Good morning folks and welcome to the latest installment of Rats Roundup! The Florida Panthers are officially back in action this week, as training camp opened on Friday with on-ice sessions at the Panthers IceDen.
Though hockey is close to returning to our lives, this has also been a week of recovery in South Florida and the Panthers were active in the community helping those affected by Hurricane Irma.
To donate towards Hurricane Irma relief, click HERE.
Help us unite as One Territory and help those in our community rebuild the parts of our lives that were damaged or lost. Any donation that you can spare, no matter how large or small, is greatly appreciated.
The Florida Panthers announced that in conjunction with South Florida Ford, BB&T Center and Panthers IceDen will be collecting unused recovery supplies such as bottled water, gas, batteries, canned food, flashlights and more. For a full list of items, please visit FloridaPanthers.com/Ford.
Donations will be accepted from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at both BB&T Center and Panthers IceDen from Friday, Sept. 15 to Sunday, Sept. 17.
Training Camp Opens
The Panthers kicked off their 2017-18 training camp today, with their first on-ice session slated to be at the Panthers IceDen at 10:25 a.m.
For a full roster that will be at camp and for the schedule of on-ice sessions, click HERE.
Uniting for Hurricane Relief
This past weekend, Hurricane Irma hit the state of Florida, affecting many of its residents. The Panthers have stepped up in a big way, and have taken initiative in helping our community get back on track. The Panthers have joined the Tampa Bay Lightning, the National Hockey League Players Association (NHLPA) and the National Hockey League (NHL) to donate $2.7 million for hurricane relief to those affected across the state of Florida by Hurricane Irma. The Panthers will contribute $1 million of the donation.
Fans and members of the community who wish to support these efforts can donate through The Lightning Foundation, The Florida Panthers Foundation or by making contributions at the teams' home preseason games, which begin next week. For more information, please visit NHL.com, NHLPA.com, floridapanthers.com or tampabaylightning.com.
In continuing the theme of uniting for a cause, the Panthers also partnered with the Boston Red Sox, Tampa Bay Rays, and Boston Bruins to raise funds for Florida.
Various Panthers, Bruins, Red Sox and Rays players met fans outside of the gates of Fenway Park to help collect donations before the Red Sox played Tampa Bay on September 10th.
Serving the Community
The Panthers organization has been active in helping our community recover from the effects of Hurricane Irma.
Earlier this week, Panthers President and CEO Matt Caldwell joined Panthers staff and season ticket holders and went out into the community to assist those who were in dire need of assistance by helping clean properties and deliver food and water.
The Cats also hosted a variety of food trucks at BB&T Center thanks to our corporate sponsor JetBlue, offering free lunch and dinner to Florida residents who needed a hot meal and to see some friendly faces. For a full recap, click HERE.
Video: Panthers Food Truck Invasion
The Center of It All
As Hurricane Irma made its track towards Florida, the BB&T Center became a tactical hub for the state, both during and after the storm. During Irma, the arena served as an emergency vehicle staging site for various public service entities, as well as a tactical operation site for Florida Power and Light. Post storm, BB&T Center has been identified as a Broward County Logistical Staging Area.
The Panthers allowed local officials to use BB&T Center as a storage facility for emergency vehicles and to house police and fire rescue officers. In addition, Caldwell, along with a contingent of Panthers employees, slept in the arena and assisted emergency crews throughout the weekend.
Before Irma hit the state of Florida, the state of Texas was also struck with a destructive hurricane. In order to assist, the Panthers held a blood drive at BB&T Center for Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief.
Video: Panthers hold a Hurricane Harvey blood drive
-The ice is down at BB&T Center!
Video: BBT Center Ice Time Lapse
-Pro Football Hall of Famer Jason Taylor invited Mark Pysyk and Keith Yandle to join him during his 13th annual Cool Gear for the School Year Program.
Video: Jason Taylor Cool Gear For the School Year
-The Panthers 'Pucks for Bucks' Charity game, originally scheduled for Saturday, September 16th, at the Panthers IceDen has been postponed. Stay tuned to FloridaPanthers.com for updates.