Fans and media swarmed Saveology Iceplex, and the new name of the Florida Panthers practice facility which is now called: The Panthers JetBlue Practice Facility, and watched the first day of Development Camp. While there was nothing too special shown out on the ice quite yet, it was great and exciting to see all the different players that are future Florida Panthers. The drills included skating on 1 skate, passing with a larger than normal puck then using a white puck making it harder to see so more concentration had to be used, and your typical passing line down the ice.
Right after practice, Dale Tallon answered questions at the podium about camp, free agency, and more. While he had no breaking news for the media on Monday, he did say that there were lots of conversations, and players have lots of interest in coming to Florida. On the topic of Jonathan Huberdeau, he said “don’t think Huberdeau has much more to prove in juniors” making me feel as though we will be seeing Huby all year round next season. He continued to speak about all the promising players the Panthers have and sees the future being very bright. He also said that he had offered both Dmitry Kulikov and Kris Versteeg deals and wants to sign them long term. Tallon also gave his best wishes and congratulations to Jason Garrison who has moved on to Vancouver. Fans were wondering where Erik Gudbranson was, and on that particular subject Dale put us all at ease saying that Erik would miss all of development camp due to an infection, nothing serious.
COO and President Michael Yormark also spoke about renewing their corporate partnership with JetBlue. The Panthers become the 9th team to now put a corporate partnership on their practice jerseys. The Panthers practice rink new name is The Panthers JetBlue Practice Facility.
Jonathan Huberdeau came to the podium and answered a few questions. He said he plans on being here this year. He understands he needs to gain a few more pounds stating, he was at 178 currently, but thinks he can do so over the summer. He went onto say that makng the team this year was his goal and that he didn’t want to go back to juniors. Nick Bjugstad mentioned he wouldn’t make his decision whether he wants to go back to school and play or try for a spot with the Panthers until after camp was over.
I suggest definitely coming out to at least one practice or scrimmage at the Panthers Development Camp. It is cool to see all the young future Panthers. Here is the schedule for the rest of the week:
Tuesday: 9am-11am (practice)
Thursday: 9am-11am (practice/scrimmage)
Friday: 9am-11am (scrimmage)
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