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Throwing it out there

Catscookout_2 The Panthers have made a few announcements; figured some out there might be interested, so here we go:

The team announced its 'Hometown Hockey Tour' starts this month with the StreetCats Festival at Incredible Ice on April 21. The team will also hold its first BBQ at the arena -- featuring Joe Nieuwendyk -- on April 26.

The Panthers will also be holding a draft party on June 26 at the Hard Rock. Should be fun. I'll be stuck in Columbus.

"Since the Panthers joined the NHL in 1993, we've seen hockey grow into a year-round sport n the South Florida community,'' team VP and general good dude Chad Johnson said in a statement. He adds the summer time activities are a good way to keep folks interested in hockey and keep the Panthers around in the general conscience.

If I'm in town, I like to attend these events, so I'll post anything that comes out of them here (or, you know, in the paper).

Csa_3 -- Also (slow news week, eh?), the team announced that its arena, based in north Weston, was ranked 11th nationally by the trade publication PollStar and was 19th worldwide as far as XXX goes in its first quarter rankings.

The Panthers are obviously quite proud of this accomplishment and point out that they ranked ahead of Staples Center in Los Angeles. Of course, the CSA doesn't have the USC band play at Panthers games like Staples Center has for the Lakers, so that drops them in my rankings. But those haven't come out yet, so .... PollStar also ranks CSA ahead of the Jersey dump (duh), the new Boston Garden (I can see that) and United Center in Chicago (I dunno...)

Team exec Michael Yormark says their goal is to break into the top 10 of the rankings.

We wish them luck in that.

-- New Penguins president David Morehouse said on XM Radio on Wednesday that Florida's arena is one the Penguins are looking at as they put together plans for a new Igloo in Steel City. He mentioned that CSA, Phoenix and one other (I was driving cross country at the time) were arenas the team liked and planned to take pieces of and include in their designs. We forget that CSA is a pretty nice arena, one of the nicest I've been to in the league. I just hope Alan Cohen and Michael Yormark are as committed to toning down the ads and commercials as they say they are. Then we can start calling the arena by its real name: Broward County Civic Center. Or something like that.

-- A good number of players are expected to have surgery next week, including Olli Jokinen, Mike Van Ryn, Bryan Allen (sports hernia), Steve Montador (nose), et al. Will update when the guys go under the knife. Both Olli and MVR are scheduled to have their wrists done Monday by the same doc.

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Hey - Columbus is only 100 miles northeast of me! I should go up for the draft and show you the town - then after that 10 minutes is up - we could go get some beers. :-)

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