Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Joe & Gary Show Moves down south
The Florida Panthers signalled the NHL's new era Monday by outbidding the Toronto Maple Leafs as the free-agent market opened with more tire kicking than actual signings.
The Panthers kicked off the free-agent period by signing veteran forwards Joe Nieuwendyk and Gary Roberts, long-time buddies who will play together on an NHL team for the third time.
''We started our careers together and we wanted to finish our careers together. And going to Florida gives us that opportunity,'' said Roberts.
It didn't take long for the Leafs to get their first taste of the new economic order, unable to match the two-year, $4.5-million US deals each player got from Panthers GM Mike Keenan.