How to Improve The Florida Panthers’ Brand

When new owner Vincent Viola took the reins of the Florida Panthers prior to the start of the 2013-14 season, he made it very clear that the team would no longer be content to simply survive in Florida, but flourish instead.

As the inaugural season of the Viola-Cifu era comes to a close, both players and management have already begun to look ahead to an offseason in which new ownership will have the time and planning to truly make their mark both on and off the ice.

With that in mind, there are several key areas that should be addressed if the organization hopes to go from a perpetual sideshow to a respected franchise.

Some areas in need of change are obvious.

[Read more...]

Panther Parkway Radio: Jeff Marek Discusses Mackenzie Weegar, Free Agency, Draft Day & More!

Tune in to tonight’s show where we discuss the biggest Florida Panthers news of the week with Jeff Marek!

Host: Paige Lewis

Guests: Jameson Cooper and Jeff Marek of Hockey Central

Topics

  • SportsNet
  • What does Mackenzie Weegar do for the Panthers blue line?
  • Ekblad discussion
  • Panthers draft discussion
  • Is Florida an attractive free agent destination?
  • Best free agents for Florida

New Episode Here

We welcome your comments and feedback!

Follow Paige on Twitter @PaigeLewisFL

For All Your Florida Panthers’ Updates Follow Panther Parkway on Facebook

Follow Panther Parkway on Instagram @ PantherParkway

Panther Parkway Radio: Season Review, Coaching, Draft, Free Agency & Who Should Stay?

Tune in to tonight’s show where we discuss the biggest Florida Panthers news of the week!

Host: Paige Lewis

Guests: Frank Rekas, Dave Lasseter, Jameson Cooper and Mike Lewis (no relations to Paige)

Topics

  • Season Review: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.
  • Coaching change?
  • Draft Lottery/Draft Day
  • 5 guys you would want in Free Agency
  • Veterans. Who stays, who goes?
  • Does Dan Ellis have a future with the Cats?
  • Tanner Glass makes the world go ’round.

New Episode Here

We welcome your comments and feedback!

Follow Paige on Twitter @PaigeLewisFL

For All Your Florida Panthers’ Updates Follow Panther Parkway on Facebook

Follow Panther Parkway on Instagram @ PantherParkway

Florida Panthers Season In Review. The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.

Saturday night the regular season ended for the Florida Panthers the way it has in 12 of the past 13 seasons; out of the playoffs.  In addition the Panthers will once again be slated for one of the top three picks in this years draft.  Another familiar position they’ve known all too well since the summer of 2010.  The season was summed up perfectly by young defenceman Erik Gudbranson who had this to say after Saturday night’s loss to Columbus:

“It difficult. You never want to be in this position,” Panthers defenseman Erik Gudbranson said. “This isn’t fun. We put ourselves behind the 8-ball early in the season in that nine-game stretch, and we really didn’t recover well.

“It’s a disappointing feeling in here. You want to be in the playoffs. For it to end so abruptly now, it’s difficult.”

Now that the season has been completed, we’ll look at what worked, what didn’t work, and what we don’t want to see again.

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Panther Parkway Post-Game: Panthers vs. Blue Jackets

Stars of the game

1st: Ryan Johansen (1G-1A-2P)

2nd: Jimmy Hayes (1G-0A-1P)

3rd: Mark Letestu (1G-0A-1P)

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Panther Parkway Post-Game: Panthers vs. Stars

Stars of the game

1st: Sean Bergenheim (1G-0A-1P- GW Goal)

2nd: Brandon Pirri (1G-1A-2P)

3rd: Tyler Seguin (1G-1A-2P)

Goals (Panthers 3, Stars 2)

DAL: Jamie Benn (33)  Assists: Tyler Seguin, Trevor Daley

DAL: Tyler Seguin  (36) (Power Play) Assists: Alex Goligoski, Trevor Daley

FLA: Scottie Upshall (15) Assists: Erik Gudbranson, Brandon Pirri

FLA: Brandon Pirri (12) Assists: Jimmy Hayes, Bobby Butler

FLA: Sean Bergenheim (16) Assists: Colby Robak, Scott Gomez

[Read more...]

Game Day Preview: Stars vs. Panthers. There Was No Place For Sorrow.

DALLAS STARS: 38-28-11 (87 PTS) vs. FLORIDA PANTHERS: 27-43-8 (62 PTS.)

