitive environment where every player feels the pressure to perform and earn their position – from first line center down to a fourth line checking forward.

The same situation exists at forward, where there could be upwards of 18 players competing for only 12 or 13 spots. Every day, from the start of camp until the end of the season, there will be pressure on our players to perform and give their all. From a GM’s perspective that’s what you need, and from a fan’s perspective, it’s going to be exciting to watch.

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