SAVANNAH, Ga. -- Good afternoon hockey fans, just checking in from the road. Have had plenty of time to make some phone calls and do some other things, so I figured, why not jump in and share some of that information with y'all.
-- First off, we have to get a Zaxby's in South Florida. We've got Chik-fil-A, Cracker Barrel and Steak and Shake. How about some golden chicken fingers? Anyone out there want to get us a franchise? It'll be a huge success, you can thank me later.
-- Big baseball game tonight, hopefully better than the never ending home run derby. Don't even remember who won. Lost interest. I was just happy the sound wasn't on. Chris Berman and all.
-- The Panthers are going to unveil next year's schedule tomorrow as is every NHL team in the league. Check back here tomorrow and we'll have it as soon as I can fire up the laptop and get it online. Going to be driving to North Carolina tomorrow so it could be a bit of an adventure. But we'll get things done. Talking to Randy, Michael and Pete sometime around 4 p.m. so check back after that for their thoughts on the schedule.
-- This much we know: The Panthers open in Helsinki, Finland on Oct. 2-3 with a pair of games against the Blackhawks. Florida will then come home and rest up, playing host to the New Jersey Devils. For those on the hockey beat, Florida will be visiting all 14 east teams as well as San Jose, Colorado, Columbus, St. Louis and Nashville.
-- Alex Tanguay? An offer is on the table from the Panthers as well as other teams. Right now the Tanguay camp is said to be taking its sweet time, trying to find the right fit. He apparently didn't like it in Calgary, didn't like it in Montreal. Well, South Florida is the anti-Calgary/Montreal. He'll have fun down here, that's for sure. Should hear something from him in the coming days. If the Panthers lose out on Tanguay (and he may just take a one-year to come here), expect another minor move before training camp.
- Speaking of training camp, did some math the other day (go ahead and laugh) and here's what I came up with: The Panthers, by playing seven games in nine nights, will travel a minimum of 7,000 miles before embarking on the European Vacation.
Florida will fly to Nova Scotia, then play a game in Halifax before flying off to Ottawa, Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton and Dallas. Then, the flight to Helsinki (estimated one-way: 5,100 miles).
-- And they'll be announcing that Fenway Park will play host to this year's winter classic, and I have no problem with that at all. Fenway is a classic location for a hockey game.
But I still say the NHL needs to seriously look at Camden Yards in Baltimore for a future game. Think about it: Put the Flyers and the Caps (both cities are about an hour drive in either direction) in Charm City and the NHL can bask in the glory of putting 40,000-plus fans into a beautiful ballpark in a non-NHL city. I don't see how this one can lose.
Of course, now the Flyers will have been involved in one. I don't like the Bruins/Flyers matchup, but hey, that's me.
-- In case you missed it, Noah Welch and Anthony Stewart both signed with the Thrashers. Former Panther Joel Kwiatkowski also signed with the ATLers, but he was under contract in Russia for another season and will have to go back. Sorry, Kiwi.
-- See you tomorrow...