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FHN Today: Florida Panthers, Seattle Kraken to share AHL Charlotte

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The Florida Panthers are the first team to make a deal with the expansion Seattle Kraken although no players are moving — just yet. On Monday, the two teams announced that they would share Florida’s AHL team, the Charlotte Checkers, for the 2022-23 season.

Seattle was looking for a team to partner with after the team was awarded a 32nd AHL franchise in Palm Springs, Calif.

The arena in Cochella Valley will not be ready this season so Seattle needed a place for its prospects to play.

The Panthers, who had to have their AHL guys share Syracuse with the Tampa Bay Lightning this season after the Checkers opted out of the 2020-21 season, will run Charlotte but Seattle will have the option to supply the team with their own assistant coach. Geordie Kinnear, Florida’s AHL coach, will be behind the bench.

Per the agreement, the Kraken will sent between eight and 12 players including a goalie.

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The Panthers do not have as many AHL players as they have in past years — although veteran defenseman Kevin Connauton has already been extended — so having another team’s players fill out the roster makes some financial sense. Florida now does not have to go out and find a couple AHL regulars not with Seattle bringing in some roster relief.

Charlotte will be Florida’s third AHL team in as many seasons. Springfield ended its affiliation with the Panthers to sign on with the St. Louis Blues following the 2019-20 season and Florida signed on with Charlotte in 2020 but have yet to play a game there.

“We are looking forward to welcoming Seattle to the NHL and utilizing this partnership to create an ideal environment for our prospects to train and compete in Charlotte,” Florida GM Bill Zito said in a statement announcing the move. “We can’t wait for the puck to drop in Charlotte for the upcoming season.” 

FLORIDA PANTHERS LINKS

The NHL announced that Las Vegas — and not South Florida — would host the 2022 All-Star Weekend.

Florida had hoped that after the 2021 game was canceled due to the pandemic that it would be given the 2022 weekend but with the NHL not setting the dates, it sounds like getting hotels in Fort Lauderdale without knowing exactly when the All-Star Weekend is could have been a problem.

It also sounds like there is a slim chance the NHL will allow players to participate in the Beijing Winter Games and it may be easier for players to fly from Nevada than South Florida.

Anyway, we expect the NHL to bring the Panthers back into the fold for a future event. (Florida Hockey Now)

— I joined Ethan Skolnick of 5 Reasons Sports on Sunday night for 7 Sports Xtra to talk about the Florida Panthers and the Miami Heat. Some of the topics discussed were what each team has to do this offseason and which team has a better immediate future. You can watch some of it on the Twitter link below…

AROUND THE NHL

It was only one game, but the Tampa Bay Lightning sure looked good in the Stanley Cup Finals opener on Monday night. The Bolts are three wins from repeating. (TB Times)

— The Penguins have a lot of questions this offseason. (PHN)

— Here are some cool things you probably did not know about Detroit draft history. (DHN)

— Speaking of the Wings, here are some trade thoughts: (DHN)

— Barry Trotz does not regret sitting talented Islanders rookie Oliver Wahlstrom during the playoffs. (NYIHN)

LOCALS ONLY

Where do the Miami Marlins stand heading into the trade deadline? Let Jordan McPherson fill you in. (Miami Herald)

— It’s a Miami Heat mailbag! (MH)

— The Canes made some positional changes. (MH)

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