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FHN Today: Florida Panthers clean out, move on

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SUNRISE — The Florida Panthers returned to their arena on Wednesday morning, cleared out their gear and officially broke for the offseason.

The ice is already on its way out of the building.

General manager Bill Zito spoke to the media and said this was a bittersweet day.

Yes, the Panthers have come a long way in the past two years.

Still.

“It’s pretty raw,” Zito said. “It is surreal coming here this morning and thinking that we’re supposed to be playing.”

There will be plenty more coming up here in the coming days — more from Zito and coach Andrew Brunette as well as the players we spoke to.

Florida has a lot of things it has to work through when it comes to the salary cap and we will get into that as well.

PANTHERLAND

One would expect that Joe Thornton played the final game of a fine NHL career on Monday night in Tampa but he says no decision has been made one way or another.

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— The Panthers went all-in on this team at the trade deadline. Was it the right move?

— The Capitals did not seem too upset the Panthers got swept.

— The Presidents’ Trophy curse lives on.

— We have video from Wednesday’s media sessions on the FloridaHockeyNow YouTube channel.

Panthers we spoke to: Zito, Brunette, Thornton, Sasha Barkov, Sergei Bobrovsky, Sam Bennett, Anton Lundell and Claude Giroux.

If you like all of these videos we put up, please subscribe to the channel. It’s completely free and alerts you when new ones are up.

AROUND THE NHL

Jaromir Jagr got into a car accident but says he is OK. He has a deal with a Kia dealership, right?

— The Rangers were impressive in tying up series with Carolina.

— Colorado coach Jared Bednar and Nazem Kadri‘s teammates are proud of how he handled himself after being subjected to racist comments and death threats.

— After beating the Calgary Flames in Game 4 Tuesday, the Oilers are a win away from the west finals for the first time since 2006.

— The Flames remain upbeat despite being on the verge of elimination.

— Martin St. Louis expected to get extension to remain behind Canadiens bench.

— Will the Boston Bruins go after John Klingberg?

— Former New York Islanders Frans Nielsen retired from hockey following the World Championships.

— Is Rickard Rakell returning to the Pittsburgh Penguins?

Alexander Ovechkin has already started his offseason training.

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