The Southeast Unleashed – May 2011 Inaugural Edition

The NHL’s Southeast Division was formed in 1998 as a part of the Eastern Conference due to expansion. It has had two Stanley Cup winning teams, the 2004 Tampa Bay Lightning and the 2006 Carolina Hurricanes.

Each month we will link you to the relevant news and notes of all five Southeast Division teams.


Florida Panthers (30-40-12, 72 points, 5th in the Southeast)

  • At the World Championships, defenseman Dmitry Kulikov played a role in the Russian victory over Slovenia by scoring a goal, giving them a 3-2 lead 6:15 into the third period. He finished with a goal on two shots and a minus-1 on 14:21 of ice time. Full story.
  • Winger Jack Skille and defenseman Clay Wilson helped the USA team come from behind and defeat Norway at the World Championships. Full story.
  • Defenseman Dmitry Kulikov had a rough game as the Russians beat Slovakia 4-3 at the World Championships. Kulikov had one shot on goal, a penalty and was a -2 in 10:40 of ice time.  Full story.
  • Former NHL player Paul Healey was named Director of Coaching for the Florida Junior Panthers. Full story.
  • Forward Jack Skille finished with two shots on net and a minus 2 in 13:37 of ice time (17 shifts) while Clay Wilson had a shot on net and a minus-1 in 15:14 of ice time as the USA fell to Sweden at the World Championships. Full story.
  • Defenseman Dmitry Kulikov finished a minus 1 with 12:46 of ice time (17 shifts) as the Russians outlasted the Danes, 4-3 at the World Championships. Full story.
  • Quote:  “He finally emerged this year and showed he can be a full-time NHL defenseman in the future. The way he played in the last half of the season showed some confidence with the puck. It made sense, he can be in our top seven and contribute regularly.’’ – Panthers Assistant General Manager Mike Santos on newly signed defenseman Keaton Ellerby.
  • Video:  A Randy Moller tribute.
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Atlanta Thrashers (34-36-12, 80 points, 4th in the Southeast)

  • Evander Kane and Tim Stapleton never would have guessed that they’d be perfect linemates. Full story.
  • The Thrashers have seven players suiting up for their respective countries at the 2011 IIHF World Championships. See how they’re doing. Full story.
  • Quote:  “There are some people we are talking to, but nothing that is far enough along at this stage that it deserves further comment.” – Michael Gearon Jr., Part Owner Atlanta Thrashers.
  • Quote:  “Atlanta is my first option. Like I said, I like it here. I have been here only for a short time but a great experience. I see the future as very bright. They were at the eighth spot for a lot of the season. I strongly believe we have a great chance next year.” - Unrestricted free agent forward Radek Dvorak.
  • Video:  Will the Thrashers relocate?
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Carolina Hurricanes (40-31-11, 90 points, 3rd in the Southeast)

  • The ‘Canes have agreed to terms with defenseman Justin Faulk on a three-year, entry-level contract, beginning with the 2011-12 season, Full story.
  • Forward Jeff Skinner has been selected as one of three finalists for the 2010-11 Calder Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s rookie of the year. Full story.
  • Goaltender Cam Ward has been selected by his teammates as Carolina’s nominee for the 2010-11 King Clancy Memorial Trophy. It marks the second time that Ward has been nominated for this honor, which is annually awarded to the NHL player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy contribution in his community. Full story.
  • Quote:  “I’m confident in my abilities. I can play at this (AHL) level, I know. And hopefully in the next year or two I can make the jump.” – Jared Staal, Hurricanes prospect.
  • Video:  A May 6 anniversary.
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Washington Capitals (48-23-11, 107 points, 1st in the Southeast, lost in the Eastern Conference semifinals)

  • Hockey Independent’s own Jeremy Scriven writes about another Capitals playoff failure in his article The Capitals Fooled us Again. Full story.
  • Capitals defenseman Mike Green, Los Angeles Kings center Dustin Brown and Vancouver Canucks forwards Daniel and Henrik Sedin are the finalists for the 13th Annual NHL Foundation Player Award, the National Hockey League announced today. The award recognizes an NHL player who applies the core values of hockey – commitment, perseverance and teamwork – to enrich the lives of people in his community. Full story.
  • The Washington Capitals raised $17,920 for Washington Capitals Charities through the team’s first Mystery Mini-Helmets fundraiser, which took place at the Caps game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on May 1. The fundraiser featured 450 Capitals replica mini-helmets, autographed by various Capitals players that sold for $40 each. The mini-helmets went on sale at 6 p.m. when the doors opened to Verizon Center and sold out before the start of the game. Full story.
  • Capitals owner Ted Leonsis congratulated the Tampa Bay Lightning and gave a hint about the teams future in his blog “Teds Take.” Full story.
  • Quote:  “Someone said he’s not a ‘playoff coach.’ There’s no difference between a ‘playoff coach’ and a ‘regular-season coach.’ You’re either a good coach or you’re not. He’s a good coach.” – Capitals General Manager George McPhee on Bruce Boudreau.
  • Video:  Happier times.

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Tampa Bay Lightning (46-25-11, 103 points, 2nd in the Southeast, Eastern Conference finalists)


  • Yours truly, WB Philp runs down the Lightning’s surprising sweep of the Washington Capitals in the Eastern Conference semifinals with a game by game summary of articles. Full story.
  • Forward Sean Bergenheim has stepped into a leading role with the Lightning. Full story.
  • The National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) announced today that Corey Perry of the Anaheim Ducks, Daniel Sedin of the Vancouver Canucks and Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning have been selected as finalists for the 2010-11 Ted Lindsay Award. The Ted Lindsay Award is presented annually to the “Most Outstanding Player” in the NHL, as voted by fellow members of the NHLPA. Full story.
  • Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeffrey Vinik had no idea the Bolts turnaround would be so quick. Full story.
  • Quote:  “Most athletes, they tend to think of the results a little too much. You turn your motivation and your activation level so high at some point because you think of the end result that you become very anxious and anxiety doesn’t send you in the right direction.” - Lightning Coach Guy Boucher.
  • Video:  The Lightning win the Eastern Conference semifinals.
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Filed Under: Carolina HurricanesEastern ConferenceFeaturedFlorida PanthersNHLNHL TeamsTampa Bay LightningWashington CapitalsWinnipeg Jets


About the Author: WB Philp is a published hockey writer who has a built in disdain for Barry Melrose. He covered the Detroit sports teams for many years until he came to his senses and moved to the Sunshine State. He is a true puckhead on a mission from God (Gordie Howe) to make hockey relevant in the south. He lives in Hockey Bay USA and covers the Lightning full time. Did I mention he hates Barry Melrose?

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