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10 Years Ago: The Florida Panthers ‘Plywood’ Game



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Sunday marked 10 years since once of the wackiest moments in Florida Panthers history when it appeared the team was forced to use plywood instead of plexiglas behind one of the goals during a game against the Detroit Red Wings.

It was not plywood, of course, but plexiglas that still had the paper protective covering attached to it.

Still, it made for a great visual — and went viral pretty quickly.

“Hurricane season is over,” Steve Goldstein joked on the broadcast.

How it went down was funny in retrospect although the ice crew at the arena was pretty embarrassed about it at the time.

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Here’s what happened: Midway through the third period, a shot cracked a pane of glass behind the Detroit goal.

The ice crew removed the broken piece and were bringing in the replacement — only it slipped off its cart and cracked rendering it unusable.

At the time, the Panthers only had one piece of glass uncovered at any one time. When they used that piece, they had plenty of time to prepare the next one.

Only this time, they had no time.

It takes about 20 minutes to strip the protective paper cover and, instead of delaying the game any further, they put up a piece of glass with the paper still on it.

It certainly looked more plywood than glass.

Game officials informed both benches that it was really glass and the game resumed.

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As the third period went on, the backing was taken off another piece of glass and the one with backing on was replaced during the break before overtime.

Florida ended up winning the game in a shootout with Brad Boyes getting the winner.

“I’m from Toronto so it was pretty big news there,” Boyes said afterward.

“My friends were sending me all kinds of pictures. It was quite the conversation piece. We were told on the bench that it was glass but it would take time to get the cover-up off. It would have been a 20 minute delay. They wanted to get the game going.

“But we knew it was glass. If it would have been plywood, we would have been in trouble.’’



  • When: Tuesday, 10 p.m.
  • Where: Climate Pledge Arena, Seattle
  • TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida; ESPN+
  • Radio: WAXY 790-AM; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932, NHL App
  • This Season (Florida Leads 1-0) — At Florida: Panthers 3, Kraken 2 (Oct.28). At Seattle: Tuesday.
  • Last Season: Tied 1-1
  • All-Time Regular Season Series: Seattle leads 3-2-0
  • Up Next for the Panthers: Thursday at Vancouver, 10

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