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Only in Sunrise: Don King and the Florida Panthers ... Dave Strader Says Hello ... Ville Peltonen Says He's Playing ... It's Press Release Monday

Donking PHILADELPHIA -- Sitting at the food court at Philadelphia's International airport waiting on a flight home to sunny South Florida.

Enjoyed some Chinese food and the company of one Dave Strader, former TV voice of the Panthers who is waiting for his flight home to Phoenix.

Just got word that Pete DeBoer kept the team on the ice an extra 30 minutes today, probably just to work out the rust. Ville Peltonen left during the session to get treatment, but says he's playing tomorrow against the Cheesesteaks.

-- Big news around the Panthers right now might not have anything to do with hockey.

According to a press release I just got, the team is holding a press conference at the arena tomorrow after the morning skate. Apparently some players are going to take part in a Don King presser. Mr. Boxing is supposedly going to announce he is holding the first boxing event at the Big Billboard on Valentine's Day (hopefully I'll have other plans that night).

Here's the release. LIVE! coverage of the event tomorrow afternoon. This could be a hoot.

What players do you think would like to be part of a boxing card? Anthony Stewart comes to mind, but so does David Booth. I think he would like to lace up the gloves and take a spin or two in the ring. Nathan Horton might want to throw in a controlled environment as well.

Your thoughts below...

Don King has promoted some memorable fight cards in South Florida’s rich boxing history, and now he will present the first boxing event ever at BankAtlantic Center on Valentine’s Day, Saturday, Feb. 14.  Unified lightweight world champion Nate Campbell, from Jacksonville, will put his crowns on the line against IBF No. 1-ranked mandatory challenger Ali Funeka; colorful former three-time world champion Ricardo Mayorga will tangle with Alfredo Angulo to determine the WBC’s No. 1 ranking and mandatory challenger at the 154-pound limit; and another important match at 154 pounds will showcase interim WBC super welterweight champion Sergio Martinez taking on former IBF welterweight champion Kermit Cintron.


QUOTE:         “Don King is one of the biggest names in sports and we are honored to welcome him to the BankAtlantic Center,” said Yormark. “His track record for promoting world-class events speaks for itself. That said, it is a great thrill to bring boxing to the BankAtlantic Center for the first time, which once again reinforces our ability to successfully host nearly any type of event.

-- FSN Florida will offer up its latest Inside the Panthers, this time focusing on the minor league Rochester Americans. More press release:

In the next edition of FOX Sports Florida’s Inside the Panthers, Cats fans will learn all about the Panthers’ main minor league affiliate, the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League.  Hosted by Craig Minervini, INSIDE THE PANTHERS: ROCHESTER – LIFE IN THE MINORS premieres on FOX Sports Florida Saturday, January 31, at 10pm, immediately following the Panthers at New York Islanders game.      

Also known as the “Amerks”, they are the second oldest franchise in the AHL and are currently competing in their 53rd season of play.  The Amerks have a rich and storied history, with many NHL players past and present, playing for Rochester.  The franchise also boasts six Calder Cup championships, emblematic of the AHL title.

For the past few seasons, the Panthers shared the team with the Buffalo Sabres but in the summer of 2008, the Panthers became Rochester’s sole NHL parent team.  To learn more about the talented people who make the Amerks so successful FOX Sports Florida spoke with Rochester General Manager Jody Gage, Panthers Director of Player Development Jack Birch, Americans Head Coach Benoit Groulx, longtime Amerks radio voice Don Stevens, in addition to many of the Panthers young prospects on the roster. The show also looks at the history of the Rochester franchise and its importance in the local community.

Fans will catch a glimpse into the players’ personal lives with defenseman Keaton Ellerby offered Inside the Panthers a private tour of his living quarters in Rochester.  Cameras were rolling as the team traveled by bus and fans will see what it was like through the eyes of forward Tanner Glass, who wielded “Tanner-Cam” during a trip from Rochester to Binghamton, New York.  The show profiles defenseman Rory Fitzpatrick, a veteran of several NHL seasons, and a Rochester native, who is back playing in his hometown as part of the Panthers organization.  The show also hears from members of the Amerks who have been called up to the Panthers at one time or another.  They tell what life is like in the AHL compared to the NHL and share what drives them to return to play for the Panthers.  Multiple replays are scheduled throughout the 2008-09 NHL season, check fsfloridatv.com for airdates/times.