Sports Outside the Beltway

Florida Panthers re-sign Jassen Cullimore

Only 8 games into the 2008-09 NHL season and the Cats are already banged up at defenseman. From the Palm Beach Post-

CORAL SPRINGS — The Florida Panthers will turn to a familiar face to help get through its series of early-season injuries on defense.

General Manager Jacques Martin announced the signing of defenseman Jassen Cullimore on Tuesday. The 6-foot-5, 244-pound veteran played for the Panthers last season and was in training camp this year.

“I think he probably doesn’t need any transition time,” Martin said. “He’s familiar with our system. He was here in training camp, so he’s probably a good fit.”

Cullimore will replace defenseman Bryan Allen, who Martin said underwent successful knee surgery.

In 65 games last year, Cullimore tallied just 13 points, but his plus-21 ratio led the Panthers.

“He played real well here last year,” Panthers’ coach Peter DeBoer said. “He’s capable of playing in a shutdown role.”

Immigration issues in Canada may keep Cullimore from joining the Panthers before Thursday’s game against Ottawa. DeBoer had forward Wade Belak work with the defense on Tuesday to add some depth.

Martin also said that injured defenseman Cory Murphy will likely miss at least one month, but his injured shoulder will not need surgery.

Cullimore won’t be playing tonight against Ottawa. Cory Murphy is out for a month, Bryan Allen out indefinitely and Bryan McCabe isn’t ready to play after hurting his back. Wade Belak is going to play defense. Belak can fight and intimiidate but passing and shooting are beyond him.

I don’t think much of Cullimore, and neither does most of the NHL apparently. He couldn’t find work after not making the Panthers at the end of camp. On the other hand 38-year-old Bret Hedican(husband to Kristi Yamaguchi) got work again with Anaheim. What’s wrong with this picture?

Former Panther Alex Auld will be in goal tonight. Florida will also be without Center Stephen Weiss who is hurt too. Why then is Shawn Matthias still at Rochester then? I got the answer- The Florida Panthers management is hopeless.

Update- Florida called up Matthias. He is in uniform tonight.

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