Greetings Panthers fans from Montreal. This passionate hockey city is really starting to buzz with the first pick less than seven hours away.
I am staying at the Sheraton City Centre across from the Bell Centre and the lobby was filled last night and this morning with a variety of hockey team personnel and media members. We are sharing our hotel with both Ottawa and Tampa Bay and have seen both Senators GM Bryan Murray and Lightning GM Brian Lawton meeting with their respective team personnel as they prepare for tonight’s draft.
As for us, our hockey operations team has been working diligently to make sure that we are fully prepared for the draft. Randy Sexton, Bill Torrey, Scott Luce, Peter DeBoer, and the rest our staff, have been meeting for the last two days to ensure that we do what is in the best interest of our organization. Stay tuned to FloridaPanthers.com throughout the day for up to the minute updates on what is going on in Montreal.
Last night, I had the opportunity to attend a dinner with our entire hockey operations department. It was a great night for me, as I was able to meet all of our scouts. These guys work extremely hard all year long and many of them do not have the opportunity to come to Florida during the season due to their busy scouting schedules.
It should be an exciting night at the Bell Centre and they are expecting a sold-out, standing-room only crowd. It appears that the New York Islanders will be holding onto their No. 1 pick and they may be leaning toward choosing either John Tavares or Matt Duchene. Trade rumors are also heating up as they do every year with some of the big names in the news including Dany Heatley, Vinny Lecavalier, Tomas Kaberle, Phil Kessel and our own Jay Bouwmeester.
Once again, I encourage all our fans come out and support the team at our draft party at Carolina Ale House in Weston tonight at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public and will be attended by FS Florida broadcasters Steve Goldstein and Billy Lindsay, as well as the radio voice of the Panthers Randy Moller. If you cannot attend the draft party, you can watch all the action live from the Bell Centre beginning at 7 p.m. on VERSUS.
Then on Saturday morning don’t forget to tune into Sports Talk 790 The Ticket at 9 a.m. and listen to our draft special radio show. Moller will host the show, which will include interviews with our hockey operations personnel and media personalities from around the league
Hope you have a great afternoon and go Panthers Go!