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.
Still in need of some Florida Panthers gear featuring the team's new logo?
Well, you're in luck.
It's out with the old and in with the new at Pantherland this week, as the Panthers will host a special 25 percent off sale for everything the team's BB&T Center store has to offer on Saturday, April 29, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. If you lucky enough to be a season seat owner - it's never too late to start, by the way -- you can beat the crowd and enjoy a very special SSO-only shopping spree from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
This was an incredibly popular event last season, so I'd definitely recommend arriving early if you hope to get your hands on some of the best gear, like an Aleksander Barkov jersey or, my personal favorite, any of the team's stylish hats.
NHL DRAFT LOTTERY
So you're saying there's a chance?
The Panthers are hoping the ping pong balls will fall in their favor when the order of the first 15 picks in the first round of June's draft are decided at the 2017 NHL Draft Lottery on Saturday, April 29 in Toronto.
The lottery will consist of three drawings to determine who'll pick first, second and third overall. The remaining 12 teams will be slotted in order of their records, from worst to best.
After finishing with a 35-36-11 record, the Panthers will enter the lottery with a 5.4 percent chance of landing this year's No. 1 overall selection. Florida has previously won the lottery in 2002, 2003 and 2014.
The results of this year's lottery will be announced shortly after 8 p.m. ET, during live coverage of the event on NBC, CBC and TVA.
It was quite the showing for the Florida Scholastic Hockey League (FSHL) at the 2017 America's Showcase in Pittsburgh, PA this past weekend.
Florida swept their bracket and went a perfect 5-0-0 before falling to Illinois 6-1 in the tournament's semifinal matchup. Michael Blyer led Florida in scoring with five goals, while Noah Nitkin finished with the most assists (9) and points (10). Ryan Nussbaum, who was named the Most Outstanding Goaltender at last year's showcase, backstopped Florida to three victories.
A five-day tournament featuring over 50 competitive hockey games, the goal of America's Showcase is to provide the nation's premier high school hockey players with increased exposure to junior, college and professional scouts from throughout the USA and Canada.
"We have kids of exceptional skill playing in Florida that really don't get seen a lot, even if they have a travel program," said John Gullman, a member of the FSHL's executive board. "This is our second year sending a team to the event. For us to have a team that's competitive and that gets seen by a large number of scouts and college coaches, it's very important. It gives the kids an opportunity to show off what they can do."
You can read all about the Panthers support of the FSHL here.
JOIN OUR HOUSE
It's time to commit to the Cats again, join #OurHouse for the 2017-18 season.
COLD COFFEE (IN CASE YOU MISSED IT)
- Panthers defensemen Mike Matheson and Jason Demers were both recently named to Team Canada's roster for the 2017 IIHF World Championship.
- In his final mailbag entry of the season, Panthers rookie defenseman Mike Matheson discussed his plans for the summer, his favorite teammates, and more!
- Panthers prospect Jared McCann ended his season on a high note, as the talented goal scorer was named the CCM/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending Apr. 16, 2017.