The battle for the Florida Panthers final spot on defense did not last the entirety of the preseason as Kevin Connauton, barring any injury in Saturday’s finale against the Tampa Bay Lightning, will make the Panthers to start the season.
On Friday, the Panthers sent Chase Priskie and Matt Kiersted to their AHL team in Charlotte.
Connauton, who spent last season bouncing between the Panthers’ main roster and the taxi squad, has had a strong camp and would have had to go through waivers had Florida decided on sending him down.
Both Priskie and Kiersted are expected to be recalled at some point during the season but for now, they’ll start with the Checkers.
For Priskie, this will be his second stint in Charlotte as he spent part of his first pro season playing for the Checkers while a member of the Carolina Hurricanes organization.
Priskie was then part of the four-player return in the Vincent Trocheck deal and reported to Florida’s AHL team in Springfield.
The Panthers were impressed with Priskie’s improved play and he remains on track to become the first born-and-raised South Floridian to suit up for the Panthers.
“He is a guy who took himself from being a capable guy with a good skillset and really elevated himself,’ GM Bill Zito said Friday afternoon. “He is right on the cusp. We’re real excited to have him as a part of the organization.”
- FHN: Done Deal: Florida Panthers sign Sasha Barkov to record-setting deal
With center Noel Acciari out for at least six weeks, the Panthers still have a couple of roster battles among their forwards which will play out Saturday night at FLA Live Arena.
Florida also sent Noah Juulsen, Zac Dalpe and Serron Noel who were recalled to play in Thursday’s 6-2 loss to the Lightning in Tampa.
BARKOV’S DEAL — FOR FANS
The Panthers are celebrating Sasha Barkov Day with some special offers for their fans.
Per the team: “Fans who purchase the Panthers all-new Premier Plan from now until Oct. 9 at 11:59 p.m. will receive an Aleksander Barkov reverse retro jersey.” This plan includes tickets to all weekend and holiday home games as well as premier opponents.
The team is also offering $16 upper-deck tickets to not only opening night against the Penguins, but a bunch of other games. Click here to purchase.
For those looking for gear, the Panthers’ team shop is offering 16 percent off with the code: BARKOV. To check out the stuff, visit FlaTeamShop.com.
PRESEASON PANTHERS ON DECK
TAMPA BAY LIGHTING (2-4-0) AT FLORIDA PANTHERS (5-1-0)
- When: Saturday, 6 p.m.
- Where: FLA Live Arena, Sunrise
- Tickets: CLICK HERE
- 2021 regular season series: Florida won 5-3
- 2021 Stanley Cup playoffs, Round 1: Tampa Bay won 4-2
- Previous exhibition games: Florida 3, Tampa Bay 2 (Orlando); Lightning 6, Panthers 2
- Streaming: FloridaPanthers.com
- Radio: WQAM-560