How Important is Luongo to the Florida Panthers Brand?

In a piece from, the Florida Panthers new (former) franchise goalie mused over his new/old found fame in South Florida. He said things like “I swear, every time I go out, there are people recognizing me, which I don’t remember as much when I was younger” and “I feel like I’m more popular here now than when I played here, for some reason, which is crazy.”

Well Roberto, when you consider the reason, it’s not that crazy.

South Florida has been waiting for you (well, the idea of you) for a long time.

The Panthers have been one of the NHL’s fringe teams for a while in terms of on ice play and public image but as most of us on Panther Parkway have pointed out; those days are numbered.

Jameson Cooper outlined how to improve the Panthers’ brand in a piece earlier this week, which continued with our theme of “Hockey IS the business,” the regime ownership is slowly but surely putting into place. They’re doing it by promoting players instead of cars and wins instead of restaurants. They’re doing it by putting their faith in the brand that is the Florida Panthers’ on ice product rather than what surrounds the ice. The rebuild that Dale Tallon is undertaking is playing a huge part of that rebrand, but the “new” rebuild of the franchise has been underway for months and will continue to evolve as the year progresses. In terms of the rebrand, the acquisition of Roberto Luongo officially kicked it into relevancy.

For years, Luongo has been widely recognized as one of the league’s elite netminders. He boasts a career .919 save percentage and a 2.51 Goals against average. He has 373 career wins and only has one season with fewer than 30 wins since 2004. Despite his age, his reflexes are still sharp, positioning is sound and his passion for the game is as high as it ever was.

When it comes to the on-ice product, the Panthers and their fans shouldn’t be worried about what Luongo brings to the table. But the “Luongo Effect” that I am alluding to doesn’t refer to what he’s capable of doing between the pipes.

As Tallon said: “This is the beginning of something special for this Florida Panthers organization, having Roberto back in the fold and back here in Florida where he belongs.”

Operating under the “Hockey IS business” model, Tallon knows that Luongo is the perfect amalgamation of those terms. Luongo is charismatic, fan-friendly and known league-wide. He’s active on social media, makes TV appearances and is known for his quick wit with the press.

You have to think that Dale had all this in mind when he brought Luongo back to the Panthers. The Panthers as a franchise desperately needed a poster boy who the rest of the league can identify and gravitate to.

It doesn’t take a genius to recognize that Tallon wants that gravitation towards the Panthers.

Tallon has said that he wants to win, that he can win and that he will win. He’s well on his way to building a winner and bringing in a high-profile talented player with league wide fame is only going to help his cause.

In concordance with his push to the top, Tallon has said that he has the resources to spend and that he will do just that to put a competitive winning team on the ice.

How does Luongo fit into that plan? “I’m hoping that it does show other free agents that it is a serious organization and the ownership is definitely committed to winning.” Luongo said. “When you know that the ownership is committed to winning it really does tend to attract players that want to come play. This is a great place to live.”

For too long the Panthers have been without a top-tier ambassador. Money talks, winning talks louder and the combination of the two is exactly what Tallon (and subsequently Luongo) is offering to future Free Agents.

So add another feather to Tallon’s cap because he’s doing everything right when it comes to building a winner.

Hockey IS business. The owners get that, Tallon gets that, and the acquisition of Luongo proves that they’re putting it into place.

Panther Parkway Radio: Game Recap, Fan Questions, and NHL News

Tune in to tonight’s show and listen to us discuss all the happenings with the Florida Panthers! Tonight’s episode is a special show where we answer all of YOUR questions you sent us via twitter!

Host: Paige Lewis

Guests: Dave Lasseter, Jameson Cooper, and Mike Lewis


  • Panthers 2-game win streak
  • NHL News
  • Answering Fan Questions!

Click the link below for today’s podcast!

New Episode Here

[Read more…]

Early Favorites to Make Team USA For The 2014 Sochi Olympics

As some of you may know, the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics are less than a year away and all eyes will soon be on Russia within the next few months.

It’s hard to believe that it’s already been three years since the 2010 Vancouver Olympics which saw many athletes become household names. Team USA lead the overall team medal count with 37 medals, 9 of which were Gold. However, Team Canada led the way with 14 Gold medals, but only 26 overall medals.

