For the first time in a really long time, the Florida Panthers have made a huge splash in the Free Agency Frenzy, and we finally have faith and optimism moving forward as we try to find a way to get back into the playoffs. GM Dale Tallon pulled off a lot of stunts Friday to build the team we all want to see succeed as he added several great pieces to our club. I will cover each and every move made this off-season by Tallon, beginning with our first acquisition: Jose Theodore.
The Panthers realized that as July 1st drew closer and closer, our chances of re-signing our beloved goaltender Tomas Vokoun was not going to happen, then on Friday, we discovered that the decision was official, we would finally need to go in a new direction with our goaltending future - atleast until Jacob Markstrom is ready to perform at the NHL level.
Tallon quickly jumped out of the gate as soon as Free Agency began an announced we would have a new net minder between the pipes next season as the club had signed Jose Theodore.
Theodore, who comes from Laval, Quebec, is best known for his time spent in Montreal with the Canadiens. Many of his fans still remember the days when Montreal would face Toronto, mainly for the goaltending duels between himself and Ed Belfour of the Toronto Maple Leafs, (Kind of Ironic they both end up in Florida).
But, just like his boyhood hero before him, Patrick Roy, Theodore was also traded to the Colorado Avalanche. Unfortunately, Theodore did not perform quiet as well as he did in Montreal, and he saw himself enter Free Agency where he was picked up by the Washington Capitals.
Theodore performed amazingly well for the Capitals. But, the reality is, his success there is hard to judge due to the highly skilled players which Washington has, goaltending was not that difficult. Nonetheless, Theodore posted a 62-24-12 record while there, including his 30-7-7 record in 2009-10. But, once again his numbers fell last season while playing for the Minnesota Wild where he went 15-11-3 in 32 games.
Whether Theodore is a bust, or a star in Florida it does not matter because he isn’t exactly breaking the bank, as he is only making 1.5 million a year for the next 2-years, very cheap for a starting goaltender, especially when compared to the money which Tomas Vokoun will attract. And, as I said before, he’s a great asset as we continue our wait for Jacob Markstrom to start up and shine.