We were pretty well secure in the ongoing notion that the Florida Panthers would open 2013 with a home tilt against the Carolina Hurricanes on January 19. It was what was to follow that had us losing sleep.
Those nights are now behind us, as the National Hockey League and players union, upon ratification of a newly-minted collective bargaining agreement, have at long - and I do mean LONG - last allowed for publication of the forthcoming season's schedule.
Here's the what the Panthers have in store through April 27, or what will undoubtedly come to be seen as a 48-game madcap dash to an expected playoff berth; this is South Florida, in case you'd forgotten. (Note: Fox Sports Florida broadcast dates have not been announced.)
Been very little time for a complete breakdown as yet, but here be the juicy stuff:
- Somehow, the Cats are saddled with a 3 p.m. road appearance in Buffalo...on February 3rd, aka Super Bowl Sunday. Game should wrap just before kickoff, so I'm actually looking forward to this. As long as FSN covers it.
- Two of the first four games are against the Senators (away & home, January 21 and 24, respectively. Call it the Kuba Doctrine, or perhaps the Crooklyn Doctrine. Whatever.
- April is simply brutal: 11 total games, with the Capitals, Penguins, Rangers (twice), Devils, Bruins, and Lightning (twice) among them.
- Final game is Saturday, April 27 at Tampa Bay. The Cats get their first shot at the Bolts on January 29.
- The Panthers have six back-to-back occasions; four on the road, one at home, and one home/road.
- For those still on the GrudgeWagon (or just plain #HENRIQUED), the Cats face New Jersey three times, twice in Newark, with the first of those meetings on March 23.
- For you Versteeg Maniacs, prepare to inhale your Doggie Downers on January 31, February 5, March 5 & 8, and April 11, as our beloved divisional sister Jets are the opponent.
- Full Panthers training camp roster here.
Any further news comes around hit us with it in the comments. And please note: there will be no open practice on Sunday at Saveology Iceplex, per GR:
#FlaPanthers WILL NOT practice on Sunday morning; physicals only. Team is expected to be on the ice Monday at 10 a.m.