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FHN TODAY: Florida Panthers Alumni Game a Nice All-Star Appetizer

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Florida panthers
Emily Kaplan and Jessica Blaylock, the coaches in the Florida Panthers’ Alumni Game, are mobbed by the media prior to Wednesday night’s game at the IceDen in Coral Springs. — Photo @GeorgeRichards

CORAL SPRINGS — The Florida Panthers hoped their new training facility at War Memorial in Fort Lauderdale would be a showcase during this week’s All-Star events but based on the crowd showing up Wednesday night, Coral Springs worked just fine.

Fans crammed into every nook-and-cranny of the IceDen for the Panthers’ alumni game which served as a nice way to get this All-Star Weekend rolling.

The alumni game was preceded by a hockey festival on the IceDen grounds and brought another big crowd after another successful event the night before in Sunrise.

“Great, great start to the week,’’ team president Matthew Caldwell said.

Fans were understandably excited to see their favorite Florida Panthers from years past — especially Hall of Famer Roberto Luongo, who scored the game’s final goal in the waning seconds.

Peter Worrell, who helps run the Panthers’ youth hockey programs, was Florida’s MVP after scoring three goals in a 15-11 loss to the NHL alums.

Florida panthers

The two teams gather on the ice for a postgame picture Wednesday night at the IceDen. — Photo courtesy @FlaPanthers

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW

Former Florida Panthers coach Andrew Brunette finds himself in some hot water after being arrested early Wednesday morning for DUI on his golf cart.

Keith Yandle said he was thrilled to be back at the IceDen and said he has no hard feelings to being bought out by the team.

Yandle, who will work the NHL All-Star events for Bleacher Report, said he is looking forward to many more alumni events with the Panthers.

— The Panthers have gussied up the facade of the FLA Live Arena, taking down the large pictures of Sasha Barkov and Aaron Ekblad and replacing them with All-Star banners featuring the likes of Matthew Tkachuk, Connor McDavid — and Alex Ovechkin?

— Speaking of Barkov, the Panthers’ captain was a late addition to the All-Star team and he seems happy to have been selected to represent his home team in their hometown All-Star team.

Barkov said he was not going anywhere, anyway.

— Looking for all the big events during All-Star Week?

Look no further: CLICK HERE

— Colby D. Guy took your best ‘Hot Takes,’ and gave his thoughts on them.

The Panthers and Anton Levtchi broke up as the 2023 Liiga scoring champ is headed home to Finland and will return to Tampere Tappara.

— While we still have all the postgame comments from Paul Maurice, Sam Bennett, Sam Reinhart and Alex Lyon from Saturday night on the FHN YouTube Channel, we’re going back in time.

Today, we bring you Luongo, Yandle and Worrell.

Click RIGHT HERE to see everything all in one place and if you hit subscribe (it’s free), you will know when new content comes up.

NHL ALL-STAR WEEK SCHEDULE

NHL All-Star Beach Festival; Fort Lauderdale Beach Park (1100 Seabreeze Boulevard/A1A), Noon-8 p.m.

The NHL is turning the beach into a ‘hockey paradise’ with this free event off A1A in Fort Lauderdale.

There will not only be a lot of games and appearances by both former and current NHL players, but the league trophies (including the Stanley Cup) will be on display and everything is free.

Fans can test their hockey skills in the NHL All-Star Skills Zone, all of the league’s mascots will be roaming around for selfies and there will be autograph sessions.

Fans can even make their own Upper Deck hockey card.

The NHL will also have its new United by Hockey Mobile Museum which celebrates those who have helped change the game.

On Thursday, one of the bonus activities at the Beach Festival is the taping of the ‘Splash Shot’ which will be part of Friday’s All-Star Skills competition.

At 2 p.m., a number of All-Stars will compete in the Splash Shot — in which players will shoot at targets with the losers going into a dunk tank — and fans are invited to watch at the Upper Deck Rink.

This is a first-come event, so get there early.

Gamers can also visit the EA Sports NHL 23 World Championship esport All-Star Open Final which will “feature top NHL gamers and hockey superstars” starting at noon. Fans can also play against one another at gaming stations which will be set up.

NATIONAL HOCKEY NOW

Taking a look at the Philadelphia Flyers at the break from their top players to the best quotes from John Tortorella.

Could have filled a few pages with those, we bet.

— Levtchi is not the only one headed back to Europe as the Detroit Red Wings and goalie Jussi Olkinuora have parted ways.

— The Calgary Flames are a tough team to figure out.

— With Bo Horvat off the Islanders, could the Boston Bruins turn their eyes toward Detroit and Dylan Larkin?

FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK

ALL-STAR WEEK, SOUTH FLORIDA

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