The season started with rumors of the franchise being sold.
And to add to the unfortunate situation, the organization took its sweet time in trying to find a new general manager after Jacques Martin’s early summer exit to Montreal.
In the end, management did nothing. Instead they simply removed the interim tag from former assistant GM Randy Sexton’s title.
It would seem Randy became the new GM by default.
One can only assume this management paralysis and ownership uncertainty handcuffed what Sexton was able to accomplish in the summer of 2009.
In the free agency he signed players mainly to one-year deals: Jordan Leopold, Dominic Moore, and Dennis Seidenberg. All three were eventually offloaded at the trade deadline.
The only exception to this shortsighted strategy was the signing of Ville Koistinen, to a two-year, $2.4 million deal.
Undoubtedly, this was the worst signing of the bunch as coach Pete Deboer clearly didn’t want to have anything to do with Koistinen, who was soon waived and sent down to the minors.
So much for communication between management.
You know—everyone being on the same page and all that, which we hear Randy Sexton frequently talking about.
There was also a glaring lack of any real action from coach and GM, when it soon became clear that this team was not going to live up to expectations.
There were no trades or other affirmative moves from management to try and jump-start the team—until it was already too late.
When the franchise finally got a new majority ownership there were yet more pretty words of “accountability”—but yet again—no action.
In an effort to be open with the fan base, the new owners instead made the naïve move of lambasting the players in an open letter. Little wonder then that the team folded in and hastily gave up any presumption of going out fighting.
The season rather whimpered out with an embarrassing double-defeat to cross-state rivals Tampa Bay instead.
The management now had the poor taste and sheer lack of class, which it has become notorious for, to shower the players and fans with confetti after the final blow of the horn.
We’ll have to scratch that down as another striking resemblance to the sinking Titanic.
Apparently to the Panthers management, with COO Michael Yormark at the helm, this season is to be considered a successful one, and should thus be celebrated as if we just won the Stanley Cup.
There is, at this moment, no word if they are also planning a parade.
But, when the Panthers caravan rolls around your way, be sure to renew your season tickets. The money will go to giving the management a healthy bonus—which no doubt they worked very hard for.
OK, the latter paragraph was sarcasm, but the all the previous is regrettably true.