With Keith Yandle off to the Philadelphia Flyers, the Florida Panthers are looking for a new power play quarterback. How about D’Eriq King of the University of Miami Hurricanes?
On Monday, the Panthers announced that King — the second-year signal caller of the Hurricanes — is the first collegiate athlete to be signed to the team’s groundbreaking NIL (Name, Image, Likeness) program.
King, without a doubt, is the most well-known college athlete in town as he has been named to the preseason watch lists for the Walter Camp, Davey O’Brien and John Maxwell awards.
Now in his sixth season (he transferred in from Houston last year and is taking advantage of the NCAA rule allowing players an extra year of eligibility due to Covid-19), King threw for 2,686 yards and 23 touchdowns in 2020.
OK, so we know King is a pretty good football player, but what does he have to do with hockey?
Well, with college players now allowed to be compensated for using their name, image — and likeness — the Panthers plan on using King’s social media footprint to help advertise the team.
King has been on the forefront of the NIL movement since it went into affect this summer already linking deals with College Hunks Moving Company, Murphy Auto Group, Dreamfield, The Wharf and Panini America.
The Panthers plan on having him not only come to games and events as a team ambassador, but he will also “work with the Panthers to develop a merchandise collection, co-branded art and his own exclusive BB&T Center concession menu item, which will be available at all Panthers home games and events for the upcoming season.”
King will likely not be the last South Florida collegiate athlete to sign on with the Panthers. The team is looking for more and interested athletes can visit FloridaPanthers.com/AthletesWanted.
“We are thrilled to welcome D’Eriq to Panthers Territory as our first ‘FLA Athlete’,” Panthers’ Chief Strategy Officer Sam Doerr said in a statement.
“D’Eriq is a superstar both on and off the field and we are excited to reach and engage South Florida sports fans in new ways through this collaborative partnership.”
FLORIDA PANTHERS LINKS
Chase Priskie signed a new contract with the Panthers last week as he will battle for a roster spot next month. (FHN)
— In case you missed it, the latest Florida Panthers mailbag came out last week where I answered many of your questions. None of you asked about D’Eriq King, however. (FHN)
— Looking for a new part-time job and would like to work at the arena? The Panthers are hiring. (Panthers)
— Grades on each team’s free agency class. The Panthers made the honor roll. (ESPN)
AROUND THE NHL
Priskie isn’t the only South Florida guy to get a new contract: The Blue Jackets signed Parkland’s Andrew Peeke to a two-year deal as well. (CBJ)
— If NHL players go to the Winter Olympics in Beijing, Tampa Bay’s Jon Cooper will coach Team Canada. (TSN)
— Listening to a Penguins game will not be the same: Mike Lange won’t do play-by-play anymore, but he’ll stay with the team’s radio network. (PHN)
— Boston’s Bruce Cassidy will be part of Cooper’s staff in Beijing. (BHN)
— Adam Pelech’s new deal with the Isles is a good deal for both sides. (NYIHN)
— Alex Ovechkin is getting into the NFT biz. (WHN)
— The Wings and Jakun Vrana are far apart in their negotiations. (DHN)