For years, the Florida Panthers had facsimiles of Sasha Barkov and Aaron Ekblad looking down on those who entered their arena in Sunrise. But with the NHL All-Star Game here this weekend, the images have changed.
Barkov and Ekblad are no longer on the glass facade.
Instead, banners featuring NHL All-Stars — including Florida’s Matthew Tkachuk and Washington’s Alex Ovechkin — now stare down from 50 feet up.
But do not fret, fan of the Florida Panthers: The team plans to put up a new mural on the glass once the All-Star Game leaves.
Aside from Tkachuk and Ovechkin, Dallas’ Jason Robertson and Edmonton’s Connor McDavid are also part of the banners on the south and north ends of the arena.
On Tuesday night, workers appeared to be preparing to add more color to the beige facade of the building.
So, we’ll see what more is added before Friday’s NHL Skills competition lands in Sunrise.
FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW
Speaking of Barkov, the Panthers’ captain was a late addition to the All-Star team and he seems happy to have been selected to represent his home team in their hometown All-Star team.
Barkov said he was not going anywhere, anyway.
— Looking for all the big events during All-Star Week?
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— Colby D. Guy took your best ‘Hot Takes,’ and gave his thoughts on them.
— The Panthers and Anton Levtchi broke up as the 2023 Liiga scoring champ appears headed home to Finland to finish this season.
— The Panthers announced the rosters for Wednesday’s Alumni Game — Roberto Luongo, Keith Yandle, Peter Worrell, Ray Sheppard and David Booth are among those playing for Team Florida.
While the festival is free and open to the public, the alumni game is a ticketed event. The team announced that tickets went on sale for $50 each.
If any are left, you can find them RIGHT HERE
— While we still have all the postgame comments from Paul Maurice, Sam Bennett, Sam Reinhart and Alex Lyon from Saturday night on the FHN YouTube Channel, we’re going back in time.
Below is the video of the Panthers honoring Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar in their first game back in Sunrise following the blockbuster Tkachuk trade.
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NHL ALL-STAR WEEK SCHEDULE
Coral Springs Hockey Festival & Alumni Game; IceDen, 5-8 p.m.
This is another free event in which food trucks, special appearances and games will take over the Panthers’ training facility off Sample Road and the Sawgrass Expressway.
The highlight is a game on the stadium rink between Panthers and other NHL alumni.
While the festival stuff is free and open to the public, the alumni game is a ticketed event with tickets on sale now for $50 each.
A free “Learn to Skate” event will be held from 4:45-5:45pm and skates will be provided. All participants must pre-register online and bring a helmet. To register, click HERE.
2016 NHL All-Star Game; Bally Sports Florida, 7 p.m.
This game was one in which Jaromir Jagr initially did not want to attend after being voted captain of the Atlantic team.
But he went and had a blast with teammates Ekblad and Luongo.
Florida coach Gerard Gallant was behind the bench as the Panthers ended up winning the Atlantic Division title that season.
NATIONAL HOCKEY NOW
Evgeny Kuznetsov scored in overtime to give the Washington Capitals a win in Columbus and give them a little more breathing room over the Panthers — and everyone else chasing them in the playoff race.
— Does Brian Burke have concerns about the Pittsburgh Penguins? Sounds like it.
— The New York Islanders made a blockbuster trade on Monday but you always have to give something up.
— The Montreal Canadiens made a comeback but lost to the Sens anyway.
— If the Detroit Red Wings trade Tyler Bertuzzi, there are a few teams who should be really interested.
FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK
ALL-STAR WEEK, SOUTH FLORIDA
- Wednesday: Florida Panthers Alumni Game at Panthers IceDen, Coral Springs
- Thursday through Saturday: NHL All-Star Beach Festival at Fort Lauderdale Beach
- Friday: Skills Competition at FLA Live Arena, Sunrise (ESPN)
- Saturday: All-Star Game at FLA Live Arena, Sunrise (ABC)
- Up Next for the Panthers: vs. Tampa Bay, Feb. 6 at 7 p.m. (BSF)