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Rats Roundup - Cats Fight Cancer, Turkey Drive & More

by Kyle Morrison /

Welcome back to another edition of Rats Roundup; our weekly feature that takes a look back at the week in Panthers news. Since the last edition, we've seen two thrilling Cats overtime wins, a trade, a hospital visit and much more, so let's dive right in.


Ahead of the Panthers' Hockey Fights Cancer game last Saturday, Panthers defensemen Jason Demers, Alex Petrovic and Mark Pysyk visited patients and researchers at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami.

The trio of Cats defensemen made their rounds in the patient wing, stopping to chat with those fighting Cancer and taking photos.

"It was very humbling, very cool to see," said Demers. "It's nice to do things like this in the community we're playing in and visit this great facility here.

"It really makes you take a step back and be thankful for everything you've got going on, and know that there's people fighting everyday for life."

Video: Panthers visit Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center

The patients left a lasting impact, but that wasn't the only part of the visit. They also got to meet with the Director of Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, Dr. Stephen Nimer, and learn about all of the research Nimer and his team do in the pursuit of stopping cancer.

The Cats defensemen got to do pipette experiments and learn how certain drugs work on certain cancer cells. They even got to wear (and take home) special lab coats.

"Meeting the staff here was such a cool experience, the staff here is top-notch," said Demers. "They work for all these breakthroughs they get to save these people and help these people fight the battles that they're going through."

The defensemen spent some quality time with Dr. Nimer, a former hockey player himself, talking about the game and about the similarities between the rigors of playing hockey and the dedication necessary to work in cancer research.

"These are three of the seemingly finest human beings you can find," said Nimer on the trio. "It's inspiring to the people in the lab to see these great young professionals."

For more on the visit, you can read about it in the latest installment of Demers' Diary!


If you like hockey - and helping families in need - you might want to check out Monday's Turkey Drive.

From 4-7 p.m., the Panthers and Harvest Drive will collect frozen turkeys (along with Panthers staff, players and broadcasters) to help area families in need this Thanksgiving season. But it gets even better - for every frozen turkey donated, Cats fans will receive two tickets to an upcoming home game.


It was a banner week for Panthers prospects, with accolades for Reto Berra and Jonathan Ang, some great performances from the Springfield Thunderbirds and more highlights for 2016 first-rounder Henrik Borgström.

Berra saved 51 of 52 shots on his way to being named the CCM/AHL Player of the Week, posting his third shutout of the season in the process. And Ang, the Cats fourth-rounder this season, put up seven points last week, earning Pioneer Energy OHL Player of the Week Honors.

Meanwhile, let's see what Borgström is up to…

Tweet from @DU_Hockey: #GoalsGIF: @FlaPanthers prospect @punanen5 scored the GWG tonight & netted the GTG last night, both on laser-guided wrist shots ������ #DUvsUND

That is one impressive wrister, folks. The Finnish forward has a 6-5-11 line for Denver University - the nation's top team so far - in his first 10 games of collegiate action. 


James Mirtle wrote a feature this week profiling those behind the Panthers organizational turnaround - starting with owner Vinnie Viola and his background - for The Globe and Mail, and it's a must-read for Cats fans's Amalie Benjamin highlighted Shawn Thornton's leadership behind the scenes for the Cats. 

The Panthers claimed forward Seth Griffith on waivers from the Toronto Maple Leafs, and later in the week acquired Michael Sgarbossa from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for Logan Shaw.

The Florida Panthers IceDen is set to celebrate its 20th anniversary!

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