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The Economy Strikes Again ... THE AHL on NHL

Ratpack Just got an email from the Panthers Foundation that they have had to postpone the annual Ice & Dice charity event scheduled for later this month at the Westin Diplomat (once home to Hollywood Squares on the beach for you old timers like me).

That's usually a pretty good event, one that raises a bunch of money for charities associated with the team, including the Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital in Hollywood.

The team says they are going to reschedule, but who knows if they'll hold one this year. They sent out an earlier email saying they raised $50,000 at the most recent golf tournament, and if that's true, good for them. That's a nice chuck of change for a golf outing.

Not a lot of fun talking about the economy these days. Our parent company just announced it was freezing our pension and matches on our 401k (the Panthers stopped matching contributions late last year). Sucks right now. Just have to trudge along and hope things get better. And soon.

Sidenote: Nathan Horton told me he had so much fun playing golf at the tournament this year he's thinking of taking up the game in the offseason. I told him golf was fun, and asked how he hit the ball.

''Good,'' he said. Then, laughing, he said ''better than last year.''

As you may recall, Nate and Olli Jokinen were two of the early birds at last year's tournament, drawing much criticism for bailing on the tournament just after it started.

-- The NHL Network, in another effort to bring you, the hockey fan, great programming, is going to broadcast a number of AHL games in the coming weeks. For some reason, they seem to be fans of the Panthers' affiliate in Rochester. The Americans will be featured in three of the six games televised starting with Saturday's game against Binghamton. Here's the rest of the schedule:

Saturday, Feb. 7 – Binghamton @ Rochester at 2:00 p.m. ET

Saturday, Mar. 7 – Rochester @ Lake Erie at 1:00 p.m. ET
Friday, Mar. 13 – Toronto @ Rochester at 7:30 p.m. ET
Sunday, Mar. 22 – Grand Rapids @ Lake Erie at 5:00 p.m. ET
Friday, Mar. 27 – Springfield @ Worcester at 7:00 p.m. ET

Friday, Apr. 10 – Manchester @ Worcester at 7:00 p.m. ET