The latest indicator that the next NHL season will go back to normal came Monday when the Florida Panthers announced their 2021 preseason schedule. As usual, the Panthers will play Nashville, Dallas and Tampa Bay — with a return trip to the Amway Center in Orlando.
The Panthers’ annual preseason doubleheader against the Nashville Predators will be held at BB&T Center in Sunrise on Sept. 26.
After that, the Panthers play a home-and-home series with Dallas before ending the exhibition slate with three games against the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Lightning.
The first of those three games against the Lightning will be Oct. 5 at the Amway Center in Orlando. The two teams last played at Orlando, which is home to the NBA’s Magic and the ECHL Solar Bears, before the start of the 2018-19 season.
The building, about an hour drive (with no traffic, hah!) from Tampa in downtown Orlando, will be considered a Lightning home game.
If things are really going back to normal, that means the Panthers will probably play at least two of their first regular season games against the Lightning.
The NHL schedule is expected to come out next week.
FLORIDA PANTHERS 2021 PRESEASON SCHEDULE
Sept 26: Doubleheader vs. Nashville Predators, 3/7 p.m.
Sept. 29: at Dallas, 8 p.m.
Oct. 1: vs. Dallas, 7 p.m.
Oct. 5: vs. Tampa Bay at Orlando Amway Center, 7 p.m.
Oct. 7: at Tampa Bay, 7
Oct. 9: vs. Tampa Bay, 7