Two players who have ties to the Florida Panthers — only one of which actually played for them — are hanging up their skates.
Former Florida defenseman Jason Demers told Sheng Peng of San Jose Hockey Now that he is “right on the edge of retirement” and is looking into work with the NHL Network and Sharks’ television coverage.
Forward Joonas Donskoi officially announced his retirement on Monday citing numerous concussions.
Donskoi, 31, played with Seattle last season.
“It is extremely hard to let go of something you have put your whole life into, but at this point I know it’s the right decision for my own well being and future,” Donskoi wrote on Instagram. “I am looking forward to putting our family first now.”
Demers spent one season with the Panthers after signing a five-year deal with the team in 2016. He was traded to Arizona in 2017 for Jamie McGinn.
Donskoi, despite being a fourth-round pick by the Panthers in 2010, never played for them.
After remaining in Finland, Florida gave up his rights in 2015 — and he signed with the San Jose Sharks.
Donskoi ended up playing 474 NHL games with the Sharks, Colorado and Seattle.
On the flip side of things, Mark Pysyk signed a PTO with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Known as ‘the Prius’ with the Panthers, Pysyk missed all of last season after sustaining an injury in Detroit.
FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW
We know it is way to early to start breaking down who may be on the Florida Panthers when training camp breaks but, hey, why not?
Here is our take on who starts the season on the Florida 23-man roster.
— Matt Kiersted will be in the thick of the fight for a spot.
— Florida has signed a number of key players to good-looking contracts over the past few seasons but the work never stops. Who is the next key player Bill Zito locks up?
— The Panthers are heading back to Miami as their first two big fan events to kick off their 30th season will be in Little Havana and Hialeah.
— The changes to Florida’s fourth line this season start with Kevin Stenlund, although they may not stop there.
— The fifth Amerigol LATAM Cup wrapped up at the IceDen in Coral Springs on Sunday and the event continues to grow each and every year.
NATIONAL HOCKEY NOW
The Pittsburgh Penguins new owners are taking over their television coverage as they assume ownership of AT&T Sportsnet.
Considering the Fenway folks already run NESN, they know what they’re doing.
— The Washington Capitals promoted Brian MacLellan to president of hockey operations.
— Taking a look at some Montreal Canadiens trade talk.
— Jim Montgomery and the Boston Bruins appear cool going with Charlie Coyle and Pavel Zacha as their top two centers.
— Terry Pegula is now president of the Buffalo Sabres.
— Who could be the four most improved Philadelphia Flyers?
— Did the Detroit Red Wings rush Filip Zadina?
— Chicago Blackhawks rookie Connor Bedard has been training with Connor McDavid.
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 @ Minnesota Wild
- Oct. 19: 2023-24 Home Opener vs. Toronto Maple Leafs