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.
On this Memorial Day, the Florida Panthers would like to thank all of the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in order to protect our freedoms.
Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a special day of remembrance for those who have died in service of the United States of America. It was first recognized as an official federal holiday in 1971 and Americans are encouraged to pause for a National Moment of Remembrance at 3 p.m. local time.
In honor of today, we'd also like to take this time to re-share our story on Retired 1st Sgt. Matt Eversmann, who addressed Florida's locker room in November to discuss the merits of leadership, the power of camaraderie and the key to finding success in the face of adversity.
On Oct. 3, 1993, Eversmann and his fellow soldiers -- vastly outnumbered and targeted by an angry mob - fended off a fierce, unrelenting attack for roughly 18 hours in the hostile Somalian city of Mogadishu before finally being rescued.
Sadly, by that time, 18 Americans had perished and 73 more were injured.
"I think it was one of the best speeches we've ever had," Panthers President and CEO Matt Caldwell said.
You can read the full story here.
THE ROCK RESPONDS
After shutting down Stanley C. Panther's dreams of making it big in Hollywood earlier last week, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson couldn't help but commend everybody's favorite feline as a he stumbled - literally - in his last-ditch attempt to make an impression on the "Baywatch" star.
Unfortunately, Stanley still didn't get the job.
Still, it's safe to say that the Panthers have definitely found a potential new friend in Johnson, who played college football at the University of Miami before making it big as a pro wrestler and movie star.
JOIN OUR HOUSE
It's time to commit to the Cats again, join #OurHouse for the 2017-18 season.
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)
-- USA Hockey will be hosting coaching clinics for Levels 1-4 on Saturday, June 3, and the continuation of Level 4 on Sunday, June 4, at BB&T Center.
-- "Florida Panthers Learn to Play" is returning for a second season, giving local children the opportunity learn the game of hockey by putting a stick in their hands for the very first time. Click here for more info.
-- How have the Panthers been spending their summer? Find out in Vol. 1 of our new "Catstagram Catch-up".
-- In our latest installment of our "Season Rewind" series, we take a look at Panthers center Nick Bjugstad , who is confident that he can rebound after a disappointing, injury-plagued campaign.
"It wasn't the season I wanted," said Bjugstad, who missed the first 19 games of the 2016-17 season due to injury. "I felt that I could have done a lot more to help the team. Like I said, I'm going to try and stay positive and do my best to comeback and help this team out whatever way I can. I love being here and I love this team. I'm looking forward to next year."