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Tuesday Caterwaul - Panthers GameDay Open Forum

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"Reinprecht was walking around alright [Monday]. Hopefully it's confirmed it's negative and he'll play."

- Memo to CBC: Please, please, please don't schedule the Florida Panthers for another appearance on Hockey Night In Canada. Saturday's game, in which the Panthers blanked the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-0, was an eyesore. Bob Cole could describe a bake sale and make it sound exciting, but even he sounded somewhat bored by Saturday's proceedings.

He's right about one thing: it wasn't pretty, and the players have admitted as much. But don't be deterred; the line above was simply an excuse to post this:

- Just what the NHL needs -- an unwatchable team in a non-traditional market. Why would anyone attend a Panthers game when they could be enjoying the Florida weather?

And there you have it, Cats fans: the tactics have been altered. Used to be the "non-traditional market" blather.

In one short paragraph that's evolved into your sanity being questioned for choosing a hockey game over... what? Scuba diving at night? Drive-in movies? Combing the beaches after sunset?

Truly the dumbest argument - framed as a "joke" so he can backtrack later - I've yet heard offered up against the existence of "southern" teams.

It's the same tired hue and cry from a sector of the Canadian media that doesn't wish to escape the relocation gutter; you'd think their readers would tire of such thinly-veiled bias after a decade or so of whining over Winnipeg, Hamilton, Quebec, et al. As a subject for legitimate discussion, this lame talk is the lowest common denominator in the NHL.

Bottom line: South Florida HAS a team, so eat that. Insulting the intellect of the fanbase won't change it. And don't bother making the trip twice per season to cover your vaunted Leafs so you can spend an evening at a hockey game instead of hanging with the "smart people" outside in the beautiful weather looking up at stars.

Rolling along: We'll keep it simple and go with a poll for today...

Panthers - Canadiens Game Forum goes live around 6pm.