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2024 Stanley Cup Champions

Tomas Nosek says ‘No Hard Feelings,’ Ready to Join Florida Panthers

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Sergei Bobrovsky makes a save on a shot by Boston’s Tomas Nosek during the first period of Game 5 of the 2023 playoffs. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Tomas Nosek said one of the things which led him to the Florida Panthers as a free agent was how they played against his Boston Bruins in the playoffs last year.

Boston had the best regular season in NHL history, took a 3-1 series lead in the first-round of the 2023 playoffs — yet it was the Panthers who won the final three games and moved on to the next round.

“When I was playing in Boston [in 2023], we had not lost two games in a row — and then they beat us three games in a row in the playoffs,’’ Nosek said. “So, I knew they were a special group. And they proved it this year by winning it all. It’s a great group of guys, I can’t wait to join them. I am excited to play with the Panthers organization.’’

Funny that Nosek would bring up that series.

One of the more memorable moments from the early stages of that series was his interactions with the Panthers bench during Game 2.

Nosek had delivered a high hit to Eric Staal in the corner, leading to some salty — and, personal — discussion with Matthew Tkachuk and Ryan Lomberg at the benches which was caught on tape.

Water under the bridge, it appears.

“I am not the first or the last person to have some discussions between the benches, or whatever,’’ Nosek said with a chuckle. “So, it is part of hockey, there are no hard feelings at all. I had not even thought about it before you asked about it. Don’t think it will be a problem.’’

Nosek said that, once he signed with the Panthers on July 1, a few players reached out — as did former Florida defenseman Radko Gudas.

He is coming here to win, something he did with the expansion Vegas Golden Knights in 2018 when they went to the Stanley Cup Final.

Nosek has not been that close to the Cup again.

He hopes to get there with the Panthers.

“That’s why I signed here,’’ said Nosek, who had seven goals and 17 points in 66 games with the Bruins in 2022-23, and had two assists in their first-round loss to the Panthers that year.

“When I started playing regularly in the NHL, it was my first year in Vegas and we went all the way to the Final. Since then, I have been chasing the Final again.

“Every year, you want to win; when you get older, you want to win more because you know there’s not much time left. You try to pick a team with a real chance, and I think the Panthers are that. I hope we can do it again together.’’

With the Panthers losing Kevin Stenlund and Lomberg to free agency with Nick Cousins, Kyle Okposo, and Steven Lorentz seemingly gone as well, Florida needed to re-tool its fourth line.

Nosek can play center as can Jesper Boqvist.

The Panthers fourth line, with those two as well as A.J. Greer and other newcomers, appears to have been rebuilt.

“My role the past few years has been a fourth-line center, be good on the PK and kills some penalties, do the little things to help the team win some games,’’ Nosek said. “That’s why I chose the Panthers. I think they are a very good team, with a chance to do it again. I want to win, and will do anything to help this team win the Stanley Cup.’’

Nosek did not play with the Bruins last season, spending it with the New Jersey Devils.

A foot injury which he sustained early in the season needed surgery in December, but he returned in February.

He says he is healed up and ready to go.

“Last season was not good from an injury standpoint, I missed half the season and it took me a while to get to my game,’’ Nosek said.

“I think my final 20 games showed what I can do. I feel healthy now, it’s been a good summer — a long summer — but I’m looking forward to jumping on the ice again.’’

More FHN Coverage of the Stanley Cup Champion Panthers:
UP NEXT FOR THE FLORIDA PANTHERS
  • NHL Free Agency: Opened July 1
  • Florida Panthers Development Camp, Fort Lauderdale: Today-Thursday
  • Florida Panthers Training Camp, Fort Lauderdale: Mid-September
  • Florida Panthers Preseason: Sept. 22-Oct. 5
  • Florida Panthers Opening Night/Banner Unveiling: Oct. 8 vs. Bruins

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Johnny Florida

In Zito we trust!

Mike johnson

I joined a FB Panther FB page earlier today (I’m a Boston fan). Boy, what a bunch of humorless whiners they are.

Last edited 5 days ago by Mike johnson
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