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FHN Today: Panthers prospects split, Chara back to the Islanders

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Florida Panthers center Anton Lundell smiles while being asked a question by an unnamed member of the South Florida media following a Prospect Showcase game on Sunday in Wesley Chapel. // Photo courtesy @FlaPanthers

There was a lot going on in the NHL this weekend as teams gear up for the start of training camp. Locally, the Panthers prospects split a pair of games north of Tampa while on the national stage, Zdeno Chara is headed back to where it all started as he signed a one-year deal with the New York Islanders.

Oh, and Jack Eichel will report to the Sabres for his physical. What happens after that, well, we shall see.

As far as the Panthers’ prospects go, it sure was nice not only being in a building watching the games unfold on the ice but be able to head downstairs afterward and talk to the players and coaches about it. In person!

I know we’re going to still be doing a bunch of Zoom interviews this year — and perhaps forever — and they definitely have advantages.

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But there is really nothing like speaking to someone face-to-face, even if my face has a mask covering it.

Which is fine.

No one wants to see my mug anyways.

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FLORIDA PANTHERS LINKS

Anton Lundell has been in North America for roughly three weeks so there is bound to be a little bit of an adjustment to his new surroundings.

But in the first two games of the Panthers’ development camp Prospect Showcase near Tampa this weekend, you can tell the kid can play this game. (FloridaHockeyNow)

— Speaking of looking good: Spencer Knight looked very comfortable in net Saturday morning in Wesley Chapel as he enjoyed facing a ton of shots and getting some solid work in before training camp opens Thursday morning. (FHN)

— The Panthers got shutout for 59 minutes Saturday against the Carolina Hurricanes before scoring their lone goal in the final minute. (FHN)

— Florida definitely bounced back on Sunday, taking out its frustration on the Nashville Predators’ prospects. (FHN)

— The Panthers will practice today and return to the ice Tuesday for a game with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Then, they will bus home and get ready for training camp. (FHN)

AROUND THE NHL

Zdeno Chara is going back to where it all started.

The veteran defenseman, who was drafted by the Islanders back in the day, signed a one-year deal with New York on Saturday morning. It had been unclear if Chara would return for his 24th NHL season or if he would hang up his skates.

“It’s kind of a full circle,” Chara said after the deal was announced. “Who would have known this would kind of work out the way it did after twenty-something years. I’m certainly very honored and humbled to be an Islander again.” (NYIslandersHockeyNow)

— Sabres captain Jack Eichel will travel to Buffalo for his training camp physical even though his future with the team is in limbo, a person with direct knowledge of the player’s plans told The Associated Press. (AP)

— Eric Staal still doesn’t have a deal as he is working out in Minnesota waiting on a phone call.(KSTP)

— Instead of popping pills, more NHL players are seeking out cannabis for their pain management needs. (NY Post)

— Taylor Hall needs to lead the Bruins second line what with David Krejci looking good back home in the Czech Republic. (BostonHockeyNow)

— Could old pal Evgenii Dadonov help what was a terrible power play in Vegas? Couldn’t hurt. (VegasHockeyNow)

— The Penguins invited 58 players to training camp. (PittsburghHockeyNow)

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