Sports Outside the Beltway

Florida Panthers sign Czech Goalie Alexander Salak

The Panthers were looking to add depth at Goalie. From the Miami Herald blog On Frozen Pond-

Florida Panthers General Manager Jacques Martin announced today that the club has signed undrafted free agent G Alexander Salák to an entry-level contract. As per club policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Salák is a talented, young goaltender who has played very well while developing his skills and competing in Europe,” said Martin. “He will attend our development camp next week and we look forward to his continued growth and production within our organization.”

Salák 22, played in 53 games for TPS Turku (FIN) this season posting a 20-20-9 mark with a 2.40 GAA and a .923 save percentage. While playing for TPS Turku he was coached by Urpo Ylönen who has coached former TPS Turku goalies such as Miikka Kiprusoff and Antero Niittymäki.

The Strakonice, Czech Republic native, played for Budějovice (2002-2006) on their U-18 and U-20 teams, before signing in Finland, prior to the start of the 2007-08 season.

Will Balak be playing in Rochester or Sunrise(The location of the Panthers home arena) next year? The only contender Balak will have for the job of backing up Tomas Vokoun(assuming unrestricted free agent Craig Anderson signs with another NHL team) is Rochester Goalie Mike Brodeur. Brodeur was one of the few good things the Americans had going for them in what was a pitiful 2008-09 season.

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