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Sean Bergenheim has now officially gone from playoff hero with the Tampa Bay Lightning four years ago, to regular season ‘meh’ with the Panthers.
What pushed Bergenheim the full 180 degrees? A trade demand of course … and one that was announced through the media by his agent. Oh this is good. Harvey Fialkov of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel has the details in his story:
(Agent Todd) Diamond said he asked Panthers General Manager Dale Tallon for a trade about [nine days] ago after Bergenheim was scratched in three straight games, although the last one was attributed to a flu bug. In the three games prior, Bergenheim had a game-winning goal against the Blue Jackets and an assist.
Apparently the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back was a comment made by Panthers coach Gerard Gallant before Florida’s Friday game against the Stars where Bergenheim was scratched. In said comments, Gallant indicated that Bergenheim didn’t give max effort, which apparently was irksome to Diamond.
"I haven't picked on [Bergenheim],'' Gallant said before the Panthers-Stars' game. "If he gave me 100 percent [against the Wild], he'd be playing tonight. That's fair.
"There's a few guys that didn't give 100 percent [Thursday], but you got to make a decision. I sat out games before. It definitely hurts you. I wish he would've played a lot better and scored. It's like [Tomas Kopecky] … I don't like sitting guys out.''
Here is Diamond’s rebuttal:
When Bergenheim's agent Todd Diamond read the coach's criticism via twitter he told the Sun Sentinel that Gallant owed his client an apology and the comment was, "unprofessional …disgraceful…distasteful and bush league.''
On July 1, 2011, the Panthers lavished Bergenheim with a four-year $11 million contract after Bergenheim scored nine goals in 16 postseason games with the Lightning.
Since then he hasn’t scored more than 17 goals in a regular season with Florida, though he did have six points in seven playoff games with Florida in 2012. Sure sounds like trade bait for a contending team needing depth.
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