The Panthers will be celebrating Kids Day on Saturday afternoon at the Billboard, with youngsters taking part in all aspects of the in-house entertainment, from announcing to the national anthem to working in the press box.
Should be a good time. I was at the Rangers' Kids Day earlier in the year and it was a fun, festive atmosphere having all that young energy in the building. I know the kids there enjoyed their time, and I think tomorrow should be a big success.
If you have a kid or two -- or can borrow one from a friend -- come on out to the game. They'll have fun, and you get to see a hockey game. Pretty cool. Panthers are offering a special $10 ticket for the kiddies, so you can't beat that. It's a lot cheaper than Wannado City, for sure.
I'll have my niece Annie up in the press box with me, and I'm putting her to work. She's going to be tomorrow's guest blogger and she's going to try and help Goldie with the first intermission highlights. Good pal Jake Goldstein is supposed to be hanging around as well, so we'll get a special edition of the Goldie Report tomorrow.
-- Maybe they'll let the kids do one of the dozen or so Hyundai ads tomorrow?
-- Big news out of the Panthers today is that rookie Michael Frolik has been selected to the Young Stars portion of the All-Star Game held later this month in Montreal. Well deserved. According to the league, this year will feature a special Rookies vs. Sophomores game, and it should be fun. Frolik has been outstanding for the Panthers this season, especially in the past six weeks or so. The game is going to be 3-on-3, so there should be ample opportunity for Frolik to show off in the open ice.
Here's the lineup:
Sophomores: G Erik 'LaBarbera' Ersberg, LA; D Marc Staal, NYR; D Kris Letang, Pit; F Bryan Little, Atl; F Milan Lucic, Bos; F Andrew Cogliano, Edm; F Brandon Dubinsky, NYR; F Devin Setoguchi, SJ; F Mason Raymond, Van; F Nicklas Backstrom, Was.
Freshmen: G Steve Mason, Cbus; D Drew Doughty, LAK; D Luke Schenn, Tor; F Blake Wheeler, Bos; F Kris Versteeg, Chi; F James Neal, Dal; F Michael Frolik, FLA; F Mikkel Boedker, Phx; F Patrik Berglund, STL; F Steven 'Seen' Stamkos, TB.
-- And a reminder: On Frozen Pond will be in Montreal on Friday afternoon All-Star Weekend to get ready for the festivities. Have plenty of extra bonus stuff planned, although I don't exactly know what just yet. But it'll be a lot, trust me.
Especially if Alyssa Milano makes a return appearance.
-- Tomas Vokoun back in net for the Panthers tomorrow against the Thrashers (who thumped New Jersey 4-0 in Newark last night).
-- Special game time tomorrow, kickoff at 1 p.m.
-- Also, according to the Panthers, they did submit last night as one of the dates they wanted to avoid because of the BCS title game at Joe Robbie Stadium. Apparently the league didn't think it was that big a deal and didn't grant the Panthers the night off. And I'm hearing the Hurricanes rejected any thought of moving the starting time. Whatever. It was a messed up deal.
-- And: Word is the FSN contract for the next three years is for 70-plus games instead of just 70 as I wrote here a few days back. Rumor has it the deal with FSN is for three years, with the network showing 71 games in the first year, 72 in year two and 73 in the final year. So that's a substantial bump up of games from the current contract of 65 games.
The more, the merrier I say.