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Open House

OpenhouseThe Panthers open their doors tonight and will welcome a large crowd to the BankAtlantic Center for their 2007-08 season opener.

We'll see if they stick to their edict that 'Less Ads Is More.'

Was at the arena for the morning skate, noticed a few things. First off, the place is nice and clean. Feels ready for a season opener. A nice touch is each player's jersey hangs from the ceiling in the main concourse. Also, the kids zone is open, and that will be a welcome addition.

And, finally, the Florida state flag now hangs from the rafters.

-- Big news out of practice today is that Mike Van Ryn will be a healthy scratch. As you can imagine, Mike's pretty bummed about the demotion. Says he hasn't been a healthy scratch since he was with the Blues back in the early part of his career. Noah Welch is in the third pairing, probably with Cory Murphy. Will have more in tomorrow's paper.

JM wouldn't confirm, saying it was a "game time decision" on who would play. But he said that probably because the NJ media was standing nearby because Mike told us he was told before practice that he wasn't playing. Says he wasn't given a reason, although he didn't play much against the Rangers and admitted he might have seen this coming.

-- Also, lot of mystery surrounding Martin Brodeur. Word is, he wasn't at the skate but is expected to be at BAC by gametime. Still, Kevin Weekes expected to be in net for the Devils, which is good news for the Panthers. Weekes has had him moments against the Panthers, but nowhere near what Brodeur has done over the years.