During Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday night, NHL Insider Jeff Mareck spoke about potential non-traditional events at the Florida Panthers’ All-Star Skills Competition next month.
Although the fastest skaters and hardest hits in the skills competition will be held at Sunrise at the FLA Live Arena, the league added some outdoor stuff last year in Las Vegas and is looking to continue here in South Florida.
Marek even mentioned our idea — which apparently ran up the Panthers’ chain to the NHL offices — to shoot frozen burger “pucks” at alligator targets in the Everglades.
I’m not kidding, friends. Watch the video below.
That one, as we jokingly noted the other day, probably won’t happen.
Unless the alligators are in captivity — like the ones the Gator Boys rescue and care for at Holiday Park — it’s illegal to feed the savages let alone shoot them.
So, maybe the captive alligators make it into the series.
One of the things Marek mentioned was having some dunk tanks on (presumably) Fort Lauderdale beach with players shooting targets on them.
Who would dunk — competitive players, perhaps — is up for debate and negotiation with the NHLPA.
Another competition being discussed by Marek concerns golf, although no actual details were given.
Since this thing is at night, you might want it recorded at night (no, those fun things they did in Vegas last year weren’t live), which means a lighted driving range or maybe TopGolf in Miami near Hard Rock Stadium.
Of course, you can still light up a golf course with portable lighting. The NHL has known the Bushwood Country Club for Caddyshack the glory belongs to Davie, right?
There is always Aqua Golf in Pembroke Park where some scenes of There are Something about Mary was shot during the day.
We still love the idea of the alligator. Figure it out.
HOCKEY IN FLORIDA NOW
Eric Staal didn’t score a single point in December but, since then, he’s scored at a nice clip for the Panthers.
In his last 17 games, Staal now has 13 points. Not bad.
– The Panthers are in Dallas this afternoon and we will have the GameDay report later this morning.
– We have plenty of Detroit post-game videos featuring Aaron Ekblad after his two-goal game, Sergei Bobrovsky (29 saves) and coach Paul Maurice.
There is also the pre-match of Matthew Tkachuk talks about his Friday morning All-Star selection.
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NATIONAL HOCKEY NOW
This trip to the All-Star Game will be very special for the Philadelphia Flyers forward Kevin Hayes — and not just because it’s her first selection at the event.
Hayes’ brother jimmy, who died last year, always told Kevin “this is the year” he would make the All-Star Game. “This year” is here.
It’s a cool situation for me because — not to get emotional — but that’s probably the only thing my brother said to me when I started playing hockey and he wanted me to accomplish said Kevin Hayes on Thursday.
Jimmy Hayes spent parts of two seasons with the Panthers and it would be cool if Kevin went to the Florida locker room with Team Metro. Kevin said Jimmy’s son beautiful will accompany him on his trip to South Florida.
— If the Pittsburgh Penguins were to be sellers, what would they be looking for in NHL Trade?
— Nicklas Backstrom is closing in on a return with the Washington Capitals and says he and Thomas Wilson rehab together really brought them closer.
– The power play brought down the Detroit Red Wings again on Saturday night as they lost to Toronto.
— Are the Colorado Avalanche still interested in Bo Horvat?
PANTHERS ON DECK
FLORIDA PANTHERS AT DALLAS STARS
- When: Sunday, 3:30 p.m.
- Where: American Airlines Center, Dallas
- Television/Broadcast: Bally Sports in Florida; ESPN+
- Radio: WQAM 560-AM; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
- Panther Radio Broadcast: SiriusXM 932
- Last season: Split 1-1
- This season (Stars lead 1-0): Dallas 6, Florida 4 (Nov. 17)
- All-time regular season series: Florida leads 24-20-2, tie 3
- Next step for the Panthers: Tuesday in Colorado, 9:30 p.m.