First off, the Panthers will open the 2008-09 season on Oct. 10 in Raleigh, N.C., taking on the WhalerCanes. Florida will then come home and kick off its home campaign on Saturday, Oct. 11 against Atlanta. The Panthers are also expected to be home for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Will have more in the coming days. The full schedule will be announced on Wednesday (the day after the MLB All-Star Game), but I hope to have more key pieces of this way before then.
-- The Panthers are in the market for a new director of player development, Duane Sutter heading west to join his brother Darryl with the Flames in the same capacity.
Duane 'Dog' Sutter -- who was part of the Islanders' four Cups as a player -- spent the past 11 years with the Panthers organization in one capacity or another. Sutter was even the Panthers coach for a time, taking over for the fired Terry Murray during the 2000-01 season. Sutter started the 2001-02 season as coach, eventually replaced by one Mike Keenan (who, coincidentally, is Calgary's coach).
-- The Flames also named former Panthers goalie Jamie "Noodles" McLennan their director of goaltending development. Noodles, in net for the Flames, was suspended for five games during the 2007 playoffs for slashing Johan Franzen. The Wings won the next game so Jamie is still on the hook for four games (if he wants to suit up again). He played in Russia and Japan last season.