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The Florida Panthers Wrap: A Nice Start to a New Season



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Patric Hornqvist reacts after scoring what turned out to be the game-winning goal against the New York Islanders in the third period on Thursday night in Elmont, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

The Florida Panthers tumultuous offseason was put to bed on Thursday night when the puck was dropped on the first game of the 2022-23 campaign.

The Panthers ended up getting goals from Eetu Luostarinen, Patric Hornqvist and that Matthew Tkachuk fella in a 3-1 win over the host New York Islanders.

Florida kept the winning going on Saturday afternoon, beating the host Sabres 4-3 in Buffalo.

It was a pretty eventful week in PantherLand with two wins, a new player joining the team (as a few more left for Charlotte) and a potential look at what the team’s Reverse Retro jerseys will look like this season.

As always, it was all covered right here on the (virtual) pages of Florida Hockey Now.

Catch up on anything you missed from the past week — or just re-read the stories you liked the most.

They’re all here.


If there’s one thing constant about the Florida Panthers over the past few years it is constant change.

Except when it comes to Sasha Barkov and Aaron Ekblad.

The two stars of the Panthers have not only survived, but they have thrived as well.

When it comes to longest-tenured players on the Panthers, it’s Barkov (10th season), Ekblad (ninth) and then a pretty big drop off.

Who is third? Sergei Bobrovsky, who started his fourth season with the team on Thursday.

I sat down and spoke with both of them about their careers here with the Panthers and what they ultimately want to do here.


The Florida Panthers make it two consecutive wins to start the season as Spencer Knight makes 24 saves — including one spectacular one — as Florida beats the Sabres 4-3.

— More postgame video and the first LIVE! FHN Panthers Postgame from Casa de Jorge following Saturday’s game.

— Is this what the Panthers’ Reverse Retro is going to look like? From what we’re hearing, yup.

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— Previewing Saturday’s matinee between the Panthers and Sabres.

— The Charlotte Checkers got off to a great start with an overtime victory over the Hartford Wolf Pack.

Aleksi Heponiemi got things going as he kept the hot hand going but it was Anton Levtchi who was the hero, scoring twice — including the winner in OT.


Matthew Tkachuk certainly seems happy to be with the Florida Panthers — and they are thrilled he is here.

Even though he only had one goal (and an empty-net one, to boot), Tkachuk put his stamp on the Panthers’ opening night win against the Islanders.


You want Florida Panthers GameDay coverage? FHN is the only place to go.

Five stories and six posts on Thursday as Florida opened its season with a 3-1 win over the Islanders.

— The new Florida Panthers top line is ready to get going as Sam Reinhart joins Sasha Barkov and Carter Verhaeghe. This trio lasted all of two games last season but should be together a lot longer in this one.

— Our GameDay staple is back as we give you the projected lines and betting odds for each game this season.

— It was the start of a new era for both the Panthers and Islanders as their new coaches kicked off a new season.

— Paul Maurice wants the Panthers to continue what they’re good at while also shoring up their defensive play.

— The FHN YouTube Channel is your one-stop shop to hear from the Panthers as well as watch our postgame shows following each game.

Follow the channel — it is free — and you’ll be alerted when new content pops up. Which is every day, basically.

You can see all the content RIGHT HERE or go to the YouTube app and search for FloridaHockeyNow.

Thursday, we had postgame reaction from Maurice, Matthew Tkachuk, Sergei Bobrovsky and Eetu Luostarinen.


On Sunday, Josh Mahura found himself on waivers by the Anaheim Ducks. He was claimed by the Florida Panthers on Monday and on a redeye flight to South Florida later that night.

On Tuesday morning, after arriving in town around 6 a.m., he joined his new teammates for his first practice. He says he is excited about a second chance with the Panthers. 

— Who you gonna call? Maroone!

The Panthers dialed up AutoNation — the automotive powerhouse founded by H. Wayne Huizenga — to be their first jersey sponsor.

The AutoNation tag will be on road jerseys for the next three years.

Happy Birthday to our Guy, Colby!


With only 20 players on their initial roster due to salary cap constraints, the Florida Panthers may find themselves going into a game down a player — or two — if someone was to get hurt in the morning skate or warmups and the team did not have time to make an emergency recall.


General manager Bill Zito set the Florida roster by the 5 p.m. deadline and, without any cap room, was unable to sign Eric Staal to a contract.

Florida would still like to make that happen in the near future.

— With all the new players on the Florida Panthers that means a lot of new numbers on their backs.

We go back through team history to see which players wore those digits in the past — and which ones wore it the best.

— Not only did the Panthers not lose any of the players they placed on waivers, but they won their claim on Mahura.

The six players who cleared waivers were assigned to AHL Charlotte.


The Panthers got started in trying to find some salary cap flexibility by placing six players on waivers. 

Those waived included Aleksi Heponiemi, Michael Del Zotto, Lucas Carlsson and Chris Tierney.

Heponiemi and Tierney both scored in the Checkers’ opener with Carlsson getting a pair of assists. Nice start.



  • When: Monday, 7 p.m.
  • Where: Boston Garden 
  • TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida, ESPN+
  • Radio: WQAM 560-AM; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932
  • Last season: Boston won 2-1
  • All-time regular season series: Boston leads 58-36-6, 6 ties

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