TSN GAMEDAY

GAME DAY SONG Loose Ends, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

The Florida Panthers will host their second consecutive Western conference opponent this evening when Tim Thomas and the Dallas Stars visit the BB & T Center for the final matchup of the season between these two teams.  The first meeting was back on opening night in October when the Panthers ousted the Stars 4-2, with newly signed free agent Scott Gomez netting his first goal of the season. Since then Gomez has only scored one other time, but has been receiving praise of late from head coach Peter Horachek for his leadership on the ice.  Something this battered and bruised young team is in desperate need of.

There’ve been a number of changes since game one of the season for the Panthers.  They have a totally different look on the ice and behind the bench since that optimistic night in October.  Peter Horachek has replaced Kevin Dineen as the head coach, with assistants Brian Skrudland and John Maddenreplacing Gord Murphy and Craig Ramsey.  On the ice, Tim Thomas was sent to Dallas ironically, and Roberto Luongo is now the number one goalie with Dan Ellis as his back up.  Ellis came form the Stars in the Thomas trade, and both he and Bobby Lu have quickly found out that there’s a problem with defence here.  It’s expected that will be addressed in the off season.

[Read more...]

Luongo Returns to Panthers in 2-1 Loss to Flames

After suffering a mild-concussion on March 27th against the Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo finally reclaimed his spot between the pipes as the team kicked off their season ending homestand against the Calgary Flames on Friday night.

During his three game absence, the Panthers struggled to keep opponent’s scoring low, allowing 14 total goals as veteran backups Scott Clemmensen and Dan Ellis tried to hold down the fort.

Competing in his 800th career NHL game, Luongo admittedly showed signs of rust as the Panthers fell to the Flames by a final score of 2-1.

“I think I felt a hair off as far as my game is concerned,” Luongo said. “I only had one practice and jumped right into the game. It’ll get better as the next couple days go by.”

[Read more...]

Game Day Preview: Panthers vs. Devils. We Cannot Undo These Things We’ve Done.

 FLORIDA PANTHERS: 27-40-8 (62 PTS.) vs. NEW JERSEY DEVILS: 31-28-15 (77 PTS.)

GAME DAY SONG:  Outlaw Pete, Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band (Watch it!)

The individuals responsible for putting this game on NBCSN must have thought that the New Jersey Devils would be entrenched in a playoff spot, and that the Florida Panthers would be playing respectable hockey with their maturing youth.  Instead, tonight’s tilt finds the Devils scratching and clawing, fighting for their playoff lives, while the Panthers are sinking further into the abyss of the Eastern Conference with some of their youth nursing injuries.  If the Devils, who are currently 5 points out of a playoff spot, do indeed miss the postseason, they can point to their record in shootouts as what will be the primary reason.  New Jersey has lost 10 consecutive shootouts, something that the Florida Panthers were all too familiar with back in the days of head coach Peter DeBoer.  Heck they were familiar with it when Jacques Martin was behind the bench as well.

The shootout as we all know is the NHL’s gimmick for deciding games that end in a tie after five minutes of overtime.  And while this writer firmly believes it should be abolished, the New Jersey Devils’ season rides on those 10 losses, and when you’re a team that struggles to score goals as it is, the pressure of a skills competition magnifies your results.  Devils forward Patrik Elias commented on the quandary that they find themselves in:

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Game Day Preview: Panthers VS Canadiens

FLORIDA PANTHERS: 27-39-8 (62 PTS.) vs. MONTREAL CANADIENS: 42-26-7 (91 PTS.)

GAME DAY SONG: Snowbird by Anne Murray

It’s game 75 for the Florida Panthers as they take on their Atlantic Division rival (that still sounds weird) Montreal Canadiens. The Panthers come in looking for a win to end their 3 game home stand on a high note after being blanked by the Hurricanes 3-0 in Sunrise on Thursday. On the opposite side of the coin the Habs, who are in the midst of a 4 game roadie, come to South Florida from Motown after just escaping the Wings with 2 points.

Where they’ve been

The Panthers returned home from their Western road trip looking for some positivity and got just that when they came back from two down to send the Senators home gaping at the dazzler that was Vincent Trocheck in the shootout. Against the Hurricanes, the Cats ran into the Kazak Krusher Anton Khudobin who turned aside all 35 shots (35!) he faced for the shutout to send the fans home with the burning desire to destroy their Borat DVDs. The Panthers are 3-6-1 in their last 10 and are continuing on their quest to end their season on a high note by spoiling the March break of thousands of visiting Montrealers.

Across the rink, the Habs are quite hot posting a 7-3 record in their last 10, winning 7 of their last 8 and have won 4 in a row. It’s not all roses as the Habs stole one in Detroit after hanging on for a 5-4 win over the decimated Wings.

[Read more...]

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