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PFlorida eyeing Nieuwy, Roberts

By MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

Mon, Jun 28, 2004 - As the clock ticks towards the opening of free agency Thursday, league-wide speculation is heating up concerning the future of forwards Gary Roberts and Joe Nieuwendyk.

A report in yesterday's edition of the Ft. Lauderdale SunSentinel suggested Florida Panther fans should not be surprised if the team makes a run at Roberts, who last week indicated a new deal with the Maple Leafs did not appear imminent.

The story pointed out that Roberts and Panthers coach Jacques Martin have a close relationship dating back to 1986 when they teamed to lead the Ontario Hockey League's Guelph Platers to a Memorial Cup championship.

It was also noted that Martin is tight with Roberts' Ottawa-based trainer, Lorne Goldenberg, who is thought to be a candidate to become the strength and conditioning coach in Florida.

Other reports out of south Florida indicated the Panthers could be interested in Nieuwendyk as well.

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