Well, we are finally in September which means we will have the Florida Panthers back on the ice this month.
That wasn’t too bad, was it?
Thanks to the Panthers’ run to the Stanley Cup Final, this will end up being the shortest offseason in franchise history.
A few more weeks and it will be rookie camp. Then the Showcase in Estero.
We expect training camp to open up on Sept. 20.
By our math, that is 20 days away.
On Sept. 25, hockey will be back in Sunrise as the Panthers play host to a doubleheader against the Nashville Predators.
Let the countdown begin!
On Thursday, NHL.com polled 12 of its writers for the first Super 16 of the upcoming season.
The Florida Panthers, as expected, were not in the Top 5.
But they are closer to that than No. 16.
According to the poll, Florida is No. 9 after picking up 82 points from the 12 voters.
For context, the defending champion Golden Knights got 191 points.
From NHL.com columnist Nicholas J. Cotsonika: The Panthers are coming off an epic run to the Stanley Cup Final. Problem is, they’re still recovering from it.
Hard to argue with that logic.
The extent of Florida’s injury problems have not been made public yet although they will likely be revealed in the coming days.
We know Aaron Ekblad and Brandon Montour had surgery following the playoffs and are not expected to be ready for the start of the season much less training camp.
Both players are said to be back in South Florida and are rehabbing at the team facilities but have not joined the summer group of players on the ice in Coral Springs.
Ranked ahead of the Panthers in the Atlantic Division: Toronto (No. 7) and Tampa Bay (No. 8) with Boston rounding out the top 10.
FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK
- Now: Free agency period is open
- Sept. 15-18: Rookie Showcase (vs. Carolina, Tampa Bay and Nashville), Estero
- Est-Sept. 20: Training Camp, South Florida
- Sept. 25: Preseason starts; Doubleheader v. Nashville @ Sunrise
- Oct. 7: Preseason ends; v. Tampa Bay Lightning @ Sunrise
- Oct. 12: Start of 2023-24 Regular Season at Minnesota Wild (Bally Sports Florida)
- Oct. 19: 2023-24 Home Opener vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (BSF)