The Florida Panthers are a first-class NHL organization that is healing through the growing pains fast.
The Panthers may not be a Stanley Cup favorite this very moment but a huge win over the Vegas Golden Knights recently who by the way are the talk of the NHL season because of their success as the first expansion team since 2000 have the Panthers moving in the right direction.
A turbulent season on and off the ice saw the Panthers fall back out of the playoff picture last season. Changes were made in the front office, behind the bench, and on the ice. The Panthers were 45-1 odds to win the Stanley Cup Final at the start of the season. It is fair, but they are changing the odds for the future.
The noise may not make them sound like winners however they do their part to make noise to honor making the franchise look like winners.
The Panthers honored original owner H. Wayne Huizenga by retiring jersey No. 37 in a pregame ceremony in the Panthers a 4-3 victory over the Golden Knights. Huizenga’s lucky number is 37 and was also the year he was born.
“A quarter of a century of hockey in South Florida it seems incredible, but it’s been that long,” Wayne Huizenga Jr. stated. “The team has continued to succeed and to see the ethos is incredible.”
Panthers were not done showing gratitude.
They spoiled former coach Gerard Gallant’s return to Florida.
Gallant, fired by the Panthers in November 2016, was hired to coach the expansion Golden Knights last April. Making his first visit back since his dismissal, Gallant got a standing ovation during a scoreboard video tribute in the first period. Gallant acknowledged the praise with a wave of his hand.
“I don’t get too emotional,” Gallant said. “I enjoyed my time here, we had a good run, and the fans treated me well.”
Back on the ice.
As the season goes go on, there is one brief worry for the Florida Panthers,
Once again, the top line? Super great. The rest of the offense well, it sure could use more help.
Aaron Ekblad scored 40 seconds into overtime to give the Panthers the victory over Gallant’s new team. Excitement like this win is what the fans need consistently along with improvement from the young talent to continue the healing and end it.