The Florida Panthers are back in the building as they report to the newly named FLA Live Arena for the start of training camp in preparation for the 2021-22 NHL season.
The players won’t be on the ice today.
No, today is about players getting physicals, talking to the local media (we’re back on Zoom at least for today) and doing promotional stuff around the arena.
You know all the pregame videos and pictures of players on the scoreboard shoving their stick in the camera after scoring a goal?
Those are taken care of on days like today.
The team will be on the ice Thursday morning with the first group going at 10 a.m.
Aaron Ekblad, healthy after that tough injury, says he has never been more excited about the start of a training camp after all these months of rehab. Story on Ekblad coming later this afternoon.
Since training camp is starting at the arena, that means it is closed to the public.
This will be the second consecutive season the team has opted to house everything in Sunrise — and if they conclude camp at the arena, we may have seen the last training camp in Coral Springs what with the War Memorial complex scheduled to open sometime in the summer.
Florida is expected to start making its first batch of cuts following Sunday’s doubleheader against the Nashville Predators at BB&T — err, FLA Live Arena.
The start of camp officially kicks off another season of Florida Panthers coverage here at Florida Hockey Now.
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FLORIDA PANTHERS LINKS
The Panthers had one year left on their sponsorship deal with BB&T/Truist so why change the name of their arena now? It’s complicated. (FloridaHockeyNow)
— Sasha Barkov and the team are negotiating a new deal. He says the two sides are on good terms. (FHN)
— Logan Hutsko had another nice game for the Panthers as he ended up with two goals in each of Florida’s final two outings in Wesley Chapel. (FHN)
— Need some pre-camp reading? Here is who I think makes the 23-man roster when everything is said and done. (FHN)
— Preseason power rankings — and the Panthers are right up there near the top. (SportsNet)
AROUND THE NHL
The Columbus Blue Jackets apparently picked their goalie for the future on Tuesday as they signed Elvis Merzlikins to a five-year contract.
With Joonas Korpisalo in the final year of his contract and a pending free agent, don’t be surprised if he gets traded at the deadline. (Columbus Dispatch)
— Brian Boyle hasn’t played in the NHL since he was in the Panthers’ playoff bubble in Toronto — and he hopes he gets at least one more season in the sunshine. (PittsburghHockeyNow)
— Kirill Kaprizov‘s sometimes contentious negotiations came to a close as he and the Wild agree to a nice, fat contract. (The Athletic)
— The top Calder Trophy candidates for the coming season. (TA)
— Jonathan Druin is an easy guy to root for as he comes back after taking last season off. (SN)
— The Bruins won’t have any players going through stiff COVID protocols as the entire team is vaccinated. (BHN)
— Speaking of the Jackets, Zac Rinaldo barred from Columbus camp because he did not get the shot. (Dispatch)
— Renowned sports psychologist Dr. Aimee Kimball has been added to the Washington staff. (WashingtonHockeyNow)
— The Red Wings have offered Bobby Ryan a PTO for camp. (DetroitHockeyNow)
— Who is going to win the Pacific? (VancouverHockeyNow)