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The Florida Panthers Change, but Barkov & Ekblad Remain



Florida panthers
Sasha Barkov and Aaron Ekblad as depicted on the west side of the FLA Live Arena in Sunrise. — Photo @GeorgeRichards

SUNRISE — Sasha Barkov and Aaron Ekblad both woke to the news of yet another trade involving teammates with the Florida Panthers.

When the Panthers announced their blockbuster deal with the Calgary Flames on July 22, the one which sent Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar west with Matthew Tkachuk coming to South Florida, two of their star players did not find out until hours later.

The news of the trade broke around 11 p.m. on a Friday night in South Florida.

Barkov was in Finland; Ekblad went to bed early at his home in Fort Lauderdale.

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“In the summertime, I can’t stay up past 9:30 so I was sleeping,” he recalled. “My wife woke me up the next morning and told me about the trade. I was surprised like everyone was.”

It was a trade which sent shockwaves throughout the hockey world and one that momentarily stunned players on the Panthers.

But for Ekblad and Barkov, it was something they have become well accustomed to.

They are the two longest-tenured members of the Florida Panthers with third place — Sergei Bobrovsky — really not even close.

”We have survived,” Ekblad quipped.

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