SUNRISE, Fla. - The Florida Panthers announced today that the club will host an ice hockey clinic at Icetopia Skating Rink in Wildey, Barbados on Tuesday, August 22 as part of the Panthers youth hockey and community outreach initiatives. The NHL's first ice hockey clinic in the Caribbean will feature Panthers defensemen Alex Petrovic and Ian McCoshen as head instructors.
"Our outreach in the Caribbean over the last five years have been invaluable experiences for our players, staff and the youth learning the game of hockey for the first time," said Panthers President & CEO Matthew Caldwell. "After introducing the sport through ball hockey clinics for the past trips we are proud to be the first NHL team to have an ice hockey clinic in the Caribbean and work alongside a great partner like Barbados."
Joining Petrovic and McCoshen on the trip will be Panthers alumni and Vice President, Business Operations Shawn Thornton and Vice President of Broadcasting and Alumni Randy Moller.
The first skating rink of its kind in the Caribbean, Icetopia Skating Rink uses a synthetic ice surface requiring all participants to wear ice skates. Participants in the clinic will range from ages 5-14. All equipment used in the clinic will be donated to Icetopia.
"We are happy to be hosting the Panthers for their second year in Barbados and share this experience with them," said Owner of Icetopia Paolo Carraro. "Skating is of course a very new concept to Barbados. So to have the novelty of being able to skate with a professional hockey player is pretty amazing for a Bajan child."
The trip to Barbados marks the Panthers sixth consecutive offseason visit to the Caribbean involving community outreach and youth hockey. The Panthers previously have visited Barbados (2016), Dominican Republic (2015), Bahamas (2014) and Puerto Rico (2013, 2012).
"It is an honor to host the Florida Panthers on-island and provide the youth of our community with the opportunity to learn ice hockey from some of the sports' best players in the world," said Petra Roach, US Director, Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.
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