Good morning and welcome to "Cats & Coffee," a weekly segment presented by Community Coffee in which we get you caffeinated with an exciting look at the week ahead for the Florida Panthers.
What do dads and grads have in common?
Well, they both give us reasons to celebrate this time of year.
With Father's Day coming up on Sunday, June 18, and as high school and college students around South Florida prepare for their graduation ceremonies, you may currently be racking your brain for gift ideas.
Cash? Gift card? Flowers?
They're all good options, but also a little bit boring.
If you really want to thank that special dad or grad in your life, why not treat them to an unforgettable experience rather than a simple, monetary thank you. With affordable single-game, half-season and full-season ticket packages currently available, a trip to see the Florida Panthers in 2017-18 is definitely the perfect gift for all ages.
If you'd like to learn more, please click here.
CALDWELL'S PUSH-UP CHALLENGE
You never know how far a commitment to good upper-body strength will get you.
At South Florida Ford's Salute to Education on Saturday, Panthers President & CEO Matthew Caldwell decided to kick the annual scholarship event up a notch (as he always does), challenging a group of high school students to a push-up contest.
The grand prize? A $1,000 scholarship.
In the end, even though only one student was able to best Caldwell (he doesn't lose often!), all four of the participants ended up going home with some extra scholarship money in their pockets.
Established in 1994, Salute to Education is a non-profit organization funded through dealership contributions, corporate support from Ford Motor Company and other fundraising events & efforts.
CATS IN THE COMMUNITY
It might be the offseason, but the Panthers are always active in the community.
COLD COFFEE (IN CASE YOU MISSED IT)
-- After back-to-back All-Star nods to start his career, former No. 1 overall pick Aaron Ekblad fought through adversity during his third season in Sunrise. You can read all about that and more in our "Season Rewind" for the 21-year-old defenseman.
"We have a lot of talent in that dressing room," Ekblad said. "We have a lot of will and a lot of ability. When those two things mesh together and chemistry builds, we'll have a chance to do amazing things in this league."
-- The Panthers recently signed forwards Henrik Haapala and Maxim Mamin to two-year entry-level contracts.
-- The Panthers will participate in a four-team rookie tournament from Sept. 9-12 at Germain Arena in Estero, Fla.
-- Ex-Panthers enforcer Shawn Thornton has been named the club's Vice President, Business Operations.