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FHN Today: Lightning keep Stanley Cup in Florida, Panthers offering NIL deals

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Lightning Stanley Cup

The Stanley Cup is going to need a little more sunscreen as it will remain in the Sunshine State for another year after the Tampa Bay Lightning defended its title with a 1-0 win over the Montreal Canadiens in Game 5 on Wednesday night.

This is not only Tampa Bay’s second consecutive championship, but third in franchise history.

Tampa Bay, one may remember, started its run to a second consecutive Cup title by beating the Florida Panthers in six games. 

Tampa Bay goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy won the Conn Smythe as playoff MVP — and it was most deserving.

With the end of the Stanley Cup Finals, that marks the end of the 2021 season.

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The Panthers and Lighting are now back in the Atlantic Division and teams can start making buyouts before the Seattle Expansion Draft.

It has been quiet off the ice during the playoffs — but that should change.

July is going to be a busy, busy month.

FLORIDA PANTHERS LINKS

The Florida Panthers are getting into the NIL game (Name, Image, Likeness) that is sweeping college sports lately with the team planning to offer interested college athletes the chance to link up with them through social media and other channels.

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“Right now, at the very least, we’re getting an understanding of who’s interested,” Panthers chief strategy officer Sam Doerr told the Associated Press.

“We’re really trying to understand what schools, who they are, what program, kind of their social media following and then we’ll internally set guidelines about who will qualify for the program.”

Per the AP story written by old pal Tim Reynolds, Doerr says the Panthers “will value diversity, he said, and wants to ensure women’s athletes and those from Olympic sports are part of the program.” (AP)

— In case you missed it, this is the one year anniversary of the launch of FloridaHockeyNow.com.It has been a crazy first year, but it certainly has been entertaining. Thanks to all of you for your support! (FHN)

— Also, going to open up the Florida Panthers summer mailbag on Friday.If you want to have your question answered, click on the following link and leave it in the comment section.

Deadline to be included in this mailbag is 4 p.m. on Thursday. (FHN)

AROUND THE NHL

The Montreal Canadiens had a fantastic run to the Stanley Cup Finals this year and this came after they upset the Penguins in the qualifying round last summer.

These kind of experiences are only going to help the Canadiens down the road. (SportsNet)

— Nazem Kadri broke his silence for the first time since his playoff suspension in the second round against Vegas. (CHN)

— Apparently upset with how the team has handled his shoulder injuries, Vladimir Tarasenko has asked the Blues for a trade. (SN)

— Do the Penguins have interest in Seth Jones? (PHN)

— Golden Knights owner Bill Foley is meeting with the front office to determine the offseason path. Marc-Andre Fleury or Robin Lehner will probably hit the NHL trade market. (VHN)

— Detroit fans hope top European prospect William Eklund will be there at No. 6. (DHN)

— Do the Islanders think Jordan Eberle is expendable? (NYIHN)

— The Bruins continue to lose assistant coaches. (BHN)

— Where will Michael Kempny slot in with the Capitals? (WHN)

LOCALS ONLY

The Miami Marlins have won four our of five since that crazy first-pitch ejection in Atlanta on Friday as they beat the Dodgers on Wednesday night on a game-winning homer in the 10th. (Miami Herald)

— This is going to be a big offseason for Tyler Herro. How does he plan to spend it? (MH)

— Haiti beat Bermuda in a Gold Cup game in Fort Lauderdale on Wednesday and will play the USA this weekend in Kansas City. (MH)

— Speaking of the NIL thing, the Hurricanes are going all-in. (MH)

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