Opening night is kind of like Christmas for hockey fans. It’s been a long time since hockey’s greatest prize was paraded around in Vancouver by the Boston Bruins and the subsequent riots dominated hockey headlines. For Florida Panthers fans it’s been even longer as the ice has been melted and the Bank Atlantic Center hockeyless since April 9th when the Panthers won their season closer 1-0 against Washington. Continuing the longest playoff drought of NHL record…seemingly continuing to plunge a knife into the proverbial soul of the Panther’s faithful.
Yet since April 9th a rebirth has occurred inside Pantherdom. Dale Tallon began to do what he said he would do (which that in itself is a change from previous GM’s) and brought in high quality free agents, drafted well and executed savvy trades to bring the Florida Panthers to the forefront of the hockey worlds mind. All of sudden the hopelessness felt by many Panther’s fans was shattered and the belief that this team could actually win, and often, began to permeate hearts, minds….and ticket marketing.
“We See RED” was born, a new mantra for the Panthers. RED began to seep into the fanbase with the return of the RED sweaters, the transformation of the Bank Atlantic by adding RED seats and RED paint to walls, concourses and the scoreboard. And Panthers fans became REaDy for the season to start calling for the team to “drop that puck.”
So as October 8th approaches and the Panthers season begins on Long Island, and October 15th is not far off when the fans begin their season…. There is hope and optimism. Whatever the team has experienced in the past can be put aside for the moment, with a fresh expectation that this team can win this… offseason can’t come to a quick enough close. It’s time to see what these Panthers can do.
As other teams start their seasons tomorrow night I can’t wait to see what we are going to do… So I’m excited…it’s an exciting time to be a Panthers fan…I hope you are to!
…I wonder what the opening video will be like….here’s some past ones…..
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