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Rats Roundup: Military Appreciation, #CatsFightCancer

by Kyle Morrison / FloridaPanthers.com

No better way to start this Rats Roundup than with a sincere thank you to all those who have served. Veterans Day means a lot to this organization, as it has deep military ties and many veterans under its employ.

Those military ties were on full display last night - and it all started with one of the coolest puck drops you'll ever see.

On the Panthers Military Appreciation Night - and on the eve of Veterans Day - the fans looked up towards the rafters as a group of Navy SEALs rappelled from the BB&T Center's ceiling. It was certainly a memorable entrance - check it out.

Video: SJS@FLA: Navy Seals rappel from the rafters

The Panthers also donned camouflage jerseys for warm-ups, with special patches to honor each branch of the military. These jerseys will go up for auction soon - so keep your eyes peeled - with all of the proceeds going to the Florida Panthers Foundation.

MALGIN AND BARKOV BONDING

Aleksander Barkov is one of the game's young stars, with a long-term contract, World Cup of Hockey experience and finalist honors for the Lady Byng Trophy. At just 21 years old, he's still one of the youngest players on the roster, but despite his young age, he's taking on a bit of a leadership role on the squad.

Video: NJD@FLA: Malgin blasts a PPG past Schneider

Barkov knows what it's like to adjust from playing in Europe to life in the NHL as a young player, so he's taken another one of those players under his wing - 19-year-old Swiss center Denis Malgin.

Malgin, drafted in the fourth round of the 2015 draft, has been called a "smaller version of Barkov" by President of Hockey Operations Dale Tallon. But the similarities go beyond the ice; both players are sons of Russian hockey players and grew up speaking that language.

Jameson Olive talked with both players about how they've bonded - and how Malgin has leaned on Barkov as he adjusts to the NHL game - in a must-read FloridaPanthers.com feature

CATS FIGHT CANCER

Tomorrow's game marks the Panthers official Hockey Fights Cancer game. The players will wear special edition purple warm-up jerseys (that will also be up for auction) prior to their showdown with the New York Islanders. 

The Florida Panthers are partnering with Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center - a part of the University of Miami Health System - in their fight against cancer. Fans at tomorrow's game will be able to fill out "I Fight For" cards (or do the digital version here). Additionally, fans can purchase tickets at this link with promo code FIGHT, and a portion of the ticket proceeds will benefit Sylvester.

Also, today, several Panthers players will visit Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center to visit patients and get a special lab tour.

QUICK-HITTERS

The Panthers acquired defenseman Dylan McIlrath from the New York Rangers this week. 

The Holiday Plan is back! 

The Springfield Thunderbirds released their first episode of their behind-the-scenes show, "The Future," and it's awesome. Go check that out, folks! 

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