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Hello Panthers Fans. Sorry it has been awhile since I last checked in, but it has been an extremely busy week since I returned from the draft in Montreal. After two full days of meetings in our offices earlier this week, I spent most of yesterday in New York, before returning to South Florida last night.
The week began with the “viral” unveiling of our new marketing campaign with the help of sports super agent Drew Rosenhaus. As many of you have probably seen or heard, the premise of the campaign is that Drew has been hired by Panthers fans to negotiate season ticket prices for the upcoming 2009-10 season. Drew and I have been going back and forth with one another all week in radio interviews, as well as on Twitter, as he attempts to get the best deal for hockey fans. I encourage everyone to follow the campaign closely on FloridaPanthers.com and our other social media sites, as we will give fans updates on the negotiation process, culminating with the launch of advertising and the new pricing structure next week.
On the hockey front, the free agent frenzy is underway in the National Hockey League and our hockey operations team, led by Assistant General Manager Randy Sexton, had an extremely busy and productive day yesterday. As you all know by now, we agreed to a six-year deal with fan-favorite LW David Booth, who posted career best numbers last year. David is a hard working and dedicated player who will continue to emerge as one of the faces of our franchise. Additionally, we re-signed RW Radek Dvorak, an original Panther from the 1996 Eastern Conference Championship team, who will continue to play a pivotal role in Head Coach Pete DeBoer’s up-tempo, pressure style of play. We closed the day out by signing goalie Scott Clemmensen
, another high character and hard working player who will complement Tomas Vokoun in net very well, as well as a puck moving defenseman Ville Koistinen.
Our hockey operations department is not done yet and they will continue to assess different scenarios that could benefit our club, as well as our AHL team in Rochester. We will continue to break all the news at www.floridapanthers.com so be sure to continually check back for further hockey updates. We are also in the final stages of preparing our 2009-10 schedule and we will have an announcement in mid-July. I can promise you it will be an exciting schedule with us opening up in South Florida on Oct. 10 vs. the New Jersey Devils, as well as a great schedule of home games surrounding the holidays.
I hope that all our fans and their families have a wonderful and safe Fourth of July weekend. I will be here on Saturday at the City of Sunrise and BankAtlantic Center July 4th Celebration presented by Blackberry. It takes place from 6-10 p.m. and is free and open to the public – rain or shine – so I ecnourage you to attend. Speak to you again next week and go Panthers Go!