Weekend provides double dose of Panthers' Matthias

Endearing himself to fans with a crafty four points in the final five games of the season appears to have been just the beginning of the Get-To-Know Shawn Matthias campaign.

On Thursday he will be the featured player at what's become a staple of the organization's offseasons: yep, it's Cats Cookout time again at the BankAtlantic Center from 5:30 to 7:30. Matty will be joined by recently hired assistant general manager Mike Santos and former Panthers old skool defensive mainstay-turned assistant coach Gord Murphy. There's a thinly-veiled ticket drive hidden among the radio remote, bounce house, and surplus weiners so don't be shocked to find 28 sales rep business cards in your pocket upon arriving home. Nothing's free.

The club seriously puts on a very good show at these events, so give it a shot if you're open.

Friday finds the Matthias Tour making a stop at the Hollywood Hard Rock, where his name will be among a group of twenty or so folks to be auctioned off. For a date, of course. From the Sun-Sentinel's Steve Gorten:

Whoever lands Matthias will get the Xtreme Date Package, which includes racing, putt-putt golf and dinner courtesy of Xtreme Indoor Karting in Fort Lauderdale. It should be a fun event. I know the Panthers often get a lot of grief for their promotions/events, sometimes rightfully so, but this one is for a truly good cause – 100 percent of the event’s proceeds will go towards the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s South Florida chapter.

An excellent endeavor, which is also involving Fox Sports Florida's Allison Williams (what, no Forte?) and Ice Dancer Simona. Info on the event can be found at Gorten's blog here.