Good Morning Panthers fans from the home of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
I arrived in Montreal early this morning (around 2 a.m.) after a very difficult afternoon of travel on Tuesday. I left the offices at 4:30 p.m. for a 6:30 p.m. Delta flight to Montreal through Atlanta.
As you all are well aware, South Florida had some terrible weather so I felt that it was in my best interest to be re-routed on a direct flight out of Miami on American Airlines. So, Costal Limo was gracious enough to come and pick me up and take me to Miami International airport.
Upon arrival at Miami airport, I learned my flight would be at least an hour delayed. After having dinner at the airport (I recommend La Areta on concourse D), I headed to my gate.
Once seated at the gate, I learned there had been a gate change and I was now leaving out of gate 25. After walking what seemed like miles, I arrived at the gate and boarded the plane at about 9 p.m. Once we were on the plane and seated the captain advised us that there was a gas spill and we would have to de-plane in order for the haz-mat team to clean up the tarmac.
This took an additional 20 minutes and after a re-board we took off for Montreal around 10 p.m. and landed around 2 a.m. Needless to say I miss the hassle free flying of JetBlue and the convenience of Fort Lauderdale International Airport.
I am really looking forward to the Board of Governors meeting today as they promise to be very informative, while I will also have the opportunity to catch up with some of my counterparts from around the league. Tonight, I plan to have dinner with both Bill Torrey and Randy Sexton and we will discuss the organization’s plans for the draft and free agency.
It should be an exciting draft, not just for the Panthers, but for the entire NHL. It looks like the New York Islanders will hold onto the No. 1 pick, but as we have seen in years past, nothing is a certainty and there promises to be many trades as teams try to manipulate their way up and down in the draft order. Our hockey operations department and scouting staff has been working diligently to make sure that we are prepared for all scenarios.
I encourage all our fans come out and support the team at our draft party at Carolina Ale House in Weston on Friday night 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.
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.
I hope that you have a wonderful day and I will be in touch before we make our first pick on Friday night.