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Bill Zito finalizes Florida Panthers roster for opening night



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The Florida Panthers gather around for instruction from coach Joel Quenneville at the IceDen in Coral Springs on Monday morning. // @GeorgeRichards

The Florida Panthers have finalized their opening night roster with general manager Bill Zito saying Tuesday that he is “ready to get at it.”

There were no unexpected surprises from the Panthers when it comes to who will start the season.

The Panthers open their 28th season Thursday night against the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins.

Florida will carry 14 forwards, seven defensemen and two goalies.

Noel Acciari will be out an extended period of time after having surgery. He was hurt in what Joel Quenneville called a “freak” accident during Florida’s preseason game against the Lightning last Tuesday night in Orlando.

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Defenseman Kevin Connauton and forward Maxim Mamin will also start the season on the IR although neither of their injuries are thought to be major.

Per, the Panthers are $1 million under the NHL’s $81.5 million salary cap.

“I am excited and I like our roster,” Zito said on Tuesday, a day off for the Panthers before they return to practice Wednesday.


Forwards (14): Sasha Barkov, Sam Bennett, Anthony Duclair, Patric Hornqvist, Jonathan Huberdeau, Ryan Lomberg, Anton Lundell, Eetu Luostarinen, Mason Marchment, Sam Reinhart, Joe Thornton, Owen Tippett, Frank Vatrano, Carter Verhaeghe.

Defensemen (7): Aaron Ekblad, Gus Forsling, Radko Gudas, Olli Juolevi, Brandon Montour, Markus Nutivaara, MacKenzie Weegar.

Goalies (2): Sergei Bobrovsky, Spencer Knight.

IR: Noel Acciari, Kevin Connauton, Maxim Mamin.



  • When: Thursday, 7 p.m.
  • Where: FLA Live Arena, Sunrise
  • Tickets: CLICK HERE
  • TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida
  • Radio: 560-AM
  • 2021 regular season series: Did not play

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