One year ago today, when Florida Hockey Now launched as the new home of my Florida Panthers coverage, I certainly did not know how things were going to go down.
At the time, we were still deep in the throes of a pandemic and hoped things would at least start getting back to normal soon.
Less than a week after our launch, the Panthers returned to the ice in Coral Springs for a summer training camp.
As I wrote in my first dispatch for FHN then: Man, it has been a strange year.
But it has also been a very fulfilling year for both myself and for your Florida Panthers. I do have to assume if you are here on this site — either as one of my most-appreciated subscribers or just checking things out — you are a fan of the Panthers.
The first month or so with this site went pretty quickly. We had a training camp, then a qualifying postseason round in Toronto. Things ramped up after that with Dale Tallon being let go upon the team’s return to South Florida and Bill Zito being hired not long after that.
The Panthers had a pretty exciting (if not delayed) 2021 season. Florida got off to a terrific start, came within a couple points of winning a revamped devision and played the Tampa Bay Lightning in the playoffs for the first time ever.
It was a very interesting season — and more is to come.
Here at FHN, we are committed to giving you the best coverage of the Florida Panthers you will find.
This, like last July, should prove to be a very eventful month.
The Panthers have decisions to make when it comes not only to whom they will protect in the upcoming Seattle Expansion Draft, but whether or not to buyout any contracts in the coming days.
There is going to be an entry draft later this month, the start of free agency as well.
As has been the case for the better part of the past 17 years, I will be covering it for you — trying to figure out what the Panthers will do and then break down why they did what they did.
For those of you who have supported me with a subscription to FHN, I cannot begin to thank you.
A lot of you jumped on board a year ago and the initial support — as well as what came following our first few days on this site — was overwhelming.
While there was a lot to write about this past year, there is plenty more to come. There are a lot of stories left to tell. The Panthers look like true contenders and this should continue to be a fun ride.
If you would like to join us here and purchase a subscription which gives you access to exclusive content as well as an ad-free reading experience when signed in, you can CLICK HERE to sign up. The price remains the same as it did last year: $29.99 for a season pass or $3.49 a month.
On Friday, I will be posting the summertime edition of our popular Florida Panthers mailbag. CLICK HERE to leave a question.
The deadline to leave a question for this mailbag is Thursday at 4 p.m.
Anyway, thanks to everyone who has checked in here over the past year.
Plenty more to come.