Follow Michael On Twitter
When I woke up this morning at around 3 a.m. I thought to myself, “wow, I can’t believe we’re only 25 days from Opening Night.”
It’s amazing to think that our Oct. 10 home opener vs. the New Jersey Devils at the BankAtlantic Center is only a few weeks away, and before that we’ll be in Helsinki for two games against the Blackhawks as part of the NHL Premiere.
But while our players, coaches and staff prepare for the season at training camp in Port Hawkesbury, Nova Scotia, the Countdown to Opening Night is on here at the BankAtlantic Center. Make sure you are a regular visitor to FloridaPanthers.com, and also our Facebook, Twitter and YouTube sites, as our editorial team makes sure you can “Feel the Growl” on a daily basis.
Speaking of feeling it, the most exciting news of the day out of Sunrise yesterday was the signing of defenseman Dennis Seidenberg to a one-year contract. Having spoken to assistant GM Randy Sexton and head coach Pete DeBoer, Seidenberg is a player we have looked at closely throughout the offseason, and they feel he’ll join Bryan McCabe, Keith Ballard, Bryan Allen, Jordan Leopold and Ville Koistinen, as part of a deep and effective defensive corps. That, while still giving some of our talented youngsters like Dmitry Kulikov
, Jason Garrison
and Keaton Ellerby
a chance to make the team.
Those young players, and others, will get a chance to show what they can do tonight when the Cats skate against the Senators in Halifax. Our fans found a new star to follow last year when Michael Frolik notched 20-plus goals during his rookie season, so I know they’ll be on the lookout for another potential breakout star throughout training camp.
On the business side of things, the ticket sales department is pushing hard on season ticket renewals. Not surprisingly, our fans have lots of faith in the job coach DeBoer has done with this team so far, and it’s shown in our renewal numbers. That said, there are still some fans out there that have yet to renew their season ticket accounts, and I can say with confidence, we’re not going to rest until you’re back for the 09-10 season.
On the sponsorship side of things, we have a few exciting new partners to announce in the coming weeks, one of which is going to make sure our great team of broadcasters ‘looks good’ for the upcoming season. More details to come later this week.
That said, we also remain focused on the non-hockey aspects of our business, especially after an incredible performance by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band in front of a packed house at the BankAtlantic Center Sunday evening. Springsteen’s big show is part of a busy month for the ‘Center of it All’ including a streak of 13 events in 25 days. Next up on the docket are seven Disney On Ice performances, the Cats preseason home game vs. Dallas on Sept. 23, and Sugarland on Sept. 24.
It’s certainly a busy time at the BankAtlantic Center – the days are going by fast and, before we know it, our date with the Devils will be upon us. Thanks for reading and go Panthers.