I hope all of the dads who follow my blog are having a very special Father’s Day.
I am currently en route back to South Florida. As you may know, the NHL had its awards ceremony on Thursday night in Las Vegas so I decided to attend the event with one of our sponsors, Reid Shapiro of Saveology.com. I also had the opportunity to have breakfast with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman on Friday and meet with Steve Hatze Petros, who handles all of the game schedules for the league. I think fans will be very pleased with our schedule next season. We have the right opponents visiting the BankAtlantic Center at the right time, and our schedule is well balanced throughout the season between home games and road games.
Well, this is going to be a busy week for our organization. We have the NHL board of governors meetings in Montreal on Wednesday. Cliff Viner, our vice chairman, Bill Torrey and I will all be attending. The agenda has a few key issues on it so I assume the meeting will take most of the day.
After the BOG meetings, it will be time to finalize our strategy in preparation for the draft on Friday night in Montreal. Randy Sexton, Bill Torrey, Peter DeBoer and Scott Luce will run the draft for us. They are well prepared and have been working together for months to make sure we maximize each of our four picks. I am very confident that we will add some great talent to our organization that you will enjoy watching for many years.
As you know, you can watch the draft live on Friday night at our official draft party at the Carolina Ale House in Weston. Go to FloridaPanthers.com for all of the details.
I'm sure many of you have heard the news about the Montreal Canadiens being sold to the Molson family pending NHL approval. It’s nice to see that a local Canadian family stepped up to purchase the most storied franchise in our league. They own 20-percent of the team now so the transition should be very smooth.
I must say that under George Gillette's leadership, the Canadiens were a model franchise and one that consistently raised the bar for the rest of the league in every area. George will be missed but don't be surprised if he ends up back in the league sometime in the future.
I hope all of our fans liked our move for center Steve Reinprecht on Friday. He is a Peter DeBoer type of guy and has all of the characteristics of a Panther player - character, grit and speed. He should fit in nicely on our second line and will be a great asset in the locker room. Kudos to Randy Sexton for getting this deal done. He was aggressive and proactive as other teams had shown interest in securing his negotiating rights.
Well, its time to go to the office for a few hours to get a head start on the week.
I promise to blog and tweet from Montreal and keep you updated in advance of the media on all of our player moves.
Thanks for your continued support and go Panthers go.