As expected, the Panthers signed on to join Dan Le Batard and 790 for the next three seasons. Florida games had been broadcast on 560 WQAM since the team's inception in 1993.
Unlike 560, don't expect Florida games to bounce all over the dial. 560 had deals with UM and the Marlins, so whenever there was a conflict, the Panthers lost. So did the fans who couldn't watch a game on TV. Panthers games were put on whatever pirate radio station had airtime for sale.
The team, QAM and Randy Moller tried their best to find the better stations with decent signal, but sometimes they went where they could regardless of the fuzzy outcome. This deal should be better for the Panthers, although they may have to work a lot harder to make it work financially.
790 -- which it should be noted has a partnership with Ma Herald but not with me -- will also have additional hockey-related programing including a 30-minute pregame show before all weekday games as well as a 15 minute postgame show.
The new radio voice hasn't been announced, but Barry Jackson wrote Friday that color man Randy Moller might be switching to play by play. If that is the case, look for a former player to take over the color role. Who, pray tell? Just throwing some names out there, but how about John Vanbiesbrouck, Paul Laus, Scott Mellanby or Joe Nieuwendyk?
Personally, I think the Panthers need to hire a professional broadcaster to do PBP and let Randy continue giving his colorful brand of analysis. Randy does a good job on color but I understand why he -- and the Panthers -- would like him to try PBP. Randy would get to enhance his resume and become a better broadcaster. The Panthers, meanwhile, get to save a spot for Goldie to come back to radio if FSN isn't happy with his TV work. I think Goldie will be great on TV and no one should be worried but having a safety net in place is never bad.
-- Also, congrats to Goldie for officially being named the television voice of the Panthers on Monday. It's a well-deserved promotion and I'm sure he'll be a great voice for the fan.