I'm back. Sorry for the delay.

Had lunch with Billy Lindsay, the guy who scored the biggest goal in Panthers history and now TV color analyst

And Steve Goldstein, play-by-play guy extraordinaire

After lunch, Goldie's

went hay wire, so being the good guy I am, I brought him here 

AND THAT'S AN HOUR OF MY LIFE I'LL NEVER GET BACK!

Petr Kalus will make his Wild debut tonight in place of injured Cal Clutterbuck. Kalus, pronounced CAL-us he says (not to open up another can of worms), scored on his first three NHL shots with the Boston Bruins, was traded to Minnesota in the Manny Fernandez deal but had never been called up before. He quit the Houston Aeros last fall after not making the Wild. He was great today talking about that. He's clearly matured.

Aeros GM Jim Mill said Kalus has worked his you know what off down there and is very deserving of the callup.

Clutterbuck is day to day with a charleyhorse on his left leg. He also suffered a minor cut behind his right leg. The charleyhorse was from Eric Nystrom's skate. The cut was from Jamal Mayers' skate. Clutterbuck didn't know he was cut until he took off his sock and it was all bloody (like Curt Schilling).

Clutterbuck said the cut is nothing, but the charleyhorse is keeping him from playing. He's walking with a very visible limp, but he hopes to be back soon. This is a guy that missed like two weeks with a high ankle sprain, so I can't imagine this will take long.

Excited that the Panthers are in town. Radek Dvorak, who turned 33 today, is still there. Dvorak, Rob Niedermayer and Ed Jovanovski are the only three players still playing from that 1996 Panthers team that made its way to the Cup Finals.

Lots of guys still in the game though. Tom Fitzgerald works for Pittsburgh, Scott Mellanby for Vancouver, Stu Barnes for Dallas, Bill Lindsay for Florida, Gord Murphy for Columbus, Dave Lowry for Calgary and John Vanbiesbrouck is broadcasting.

That was a special group. Unfortunately, they haven't won a playoff round since or a playoff game since 1997 or made the playoffs since 2000.

And it probably won't happen this year either. Like the Wild being seven out in the West, the Panthers are seven out in the East.

What's the common link?

Only guys still on the Panthers from my beat writing days are Stephen Weiss, Gregory Campbell and Nathan Horton. And Dvorak, although he returned to the Panthers for a second stint after my departure.

It was fun swapping stories today at lunch with Lindsay, Goldstein and agent Barney Harris, who used to be Panthers captain Brian Skrudland's agent.

OK, talk to you tonight.