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2024 Stanley Cup Champions

Late Nights, Early Mornings with the Panthers and the Stanley Cup



Panthers stanley cup
Florida Panthers captain Sasha Barkov brings the Stanley Cup into E11EVEN Miami during the championship celebration on Wednesday night/Thursday morning. (Photo by Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images for E11EVEN Miami)

The Florida Panthers have been burning that midnight oil since winning the Stanley Cup on Monday night.

Matthew Tkachuk, talking at a promotional event in Pompano Beach Thursday morning, said he has slept three hours — total — since Florida won the Cup.

“Yeah, there’s a little bit of Celsius to get me through a little bit,’’ Tkachuk said of the energy drink which sponsors both he and the Panthers.

Tkachuk and the team partied into the wee hours of the morning at Amerant Bank Arena in Sunrise following their 2-1 win in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Edmonton Oilers.

A bunch of players then headed over to Tkachuk’s waterfront abode in Fort Lauderdale where they kept the party going.

Roberto Luongo Living Best Life as a Stanley Cup Champ

After a stop for coffee on Tuesday morning, they brought the Cup to the Fort Lauderdale strip for a day of decadence at the Elbo Room and American Social — with a number of players taking the Cup for a swim in the Atlantic.

Is salt water good for the Cup?

“Someone said it was not technically allowed,’’ Tkachuk said, “but it was too late. It already happened. Once it got in the ocean, it got a little heavy.’’

On Wednesday, the team headed south where they had dinner with the Cup at CATCH Miami Beach — before going deep into the night at E11even a few blocks away from the old Miami Arena where the Panthers first started.

Although their dinner looked pretty low-key, the nightclub scene most certainly was not as numerous videos shared on social media showed players such as Aaron Ekblad and Ryan Lomberg scaling the poles on stage and showing off their best moves.

Panthers stanley cup

Carter Verhaeghe shares the Stanley Cup with patrons at E11EVEN Miami on Wednesday night/Thursday morning. (Photo by Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images for E11EVEN Miami)

Tkachuk arrived in Pompano Beach around 10 a.m. — saying he was riding off an hour’s worth of sleep.

He was greeted by thousands of fans lined up and down Federal Highway in Pompano Beach.

“I am going to cherish every single moment of this until they kick me out of Florida for the summer,” said Tkachuk, who took a moment Wednesday to finally get a haircut and a much-needed shave. “It is so much fun sharing this with your teammates, but with the fans as well. So much fun. The fans have been incredible. …

“It is really special to me. I take great pride in it, try to be an ambassador for hockey down here. To see the support for our team, not just since winning, but for the two years I have been here. I could not believe the line I saw out there driving in today. And on, what, a Thursday? I can’t keep track of the days although I know it is not the weekend. I guess everyday is the weekend when you win the Cup.’’

The Panthers plan on keeping the party going through the weekend, with more to come at their championship parade Sunday morning along A1A in Fort Lauderdale.

Tkachuk says he is really excited for that.

Panthers stanley cup

Matthew Tkachuk sprays patrons with champagne at E11EVEN Miami during the Florida Panthers Stanley Cup celebration on June 26. (Photo by Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images for E11EVEN Miami)

After seeing so many fans on Thursday just to catch a glimpse of him, Tkachuk said the parade should be a wild time.

The Panthers are getting used to it.

“It is going to be so special, right down the beach not too far from where my house is,” Tkachuk said. “We’re going to go by places that I have hung out in ever since I have been here. To see the transformation, to have the Cup there and all the fans, I have been looking forward to this my whole life. I cannot wait.”

For More FHN Coverage of the Stanley Cup Champion Florida Panthers:

  • Stanley Cup Championship Parade, Fort Lauderdale: Sunday, 11 a.m.
  • NHL Draft, Las Vegas: Friday-Saturday
  • NHL Free Agency: Monday
  • Florida Panthers Development Camp, Fort Lauderdale: Early July
  • Florida Panthers Training Camp, Fort Lauderdale: Mid-September
  • Florida Panthers Preseason: Sept. 22-Oct. 5
  • Florida Panthers Opening Night/Banner Unveiling: TBA

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