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!
If you tune into the playoffs this week, there's a good chance you'll spot a familiar face.
Swapping his Florida Panthers sweater for a suit, defenseman Keith Yandle will be serving as a guest analyst on the NHL Network's "NHL Live" broadcast on Monday and Tuesday, joining the likes of Liam McHugh, Kathryn Tappen, Paul Burmeister, Jeremy Roenick and Keith Jones.
Fresh off an All-Star season in which he reached new highs in points (62), assists (53) power-play goals (7) and power-play points (39), the 32-year-old is known around the league not only for his ability to rack up a ton points from the blue line, but also for his wicked sense of humor.
In last month's NHLPA poll, a group of more than 500 active players voted the Boston, Mass. native as the funniest player in the NHL (12.1%) and second-most likely to make the best TV analyst once they retire (4.1%) - a job he'll enjoy getting a taste of this week at NBC Studios.
"If you can't get best hair, that's probably the next-best thing," Yandle said shortly after the poll was released. "To win anything at any time at whatever age you are, to get recognized for anything is pretty good, especially by your peers. It's something you can giggle at."
So, get ready to cut some clips and make some GIFs, because Yandle is ready for his closeup.
ADULT LEARN TO PLAY
It's never too late to pick up a hockey stick.
If you have an itch to lace up your skates this summer, registration is currently open for brand new sessions of the Panthers' "Adult Learn to Play" program at six local rinks in South Florida.
Those participating rinks include: The Panthers IceDen (Coral Springs), Glacier Ice & Snow Arena (Pompano Beach), Kendall Ice Arena (Kendall), Palm Beach Skate Zone (Lake Worth), Palm Beach Ice Works (West Palm Beach) and Pines Ice Arena (Pembroke Pines).
Video: 2018 Adult Learn To Play Program
The "Learn to Play" program was designed for men and women ages 18 an older who have little to no ice hockey experience, but a strong desire to learn. For $525 (plus a mandatory $50 USA Hockey membership fee), participants receive 12 weeks of on-ice training and a full set of gear -- stick, helmet, skates, pads, etc. - to keep and continue to use upon the program's conclusion.
To register for "Adult Learn to Play," please visit FloridaPanthers.com/AdultLearnToPlay.
CATS CLIP OF THE WEEK
Who will still be standing at the end of Game of Thrones? Roberto Luongo and Frank Vatrano have some thoughts.
Video: Panthers Predict Game of Thrones
CATS IN THE COMMUNITY
In the latest episode of the Territory Talk podcast, Doug Plagens and Jameson Olive sit down with new Panthers coach Joel Quenneville to discuss everything that went into his decision to move to South Florida. Associated Press reporter Tim Reynolds also stops by for a good chat about what Coach Q's heralded hiring will end up meaning for the local sports market at large
COLD COFFEE (IN CASE YOU MISSED IT)
-- Five Panthers prospects cracked this year's "Future Watch" list from The Hockey News.
-- The Panthers inked goaltender Ryan Bednard to an entry-level contract.
-- You can keep the points -- the Panthers want the playoffs.
-- Randy "Red Deer" Moller shares his thoughts on the hiring of Joel Quenneville.
-- The Panthers hold the 13th overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft.
-- Panthers players couldn't hide their excitement after hearing about Joel Quenneville's arrival.
-- The Panthers are ready for a "new beginning" under three-time Stanley Cup winner Joel Quenneville.