Today we had some snow, some salad and some Tim Hortons coffee. Yes, Gameday for the Panthers is finally here.
The hockey team from Sunrise, Fla., has been here since early Sunday morning, and will finally get to play some hockey. The Florida squad will be facing a team of locals from here in Toronto, and it should be a good show for all.
Spoke with former Panther Mike Van Ryn today and he says he's digging it up here. He gets to see a lot of friends and family, and they ''finally get to cheer for the team they really like.''
Mike and his wife Amber are expecting their first child (a girl) in June, so congrats to both. Good people Mike Van Ryn is.
-- UPDATE: No one is coming up from Rochester. Richard Zednik is out on the ice.
Thanks to Jim 'Boomer' Gordon for setting the deal up, also was nice meeting Dan 'The Voice' Blakeley, Terry Mercury and Joe Thistel. Good hockey people all.
-- David Booth was back with the team after a couple of days of extreme illness. It got so bad, Booth had to go to a local hospital here yesterday to get an IV. He also had an IV on Saturday when the team was playing the Islanders, but he's struggled to keep in fluids.
He worked out and skated today, but is out until at least Thursday. Pete DeBoer thinks he'll be ready to play then, but Booth didn't sound so optimistic. He's weakened from the illness and may need a few more days of skating.
"It was good to get out and skate again, but I felt terrible out there,'' said Booth. ''I couldn't even make it around the rink once. But I haven't had any food in three days, so that's to be expected.''
-- News Flash II: Jay Bouwmeester was a big topic of discussion here today, with the gathered media gathering around him to hear him say the same things he's been saying for months. No news flash here. But, I did ask Pete about his role in trying to keep Jay and he says he's not going to get all that involved. ''We're going to let our actions speak for themselves,'' he said.
As far as Pete talking to JM and putting his two cents in on whether Jay should be moved at the deadline or not, he said he was pretty much steering clear of the whole thing.
''My job is to coach the players I have day in and day out and Bouwmeester is here every day,'' DeBoer said.
"Am I going to be able to talk Jay Bouwmeester into staying? No. I've taken the approach since Day 1 that we'll try and let our actions speak for us, try to show him long term this is the place he wants to be. That's all I can do. I'm not going to talk Jay Bouwmeester into anything. He's going to make up his own mind."