"No one goes to their games and no one watches them on TV"

Thus spake Puck Daddy's Ryan Lambert on Friday, though to stay in context - and we're stretching here - he was using the quote to argue on behalf of the Versus/NBC conglomerate giving the Panthers only one appearance on national television during the upcoming 2011-12 season.

Yes, attendance in Sunrise has been an issue over the past decade (a decade with zippo postseason invites) and indeed, local television numbers on FS Florida have wallowed around the 3,000 mark for some time. Anywhere north of Palm Beach County and an observer can only conclude, based upon those two subjective "statistics", the situation is beyond dire, highlighting a franchise which must surely be tripping over itself to gain access to the theoretically lucrative shores of hockey's (recently) unexplored promised lands: the "twin cities" of Quebec and Kansas come to mind, but undoubtedly there's an abundance of expendable dollars in Nunavut as well.

The truth is of course far different, as local interest in the club has never been higher since the Bure days of so many years ago. Anyone with an eye on the region would acknowledge such.

Just as longtime Florida season seat holders begin the process of unification as elements within their club toss them to the curb, the timing of such a rabble-rousing, Canadian-MSM-pandering, headline-inducing accusation (oh, wait...) is lousy at best, but entirely transparent. Now that the Thrashers are the toast of Manitoba - and by extension, the entire nation - Broward's hockey club is the next target of derision, ridicule, and outright hostility.

Like it's ever been any different. Much as naysayers may unabashedly obsess/desire/lust for a relocation - or just website hits - the Panthers are remaining firmly planted at the BankAtlantic Center. Stand fast, Florida faithful.