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FHN Today: The Florida Panthers go racin’ in Daytona

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Florida Panthers’ forward Carter Verhaeghe takes the stage before the NASCAR Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday. — Photo courtesy @FlaPanthers

The Florida Panthers made an appearance at the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway as star forward Carter Verhaeghe served as the Grand Marshal for the NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday.

It was a long wait for Verhaeghe to finally give the drivers their instruction to start their engines as the race was delayed until Sunday morning after being washed out from its original start time on Saturday night.

Austin Dillon ended up winning Sunday’s race — after another long rain delay hit in the afternoon with 22 laps remaining.

Dillon took the lead coming through a wreck unscathed with the yellow flag turning into a red as the race stopped because of heavy rain.

After a three-plus hour delay, the race resumed with Dillon winning — and taking a spot in the Cup playoffs.

PANTHERLAND

The Panthers will have a number of different players and a new coaching staff when camp opens next month.

With the team trying to find its way coming out of the gate, it’s a good thing their schedule in October looks pretty easy.

— We had a pretty packed week here at Florida Hockey Now, posting a story every day of the week.

In fact, we have had at least one story published every day of 2022 — with two exceptions.

Try finding that somewhere else. If you want to join in the fun and subscribe to Florida Hockey Now, there’s no better time than the present.

— Joe Thornton’s wife said goodbye to South Florida in a private Instagram post as Jumbo will not be returning to the Panthers.

— We have not seen the new Reverse Retro jerseys, but we know what they will be based on (at least in theory).

Rudolfs Balcers is going to find himself in a nice spot with the Panthers if everything goes as he hopes.

NATIONAL HOCKEY NOW

The Pittsburgh Penguins should find themselves in good position when the NHL salary cap is expected to go up substantially in the next couple of years.

— Former Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock says he is retired.

— With Nazem Kadri joining the Calgary Flames, the rivalry with the Oilers should stay red hot.

— The Montreal Canadiens are probably going to get Cole Caufield sooner than later.

— Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson got married.

— Kadri may not be with the Colorado Avalanche anymore, but he celebrated with the Cup by taking it to a Mosque for the first time.

— What remaining free agents could the San Jose Sharks have interest in? Joe Thornton, perhaps?

— How about the Vegas Golden Knights?

AROUND SOUTH FLORIDA

South Florida lost a special person Saturday night when Miami Dolphins executive Jason Jenkins died at 47.

Jason will truly be missed by many.

Greg Cote writes a very nice piece on Jason in the Herald.

— The Dodgers took an early lead and rolled past the Marlins on Sunday.

Tight End U rolls on.

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