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Wednesday Offseason Caterwaul: Florida Panthers Open Forum

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Cats add Brett Peterson to front office staff

COLLEGE HOCKEY: JAN 03 Bemidji State at Bowling Green Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Florida Panthers General Manager Bill Zito continued add to his front office staff, naming Brett Peterson Assistant General Manager.

Peterson is believed to be the first black assistant general manager in the National Hockey League.

“His substantive hockey experience as a player, significant developmental and evaluation skills, and business acumen as a negotiator combine to form an elite skill set that is very difficult to find in our sport,” said Zito. “There are many who can excel in one of those disciplines, but few who excel in all three.”

Peterson, 39, most recently served as the Vice President, Hockey for Wasserman Media Group working with many of the NHL’s elite talent, including Tuukka Rask. He has been a certified NHL player agent since 2009.

A native of Northborough, MA, Peterson played five years of professional hockey (2004-05 to 2008-09) as a defenseman in the AHL, ECHL and the now defunct IHL.

Prior to his professional career, Peterson played four seasons of NCAA hockey for Boston College (2000-01 to 2003-04), where he appeared in 157 games, posting 28 points (8G20A) and won a NCAA National Championship in 2001.

He serves as an advisor/consultant to the NextGEN AAA Foundation hockey team, a nonprofit organization that provides mentoring and hockey programs to underprivileged youth and underserved communities. The all-minority team recently won the 2020 Beantown Summer Classic Tournament.

In joining the Panthers, Peterson will also take an active role in the Florida Panthers Foundation’s community-based programs that aim to make the game of hockey more inclusive in the South Florida region.

“I’m very excited for this opportunity with the Panthers and with Bill’s growing front office team,” said Peterson. “It’s a special day for myself and my family and I can’t wait to get to work.”

Peterson joins Paul Krepelka as the Panthers Assistant General Managers.

On the ice

Defense prospect Alec Rauhauser scored his second Tipos Extraliga goal in DVTK Polar Bears 6-3 loss to HC Slovan Bratislava yesterday. The 25-year-old Bowling Green alum now has 2 goals and 2 assists in 4 games with the Hungarian-based club which plays in Slovakia’s top league.

Santtu Kinnunen dished out two assists in Tappara’s wild 6-5 shootout win over Sport in Tuesday action from Finland’s Liiga. Kinnunen logged 17:58 TOI, two shots on goal and finished the game with an even rating. The 21-year-old blueliner now has 6 assists in 13 games with Tappara this season.

Aleksi Heponiemi logged 11:43 of ice time and finished with a -2 rating in MODO Hockey’s 7-0 loss to HC Vita Hasten in action from Sweden’s HockeyAllsvenskan. Heponiemi leads MODO in scoring with 12 points (4G/8A) in 14 games.

Panthers reserve Juho Lammikko logged 6:59 TOI, won 3 of 4 faceoffs, and was credited with one hit in Metallurg’s 2-1 shootout win over Barys. Lammikko has produced 6 goals and 8 points in 21 KHL games this season.