The Florida Panthers are in Las Vegas and you cannot go to Vegas without visiting the Olive Garden. I mean, you have to go and try their famous bread sticks.
The only reason I bring this is up is to tie in their motto — When you’re here, you’re family — to the Panthers claiming Casey Fitzgerald off waivers from the Sabres.
The joke lasted two whole paragraphs.
But now you want breadsticks and unlimited salad, right?
Fitzgerald is an interesting pickup for the Panthers not only to give the team some defensive depth, but to his ties to the team.
His father Tom is the general manager of the Devils who just happens to be an original member of the Florida Panthers. Tom Fitzgerald played for the Panthers for their first five seasons, getting into 353 games scoring 54 goals with 121 points.
Tom Fitzgerald is also cousins with Keith Tkachuk — which makes Casey Fitzgerald and Matthew Tkachuk second cousins.
The group is also related to Philadelphia’s Kevin Hayes who is the Flyers’ All-Star selection.
“Hearing the news is very exciting for myself and my family,’’ Matthew Tkachuk said according to Jameson Olive. “He plays so intense. … Hates to lose, very physical and guys love him in the room. We’re excited to have him.”
The Panthers visit the Golden Knights tonight at 10. No word on whether Fitzgerald will be in the lineup.
FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW
Speaking of Matthew Tkachuk, he helped lead the Panthers to a victory over the Avalanche on Tuesday night.
While he is not currently in the conversation for league MVP honors, if the Panthers get hot in the second half and make the playoffs, he will.
— More on the Panthers claiming Fitzgerald as Matt Kiersted was sent back to Charlotte.
— Jimmy Murphy goes ‘Off The Record’ and reports the Coyotes may move Jakob Chychrun sooner than later. The Panthers would love to bring him home.
— Post-practice video from Tkachuk and Paul Maurice up on the FHN YouTube Channel now. 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.
NATIONAL HOCKEY NOW
Travis Konecny is having himself a season — and it got better Wednesday night as he recorded his second career hat trick as the Philadelphia Flyers beat the Catpials 5-3.
Konecny has a 10-game point streak. Not bad.
— The Washington Capitals certainly looked flat in that loss to the Flyers.
— How good is Moritz Seider? Definitely outplaying his numbers for the Detroit Red Wings.
— Boston Bruins coach Jim Montgomery likes how hard his team is to play against despite the grind of a long season.
— Is Jonathan Huberdeau cursed when it comes to overtime games with the Calgary Flames?
— P.K. Subban’s career with the Montreal Canadiens by the numbers.
PANTHERS ON DECK
FLORIDA PANTHERS AT VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS
- When: Thursday, 10 p.m.
- Where: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas
- TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida; ESPN+
- Radio: WPOW 96.5-FM2; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
- Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932
- Last season: Split 1-1
- All-time regular season series: Vegas leads 5-2-1
- Up Next for the Panthers: Saturday vs. Vancouver, 7 p.m.