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George’s Daily Links: Florida Panthers not the only ones to return

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Like the Florida Panthers, I have returned to South Florida for the summer.

I did not do a Daily Links post yesterday because I was on the second half of my drive back after spending the past few weeks in Columbus.

Sure was nice to get those glasses fogged up again.

Man, I did not miss our Florida weather.

What was nice was getting back to the business of hockey.

Although I was not at the IceDen for the first day of practice (I did join the video conferences while parked under a tree at a rest stop on the Turnpike), I did get there today.

You can check out my story on the opening day of the Florida Panthers’ summer training camp here.

Today, the Panthers were back at it as I take a look at what coach Joel Quenneville has done now that we know assistant coach Mike Kitchen will not join the team for this restart.

As Quenneville said today, we all hope Kitch is doing well and staying safe.

Same goes for all of you. Be safe out there. Or just stay home if you can.

AROUND THE NHL

Playing in a big arena with no fan noise — or much of an atmosphere at all — is going to be a big change for NHL players when Phase 4 starts up.

Colorado rookie defenseman Cale Makar said it is something players will have to get used to.

“You’re going to have to find ways to create your own energy, whether it’s on the bench or your own individual self,” Makar said per Colorado Hockey Now.

“It’s gonna be different, and hopefully something that’s not permanent. But it’s going to be an interesting experience, that’s for sure.”

— With expanded rosters for the postseason, there could be some AHL players who make a big difference for their teams.

— Jared McCann, who went to the Penguins as a (big) part of the Nick Bjugstad deal in 2019, said Pittsburgh’s third line of which he centers Patrick Marleau and Patric Hornqvist, is a “game-changer.’’

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— The Boston Bruins are doing some shuffling here at the start of camp. They have plenty of time to get things right.

— The New Jersey Devils have a permanent GM, a new coach, a lot of young players and plenty of cap space. They are ready to go.

— Sportsnet makes a case for the MVP on each team in the league.

SOUTH FLORIDA REPORT

Speaking of a steamy South Florida summer day, remember when Shaquille O’Neal joined the Miami Heat?

It was so hot when he arrived at AmericanAirlines Arena, he came equipped with super soakers.

Shandel Richardson breaks down the legacy Shaq had with the Heat 16 years after he joined the team from the Lakers.

— Could Miami native Eddy Alvarez make the Marlins this summer?

— Jimmy Butler talks about what he wants on his Heat jersey when the NBA gets going again up at Disney World.

— The new starting quarterback at Miami makes a big preseason watch list.

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