If there is one thing hockey fans are passionate about, it is tradition. So, when the Florida Panthers unveiled their road sweaters with the Stanley Cup Final patch on the left side, some on Twitter were not happy with it.
Now, while few would notice it on most of the jerseys, players with leadership letters — such as captain Sasha Barkov and assistant captains Aaron Ekblad and Matthew Tkachuk — have the two bunched together.
The reason is simple: The right side of the road sweaters have a sponsorship patch where the Final patch would go.
In October, the Panthers became the latest team to sell advertising on their jerseys as they signed a three-year deal with South Florida-based AutoNation.
AutoNation, which was founded by original team owner H. Wayne Huizenga, had its patch debut in Florida’s season-opener on Long Island.
The bunching of patches is not new as during the first half of the season Florida also had a commemorative All-Star patch which was also on the left side on road jerseys.
The Panthers have not secured a sponsor for their home jerseys, however, and in the case of the All-Star patch, it remained on the right side of those jerseys.
One home jersey spotted at the arena on Saturday had the Cup patch on the right with Barkov’s ‘C’ on the left.
The Panthers have not released photos of what their home jersey will look like for the Final — and could be working on having a new sponsor in time for Game 3 on Thursday night.
For fans, the patch is not a problem as the team does not sell them with the AutoNation patch. Want to put it on the opposite side of your Sasha Barkov jersey with the ‘C?’ Go right ahead. Want to put them together? Cool.
The 2023 Cup Final patch is for sale at various locations.
As for the Golden Knights, they have a home sponsorship deal but do not have an advertisement on their road sweaters. According to renderings on Fanatics, the Knights have the patch next to their leadership letters as well.
FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK
THE 2023 STANLEY CUP FINAL
FLORIDA PANTHERS AT VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS
- When: Saturday, 8 p.m.
- Where: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas
- TV: TNT
- Radio: WQAM 560-AM, WPOW 96.5 FM2, WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
- Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932
- Series Schedule — Game 1: Saturday at Vegas, 8 (TNT); Game 2:Monday June 5 at Vegas, 8 (TNT); Game 3: Thursday June 8 at Florida, 8 (TNT); Game 4: Saturday June 10 at Florida, 8 (TNT); Game 5*: Tuesday June 13 at Vegas, 8 (TNT); Game 6*: Friday June 16 at Florida, 8 (TNT); Game 7*: Monday June 19 at Vegas, 8 (TNT). * – If Necessary
- 2022-23 Regular Season Series Vs. Vegas (Even 1-1): @Vegas 4, Florida 2 (Jan. 12); @Florida 2, Vegas 1 (March 7)
- All-time Regular Season Series: vs. Vegas Golden Knights lead 6-3-1
- Postseason History: First meeting
- How They Got Here — Vegas: d. Winnipeg in 5, Edmonton in 6, Dallas in 6; Florida: d. Boston in 7, Toronto in 5, Carolina in 4.