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George’s Daily Links: NHL Return to Play official tonight?

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Florida Panthers will face the New York Islanders

Happy Friday everyone and I hope those of you hockey writers out there have rested up over these past few months because it looks like training camp will officially open Monday.

For the Florida Panthers, that means the first full practice since they worked out in North Dallas way back on March 10.

That practice came a day after they won in St. Louis. After taking Wednesday off, the team found out it was heading back to Fort Lauderdale when the NHL put its season on pause March 12.

According to TSN.ca, it sounds like everything will be voted on and announced tonight. The NHL has already announced the two hotels which will be used for players in Toronto.

The Florida Panthers will be camped out at the Royal York downtown with all but the top-five seeded teams who will be out at Exhibition Place.

Those who want to head out and watch their team back on the ice when camp restarts Monday are out of luck. Everything, as you all probably know, is going to be closed to the public. And, in some cases, the media.

The Panthers-Islanders best-of-5 qualifier should start in Toronto sometime around Aug. 1.

HOT LINKS

How will the flat salary cap affect the Columbus Blue Jackets? Aaron Portzline of The Athletic breaks things down.

Probably wrote it on his patio.

— Speaking of the flat salary cap, Sportsnet.ca looks at the three teams which will be most impacted by things staying as-is next season.

Two of the three teams are in the Atlantic, neither named ‘Florida Panthers.’

— Need a new face mask to wear to Publix? Like Alex Ovechkin?

You can now buy masks with Ovi’s signature on them from his online store. benefits charity so there is that.

PANTHERLAND

My story today on the hour-long players-only meeting the Panthers held before practice on March 3. The team was in a bad way and knew something had to change.

What would be the final three games of the season which followed were perhaps the best hockey the Panthers played all year. Can they return to that style in a few weeks when they open against the Islanders?

I don’t know. Going to be tough to get back into a groove after such a long layoff. But at least the players saw tangible results from buying into the system Joel Quenneville wanted them to play all along.

— That story is for subscribers to the site only. If you would like to help support me in my coverage of the Panthers, you can become a subscriber as well. It’s fun for the whole family!

— In case you missed it online last week, Fox Sports Florida will be airing the first episode of the “Panthers Uncaged” series starting Friday night at 10 p.m.

The debut episode will run on FSN throughout the week.

The Panthers say Episode II drops on July 15.

— Check out the latest edition of the Point to Point podcast where I join Alex Lopez and TJ Peterson to talk about this new venture as well as a lot of other subjects revolving around the Panthers.

— Dan Rosen of NHL.com was asked who he liked in the Panthers-Islanders series. Which way did he go? Click here to find out.

SOUTH FLORIDA REPORT

Barry Jackson brings us the best in local media coverage in the Miami Herald and on Thursday wrote about how South Florida’s broadcasters will be calling games in the near future.

Steve Goldstein and Randy Moller (as well as radio voice Doug Plagens) will be calling Panthers games from Fox’s studios in Fort Lauderdale. The Miami Heat broadcasters won’t be on site for the restart, either.

Barry also has updates on the Marlins’ broadcast as well as what is going on with ESPN Radio.

— More from Barry ‘The Machine’ Jackson as he offers up a number of Miami Dolphins notes as players are expected to start reporting to Davie in the coming weeks.

— Barry again? The Miami Hurricanes lost a game yesterday when the Big Ten announced it would only play a conference schedule in 2020 (maybe).

So, Miami’s trip to East Lancing to play Michigan State is off.

— Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel answers pressing Miami Heat questions.

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