Good morning and welcome to “Cats & Coffee,” a weekly segment in which we get you caffeinated with an exciting look at the week ahead for the Florida Panthers.
The 2016 IIHF Men’s Ice Hockey World Championship came to an exciting conclusion over the weekend, and none of the Florida Panthers players that participated in the annual tournament are coming home empty handed.
In his first career World Championship appearance, Panthers defenseman Mike Matheson earned a Gold Medal in Team Canada’s 2-0 victory over Team Finland on Sunday at Ice Palace in Moscow, Russia, on Sunday.
After starting out as one of the more inexperienced players on Canada’s star-studded roster, the 22-year-old Matheson quickly proved to be one of the most offensively gifted defensemen at the tournament, recording six points (2-4-6) and a plus-11 rating in 10 games.
A first-round draft pick (23rd overall) of the Panthers in the 2012 NHL Draft, Matheson made his NHL debut during the 2015-16 season, competing in three regular season games and five playoff games to kick off his promising career in South Florida.
In defeat, Panthers forwards Aleksander Barkov and Jussi Jokinen earned a pair of Silver Medals after helping lead Finland to a nearly flawless 9-1 record, with both players finishing among the top-20 scorers at the tournament.
The 20-year old Barkov recorded nine points (3-6-9) in nine games, while the 33-year old Jokinen recorded 10 points (3-7-10) in 10 games.
After another stellar showing on the international stage, the Panthers have now captured a Gold Medal at back-to-back World Championships, with defenseman Aaron Ekblad bringing home the highly coveted hardware as a member of Team Canada in 2015.
Want to chat with Matheson about his recent tournament success?
Well, if you are an aspiring hockey player between the ages of seven and 17, then there’s no better time than the present to sign up for the Panthers Ultimate Hockey School, held from Aug. 8 to 12, at the Panthers IceDen in Coral Springs.
As one of the guest instructors at the annual summer camp, Matheson will be working hands on with students to help develop and encourage their passion and abilities through fun and exciting training programs.
The camp, which runs 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily, is open for all skill levels and focuses on skill development, off-ice training and, most importantly, having fun.
Other camp highlights include:
- Daily on-ice instruction
- Chalk talk and game concepts
- Dry land activities such as condition, shooting and stickhandling drills.
- A unique Panthers Ultimate Hockey School jersey
- A competitive player to coach ratio
- NHL-style teaching methods and motivational techniques
- A challenging, positive and fun atmosphere
- Meaningful and positive feedback during each session
- Evaluation by Panthers Hockey School instructors to measure improvement and boost confidence.
There is limited space available for the camp, so secure your spot today!
SAVE THE DATE
The Panthers will be holding a viewing party to unveil the team’s highly anticipated new logo and uniforms on Thursday, June 2 at the BB&T Center at 7:00 p.m.
The event, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 5:00 p.m. with a wide range of fun activates to partake in on the JetBlue tarmac in front of the area, including music, a bounce house, slap shot station and ball hockey.
Panthers defensemen Aaron Ekblad and Steven Kampfer, as well as forwards Vincent Trocheck and Shawn Thornton, will be in attendance at the event to introduce the Panthers new logo and model the team’s new threads. And, if you’re really lucky, you could be one of 300 fans to win a “selfie” with the players at the conclusion of the event.
In addition to the players, Panthers Owner & Governor Vincent Viola, as well as his son, John Viola, will also be in attendance to answer your questions about the team’s new look in a round-table setting.
Merchandise with the new logo will be available for sale based on availability