Santorelli was slated to be third in the shootout but never took the ice as Jacob Markstrom stopped all three Tampa Bay shots.
Santorelli said he is excited about the opportunity to join a Winnipeg team that currently leads the Southeast Division and is trying to win the franchise’s second division title and first since it took the banner in 2007 as the Atlanta Thrashers.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity Winnipeg is giving me and I look forward to helping them out,” Santorelli said. “It’s an exciting time there. It’s a great place to play. I hope I can help as much as I can.”
With all of Florida’s injuries, there weren’t many chips for Tallon to deal Wednesday. Tallon and coach Kevin Dineen said they don’t feel like the Panthers — who won the division for the first time last season — are in rebuilding mode.
“This is a business. A big business,” Dineen said. “You have to manage your team appropriately not just immediate but for your long-term future. … There is a sense we have some real quality guys who are stepping into more prominent role. We don’t want to go back to being a long-term rebuilding project. There’s still some excitement left this season.”
Tallon expects to have a healthy team come training camp when the Panthers embark on a new challenge of playing in an eight-team division with Tampa Bay, Montreal, Boston, Toronto, Ottawa, Detroit and Buffalo.
“When you’re at the bottom,” Tallon said, “teams just expect you to panic and give up players. That’s not going to happen here.”