The Florida Panthers and Florida Everblades are reunited once again.
On Wednesday morning, the two teams announced they would be partners for the first time in over 10 years as the Everblades will become the Panthers’ ECHL affiliate.
Florida had been with the Greenville Swamp Rabbits; the Everblades had been an affiliate of the Nashville Predators.
The Everblades play in Estero, about a 90 minute drive from the Panthers’ arena on the edge of the Everglades in Sunrise.
Florida has participated in rookie tournaments and exhibition games in Estero over the years although that has definitely been sporadic.
Over the years, the Everblades have been one of the most successful franchises in the ECHL and recently won their second Kelly Cup.
The ‘Blades have missed the playoffs just once in their 24 year history — a good chunk of which was as a Carolina affiliate.
The Everblades were associated with the Panthers three times in their history but not since 2010.
“We are pleased to announce a new affiliation with the Florida Everblades,” said Florida assistant GM Brett Peterson.
“We want to thank the Swamp Rabbits for two great seasons and look forward to beginning a new partnership just down the road in Estero, Fla. We look forward to the development of our young players in Florida and many opportunities together with this new pipeline plan.”
Said Everblades GM Craig Brush: “We are thrilled to have the Florida Panthers as our new NHL affiliate. … We are looking forward to becoming an integral part of the development of players for the Panthers and Charlotte Checkers.”
The NHL Draft kicks off on Thursday from Montreal and the Florida Panthers do not have a first round pick.
Florida does not have a first round pick for the next three drafts, actually.
We look back at some of the best players the Panthers have picked after the first round over the past 20 years. There’s not many greats in there, but some pretty good players.
— Colby Guy opens up the FHN Mailbag and welcomes any question you have either about the team or, well, anything really. Leave your comments on the linked story or use #AskFHN on Twitter.
— Aleksi Heponiemi is back with a one-year contract and should be in the running for a spot on the roster come training camp time.
NATIONAL HOCKEY NOW
The 2022 NHL Draft is fast approaching and the host Montreal Canadiens have the first overall pick.
Who are they going to take?
— Speaking of the draft, the Pittsburgh Penguins hold the 21st pick but that could change.
— There is some concern about Russian players — including some New York Islanders — having trouble getting back to North America for the upcoming season. We’ll have more on this later.
— The Sharks officially name Mike Grier — brother of Dolphins’ GM Chris — their new general manager.
— Five Vancouver Canucks who could be traded.
— Could the Washington Capitals leave the draft with Vancouver center J.T. Miller?