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Belfour to Florida?


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An on-again-off-again negotiation with the Florida Panthers is on again for veteran goaltender Ed Belfour.

 

Sources tell TSN Belfour is in Florida today working out for the Panthers.

 

If the 41-year-old netminder passes his medical evaluation it is believed the Panthers will sign him to a one year deal that could pay him as much as $1.5 million.

 

Following Florida's first attempt at signing Belfour several days ago, he decided to go through a similar process with the Detroit Red Wings. However, his efforts failed to attract the contract he was seeking.

 

For Belfour, a stop in Florida will bring his NHL career full circle. He started in the early 1990's in Chicago with Mike Keenan at the helm and it appears he may end his career as a Panther...again with Keenan overseeing his hire.

 

 

 

That relationship led to a pair of Vezina trophies, a Calder trophy, a Jennings trophy and a trip to the Stanley Cup final.

 

Both Belfour and the Panthers believe some of that magic still exists, even if it comes in a backup role to Alex Auld.

 

Now its up to the 'Eagle' to prove he still can soar.

 

 

If he is here as a backup I don't have any problems. Perhaps he can teach Auld a thing or two. :mischief

 

But if he is our starter than we'll have to see how much our defense has improved because he is no longer the player he once was.

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Belfour would be the veteran tender that this team needs...no offense to Anderson, who would probably be shipped to the minors, but Auld is young and up-coming (although he is no Roberto) but he still needs to be thought a thing or two and who better than Belfour, who has won all those awards

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It appears Belfour passed his physical. I have no confirmation on that yet, though.

 

 

Here is your confirmation

 

 

 

The Eagle might be landing in South Florida after all.

 

Future Hall of Fame goaltender Ed Belfour passed a physical Wednesday morning at BankAtlantic Center and was in contract negotiations to become the backup goaltender for the Florida Panthers.

 

Belfour, whose 2005-06 season was interrupted by a back injury that ultimately required surgery, could sign as early as Thursday.

 

According to reports in Canada, Belfour, 41, is seeking a one-year deal worth $1.5 million. Belfour, who led Dallas to the 1999 Stanley Cup championship by making 53 saves in the decisive seventh game, had been negotiating with Detroit. Reports there stated he was offered an incentive-laden deal that could have reached $1 million for the coming season.

 

Jack Birch, the Panthers' director of hockey operations, would not comment on Belfour's visit to South Florida. A team spokesperson said the Panthers would have no official comment other than confirming Belfour passed his physical and the team is moving forward on reaching a deal.

 

Belfour has spent the past three seasons with Toronto, going 22-22 last season and saving 89 percent of his shots faced. In the 2003-04 season, Belfour went 34-19-6 for the Leafs with 10 shutouts.

 

Belfour has played in 905 regular-season games during his 16-year career. Belfour, who started his career with a Chicago Blackhawks team coached by current Florida GM Mike Keenan in 1988-89, has a career record of 457-303-111 with a 2.48 GAA and a save percentage of 91. In 161 postseason games, he is 88-68 with a 92 save percentage.

 

Belfour is ranked second all-time in wins by an NHL goalie -- behind Patrick Roy -- and is a two-time winner of the Vezina Trophy for the league's best goalie.

 

The Panthers are in the market for a new goalie pairing after trading Roberto Luongo to Vancouver and not resigning 2005-06 backup Jamie McLennan. Alex Auld came to Florida in the Luongo deal and has been designated the starter. Former Chicago goalie Craig Anderson is the current backup but probably will start the season in Rochester, N.Y., if Belfour is signed.

 

 

 

 

LINKAGE

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The Florida Panthers came to financial terms with future Hall of Fame goaltender Ed Belfour on Tuesday afternoon, signing the 41-year-old to a one-year deal.

 

Financial terms were not immediately known, but Canada's Rogers SportsNet is reporting a base salary of $750,000 with incentives worth just as much. General manager Mike Keenan was scheduled to speak to the South Florida media late Tuesday afternoon on a conference call.

 

The Panthers brought Belfour to South Florida last Tuesday night, and he passed a physical Wednesday morning. The Panthers were expected to name Belfour's signing on Thursday, although negotiations stalled and it looked like the deal was off.

 

A two-time Vezina Trophy winner as the league's best goalie, Belfour struggled last season with the Toronto Maple Leafs. A nagging back injury limited Belfour to 49 games and required back surgery in April. He spent the past three seasons with Toronto, going 22-22 in 2005-06 and saving 89 percent of his shots faced.

 

Belfour, 41, had been in talks with the Detroit Red Wings about an incentive-laden deal worth $1.5 million -- with $1 million coming if the Red Wings won the Stanley Cup. Belfour won the Cup with Dallas in 1999.

 

Alex Auld, acquired in a trade with Vancouver for All-Star goalie Roberto Luongo, is pegged to be Florida's starter going into camp although it's thought Belfour won't be comfortable settling for a reserve spot. Auld told The Miami Herald last Monday he wasn't bothered by Florida's pursuit of another goalie.

 

During his 16 NHL seasons, Belfour has played in 905 regular-season games. He began his career in the 1988-89 season with the Chicago Blackhawks, who were coached by Keenan, and led Chicago to the 1992 Stanley Cup Finals. Belfour has a career record of 457-303-111 with a 2.48 goals-against average.

 

Belfour is second in all-time in wins for NHL goalies -- behind Patrick Roy. On Nov. 28 at BankAtlantic Center, Belfour tied Terry Sawchuk with 447 wins for second all-time with a 2-1 victory over the Panthers and pased Sawchuk Dec. 19 with a win over the Islanders.

 

 

 

 

 

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An on-again-off-again negotiation with the Florida Panthers is on again for veteran goaltender Ed Belfour.

 

Sources tell TSN Belfour is in Florida today working out for the Panthers.

 

If the 41-year-old netminder passes his medical evaluation it is believed the Panthers will sign him to a one year deal that could pay him as much as $1.5 million.

 

Following Florida's first attempt at signing Belfour several days ago, he decided to go through a similar process with the Detroit Red Wings. However, his efforts failed to attract the contract he was seeking.

 

For Belfour, a stop in Florida will bring his NHL career full circle. He started in the early 1990's in Chicago with Mike Keenan at the helm and it appears he may end his career as a Panther...again with Keenan overseeing his hire.

 

 

 

That relationship led to a pair of Vezina trophies, a Calder trophy, a Jennings trophy and a trip to the Stanley Cup final.

 

Both Belfour and the Panthers believe some of that magic still exists, even if it comes in a backup role to Alex Auld.

 

Now its up to the 'Eagle' to prove he still can soar.

 

 

If he is here as a backup I don't have any problems. Perhaps he can teach Auld a thing or two. :mischief

 

But if he is our starter than we'll have to see how much our defense has improved because he is no longer the player he once was.

Backup is the key word there. :thumbup

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