The Florida Panthers may be playing in a new building tonight when they take on the Coyotes at the new Mullett Arena, but the Arizona team they face has more than a couple of familiar faces.
Three players in the Arizona lineup all played for the Panthers and one is a former player on the Jr. Panthers from South Florida.
Of course, with all the changes to the team’s roster over the past few years, only a couple of players played those the current Coyotes.
The biggest name, obviously, is center Nick Bjugstad who was traded to the Penguins in 2019. Bjugstad was the 19th overall pick in Dale Tallon’s first draft with the Panthers in 2010.
Lawson Crouse was also a first-round pick of the Panthers, taken 11th overall at the draft held in Sunrise in 2015.
Defenseman Josh Brown was drafted with MacKenzie Weegar in 2013 and spent five seasons with the Panthers’ organization and played in 93 NHL games with Florida.
Shayne Gotisbehere is in his second season with the Coyotes after starting his career with the Flyers. He is a native of South Florida.
Jakub Chychrun, the son of Florida television analyst Jeff, is also from South Florida but the defenseman is injured and will not play against the Panthers.
If that’s not enough connections, former Panthers Cory Stillman and John Madden are assistant coaches.
PANTHERS ON DECK
FLORIDA PANTHERS AT ARIZONA COYOTES
- When: Tuesday, 10 p.m.
- Where: Arizona State Mullett Arena, Tempe
- 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
- DraftKings odds — Florida favored: Money Line (-300); Puck line (-1.5, -120); Over/Under 6.5 (-115/-105)
- Last season: Florida won 2-0
- All-time regular season series: Arizona leads 19-16-2, 3 ties
PROJECTED FLORIDA PANTHERS LINEUP
23 Carter Verhaeghe // 16 Sasha Barkov // 19 Matthew Tkachuk
38 Rudolfs Balcers // 9 Sam Bennett // 13 Sam Reinhart
27 Eetu Luostarinen // 15 Anton Lundell // 6 Colin White
94 Ryan Lomberg // 12 Eric Staal // 70 Patric Hornqvist
42 Gus Forsling // 62 Brandon Montour
28 Josh Mahura // 7 Radko Gudas
32 Lucas Carlsson // 18 Marc Staal
30 Spencer Knight
72 Sergei Bobrovsky
Scratch: Nick Cousins, Matt Kiersted
Injured: Anthony Duclair (LTIR-Achilles), Aaron Ekblad (LTIR-groin)
PROJECTED ARIZONA COYOTES LINEUP
9 Clayton Keller // 72 Travis Boyd // 67 Lawson Crouse
38 Liam O’Brien // 22 Jack McBain // 36 Christian Fischer
63 Matias Maccelli // 17 Nick Bjugstad // 11 Dylan Guenther
12 Nick Ritchie // 29 Barrett Hayton // 44 Zack Kassian
4 Juuso Valimaki // 90 Janis Moser
14 Shayne Gotisbehere // 3 Josh Brown
2 Patrik Nemeth // 51 Troy Stecher
70 Karel Vejmelka
39 Connor Ingram