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Wednesday Caterwaul: Florida Panthers Open Forum

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2019-20 NHL season starts tonight!

Tampa Bay Lightning v Florida Panthers Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images

The National Hockey League will begin its 103rd season of operation (102nd season of play) tonight with four games intriguing games on the docket. NBCSN kicks off national coverage with a doubleheader guaranteed to end your hockey jones.

Ottawa Senators at Toronto Maple Leafs 7 p.m.

Washington Capitals at St. Louis Blues 8 p.m. NBCSN

Vancouver Canucks at Edmonton Oilers 10 p.m.

San Jose Sharks at Vegas Golden Knights 10:30 p.m, NBCSN

Our Florida Panthers will get an extra day off before opening the season at Amalie Arena against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Some things you need to know:

Tomorrow’s Panthers broadcast

As South Florida prepares for the highly anticipated return of Panthers hockey, FOX Sports Florida, the television home of the Panthers, is excited to announce its extended coverage of opening night on Thursday, Oct. 3. FOX Sports Florida’s live coverage of opening night will start promptly at 6:30 p.m. with the “Panthers Live” pregame show. A broadcast team of six will provide extensive analysis throughout the evening as Panthers broadcasters Steve “Goldie” Goldstein, Randy Moller, Jessica Blaylock, Craig Minervini, Ed Jovanovski and Jeff Chychrun get set to open up the season on FOX Sports Florida and FOX Sports GO.

Panthers President and CEO Matthew Caldwell is scheduled to join the broadcast during the first intermission on Thursday night.

Rule changes

  • The league adopted the David Leggio Rule: deliberately moving the goalposts off its moorings to stop play on a breakaway will result in an awarded goal to the offensive team.
  • In the event a net is inadvertently knocked off its moorings, or if a puck shot from beyond center ice is stopped and frozen by the goaltender, the face-off will take place in the goaltender’s defensive zone, with the team on offense given choice of side. In such cases, the defensive team will not be allowed to make a line change.
  • A puck that leaves out of play in the offensive zone will remain in the offensive zone for the next face-off.
  • Players that lose their helmet during play must return to the bench as soon as it is feasible until it can be replaced, or the player must retrieve their helmet.

Expansion of video review

  • Teams now have an unlimited number of coach’s challenges, but failed challenges will now result in delay-of-game penalties instead of their timeout. The first failed challenge will be a two-minute minor, and subsequent failed challenges will be four-minute double-minors.
  • A team may challenge goals that follow plays in the offensive zone that should have instead resulted in a stoppage before the puck went into the net. Missed stoppages include hand passes, pucks high-sticked to a teammate, and pucks hitting the netting or going into the players bench. The delay-of-game penalty for pucks going over the glass will still not be reviewable under this situation.
  • All match and major penalties excluding fighting will be required to video review; officials will reserve the authority to reduce the penalty to a minor penalty depending on the result of the review, but referees cannot rescind a penalty altogether.
  • Referees have the option to review high-sticking double minors at their discretion and without consultation with the NHL’s Situation Room.

LBC Stuff

Both regular season contests (picks / yes-no) are still open for entries. I will be closing the comment section of each article sometime around 6:30 tonight, so if you haven’t already made your selections, please do so during the day.

I am trying to collect money so there will be a prize for the winner of the regular season predictions contest (most likely a gift card). If you would like to donate $1 towards this please paypal or venmo me. If not, that’s fine too, just means the prize will be smaller.