The most important competition leading up to the 2010 Winter Olympics had to be Men’s Ice Hockey.

There was tremendous pressure for the Canadian team to come away with the Gold, but the USA team looked poised to steal it off their necks. However, no one will ever forget the heroics by Sidney Crosby in the Gold medal match which saw him score the game winning goal in overtime.

It will be 4 years since that crushing defeat for Team USA, and this up and coming team will look to once again foil another hockey power house in their own soil, Russia.

As I researched and looked around the NHL for players that will most likely be on this team, I found myself saying similar names to last Olympics team.

[Read more…]

Panther Parkway Gives A Chance For Our Readers To Be Heard


In an effort to get community involvement from the readers of our site, Panther Parkway will be introducing a new feature beginning Friday October 7th.  This weekly post will be known as:

The Friday Feature.  And your name will prominently be placed in the headline as well.

You’ll be interviewed on various hockey topics regarding the NHL team that you follow, so this isn’t limited to just Florida Panther Fans.  We’ll ask you questions such as who’s your favorite player,  what league rules you like or don’t like.  We may even go off topic and get your opinion of NFL officials. And of course your line of questions wouldn’t be complete without asking your view on the lockout.  If you have a website of your own, this may give you a chance to give yourself a “shameless” plug at the same time.

If you are interested, please send me an email to Put in your subject line Friday Feature, and tell me briefly why you should be interviewed.  I’ll begin selecting from the responses as they start rolling in.

Thanks for reading.  We welcome your comments and opinions.

Follow the Rat Pack on Twitter: me @TheRatTrick , David Lasseter @davidlasseter , Josh Luecht@joshluecht, Patrick McLaughlin @PatrickRattrick, Scott Mullin @GreatScottsman, David Rodriguez @davidbub_2, Paige Lewis @RatTrickLewiz Gabby Kiger @gabbykiger, Adam Reid@AdamReid Chrissy Parente @chrissaay44, Justen Rosenberg @justenrosenberg, Kris Eberwein @RatTrickKris, and Lori Carpenter @lmcangel13. Also, please join our FaceBook Fan Page and hit the like button, send us photos, and tell us what’s on your mind.

An ECHL Team Offered Justin Bieber A Contract…Seriously.


Justin Bieber Photo Source: Adam Sundana/Wikipedia Commons

As if this summer wasn’t already painful enough with the potential lockout being announced in 4 days, the Bakersfield Condors had to go and make things even worse…or should I say, bizarre?

According to the, the ECHL team has offered the “Boyfriend” singer an amateur tryout contract for this upcoming hockey season.

I know I know. This must be some sick joke right? Unfortunately, it’s real.

Apparently the head coach of the Condors Matt O’Dette was quoted saying,

“Very rarely do you see this combination of skill and toughness,” he said in a statement. “I’ve scouted some video of him online skating with my hometown team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, and I think he could provide some elusive speed up front for us.”

He even reserved a jersey with Bieber’s lucky Number 6 on it in hopes that the millionaire would leave behind his “music” to play semi-pro hockey.

Well, I have one thing to say to you Mr. O’Dette…Dream Big.

If the below video is any indication of Bieber’s “toughness”, then they’re in for one heck of a season. And I mean that in the most negative way possible.

Lets hope for the Condors sake that this is just a public relations stunt. Because if O’Dette’s scouting skills of Bieber are reflective of the rest of the team, it could be a LONG season for the Bakersfield Condors.

Thank you for reading, Comments are appreciated !

Make sure to like is on Facebook as well. Remember to also follow the entire Rat Trick team on Twitter! 

Follow Me : Paige Lewis: @RatTrickLewiz @davidbub_2 Frank Rekas: @TheRatTrick David Lasseter: @davidlasseter Scott Mullin: @GreatScottsMan Gabrielle Kiger: @gabbykiger Chrissy Parente: @chrissaay44 Adam Reid: @AdamReid_Justen Rosenberg @justenrosenberg Kris Eberwein @kriseberwein Amanda Land @HockeyGirl2530


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