Good morning and welcome to "Cats & Coffee," a weekly segment, presented by Koffee Kult, in which we serve up an exciting look at what's on deck for your Florida Panthers. Like our friends at Koffee Kult, this forecast serves up only the best -- so sit back, sip and enjoy our latest brew of news, notes and information.
The Florida Panthers want fans to be a part of their journey to the NHL's 24-team postseason.
Opening up their doors, the team will soon be providing fans with an all-access, behind-the-scenes look at the team's return to the ice through a five-part online series called "Panthers Uncaged."
Presented by Lexus, "Panthers Uncaged" will premiere on Wednesday, July 1 at 5 p.m. ET on the club's Facebook, IGTV, PanthersVision and YouTube. Using #PanthersUncaged, fans can also find news about the show -- as well as fun bloopers -- on the team's social media channels.
"For the fans and other people, to see hockey teams coming back, see how they're skating, how they're preparing to go on the ice and preparing for training camp, I think it's going to be a huge thing," Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov said. "Everybody's going to be excited to see it."
Beginning with a look back at the team's ups and downs during the regular season, "Panthers Uncaged" will focus heavily on the unusual circumstances surrounding the team's return to the ice following an unprecedented three-month lockdown due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
With the Panthers IceDen serving as the show's primary backdrop, fans will be able to watch as players adjust to new virus testing procedures, shake off the rust on the ice and in the gym, and prepare for their upcoming series against the New York Islanders in the Stanley Cup Qualifier.
"We wanted to give our Panthers family a behind-the-scenes look at what our players, trainers and staff are doing to ensure a safe environment as the NHL's Return to Play plan begins," said Florida Panthers Senior Vice President Shawn Thornton.
"During these unprecedented times, we aim to provide access into players' lives to showcase their emotions, perseverance and dedication in their quest to bring the franchise its first Stanley Cup. Thanks to Lexus for helping us to bring fans this exclusive look at the hours in the gym, the whatever-it-takes attitude and more."
For a sneak peak of the show, check out the video below.
DRAFT LOTTERY RECAP
Well, this is a bit odd.
Following the results of the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery, the Panthers are somehow still in the running for not only the Stanley Cup, but also the first-overall selection in this year's draft.
Leapfrogging over the seven teams that will not be a part of the upcoming 24-team postseason, a placeholder team -- designated "Team E" -- won the lottery on Friday night despite having just a 2.5 percent chance (the 12th-best odds among the 15 entries) of securing the draft's top pick.
That means that all 16 teams competing in the Stanley Cup Qualifier now have a chance to win the first-overall selection. So, following the qualifying round, a second lottery will be held among the eight teams that were eliminated, with each club having a 12.5 percent chance of winning.
Until then, here's how this year's draft is currently shaping up.
1. Placeholder team
2. Los Angeles Kings
3. Ottawa Senators (from San Jose Sharks)
4. Detroit Red Wings
5. Ottawa Senators
6. Anaheim Ducks
7. New Jersey Devils
8. Buffalo Sabres
Moving forward, picks No. 9-15 will be assigned to the teams that lose the qualifier series and the second lottery in inverse order of their points percentage. After that, picks No. 16-31 will be determined by the results of the playoffs. In the end, let's hope the Panthers end up picking 31st.
HUBERDEAU TOPS BARKOV IN NHL20
Jonathan Huberdeau has certainly earned some bragging rights… for now!
In a battle between two of the Panthers all-time great forwards, Huberdeau swept teammate Aleksander Barkov in their best-of-three series on NHL 20 last week on the team's official Twitch channel.
With more than 1,000 viewers tuning in to check out the action at Twitch.tv/FlaPanthers during the stream, Huberdeau won the first two games by scores of 8-1 and 8-6, respectively. So, in the third game, the duo decided to have some fun and teamed up against two Panthers staffers.
"It was fun," Barkov said. "It was fun to see you guys and play video games. It's not as competitive as real hockey, but still really fun. It was nice to talk and hang out in here."
To check out either the full stream or just highlights from the matchup, click HERE.
PANTHERLAND CURBSIDE PICKUP & DELIVERY
Did you know Pantherland is now doing curbside pickup and delivery?
Head on over to FloridaPanthers.com/Pantherland to check out all of the new collections and to order something for either your own collection or as a gift for some of the Panthers fans in your life. Curbside pickup is available on Friday and Saturday from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at BB&T Center.
Also, if you're looking for something to wear on the Fourth of July, we've got you covered!
CATS CLIP OF THE WEEK
Joel Quenneville joined NHL Tonight last week to talk Panthers, playoffs and more!
Video: Panthers Joel Quenneville Talks Playoffs and More
CATS IN THE COMMUNITY
Former Panthers defenseman and current FOX Sports Florida broadcaster Randy Moller joined last week's episode of the Territory Talk podcast to discuss his conversation with Hall of Famer Pavel Bure from last month and to share his thoughts on the upcoming 24-team postseason.
COLD COFFEE (IN CASE YOU MISSED IT)
-- Aleksander Barkov made quite the purchase this past week.
-- NHL.com has come up with five questions facing the Panthers in the Qualifying Round.
-- VAULTED: Panthers select "JovoCop" with the first-overall pick in the 1994 NHL Draft.
-- The Panthers picked a very special Community Champion for their Pride Night on Feb. 8.
-- After three months away, the Panthers are excited to hit the ice for Phase 2.
-- "Red Deer" Randy Moller has penned a new blog! You don't want to miss it.
-- The Panthers would like to congratulate all 2020 graduates throughout South Florida!
-- Did know you can watch past episodes of "Inside the Panthers" on demand?