Preseason festivities begin in earnest this weekend when Panthers Rookie Camp opens at the Saveology.com Iceplex on Saturday. Many of the Cats’ future stars such as defenseman Erik Gudbranson
and goalie Jacob Markstrom
will do medical and fitness testing on Saturday, and then take the ice for the first official practice of the season on Sunday, Sept. 12.
I would encourage all of our fans to visit the Iceplex to get a glimpse of our franchise’s bright future, and maybe to get a few autographs as well. New General Manager Dale Tallon has moved quickly to put his blueprint in to place, and many of the rookies that will take the ice this weekend are part of that plan.
Then, next week, fans will get a chance to see our youngsters in real game action during two rookie contests against Nashville on Wednesday, Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. and Thursday, Sept. 16 at noon.
After that, our veterans and current stars like Tomas Vokoun, Stephen Weiss
and David Booth will take center stage for main camp. They’ll take the ice for their first official practice on Saturday, Sept. 18 and then for the Blue vs. White scrimmage during Hockey Day In South Florida on Sunday, Sept. 19.
In addition, Panthers head coach Pete DeBoer will be running a free coaches symposium at the Iceplex, while the Panthers Party Patrol, Foundation and Ice Dancers will be on hand with various activities and initiatives. All told, it’s going to be an incredible weekend for all of our fans, partners and supporters.
This year, our fans will have more access to our players during training camp than ever before, thanks to a conducive practice and game schedule that will see our team spend most of the preseason in South Florida – something that hasn’t happened in the last six years.
Also this year, Florida Panthers Training Camp 2010 is being sponsored by the Eagles – the superstar American rock band that will play an exclusive show at the BankAtlantic Center on Oct. 8, two days before the Cats season opener at Edmonton, and eight days before Opening Night at the BankAtlantic Center.
Florida Panthers Training Camp 2010 Welcomes Eagles is an unprecedented marketing partnership in the history of sports and entertainment, with a concert taking the presenting sponsorship of a sports team initiative. Not only is it an example of SSE’s innovation and creativity in activating brands, but it’s also indicative of the diverse and comprehensive way in which we view and run our organization.
We view ourselves as an international sports and entertainment company, and, in addition to Panthers Training Camp, we remain focused on an incredible upcoming schedule for the “Center of it All” including Disney On Ice, two Roger Waters concerts, Shakira, and of course, the Eagles.
Over the last few months, both VP of Event Programming Matt Bell and I have met with some of the industry’s top promoters, managers and agents, and I can assure you there will be a host of extraordinary concerts and shows heading our way in the coming months.
But for now, like many of you, I’m looking forward to spending some time at the Saveology.com Iceplex this weekend, as Panthers hockey is officially back in action.
Thanks for reading and go Cats.