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When is enough, enough?

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Believe it or not, the NHL season is already into its second week. Fans are finally starting to come out of hibernation and pulling their favorite jerseys out of the closet. The offseason (which seems to get longer every year) is finally over and our favorite stars are all lacing them back up and online message boards are starting to pick back up.

This is the time of the year that you finally get to see your new draft picks, free agent signings and trades in your teams uniform. The Florida Panthers, however, amidst the new faces, goaltender Roberto Luongo, new captain and two time Stanley Cup winning Champion, Willie Mitchell and first overall draft choice Aaron Ekblad to name a few, are one team who is already making headlines.

Did they jump out to an incredible 3-0 run to start the season? No. But if they had, nobody would have been there to see it. The Florida Panthers have beat (shattered!) their own record of lowest recorded attendance in Florida Panthers history. A measly 7,311 people were recorded as attending yesterday’s game against the Ottawa Senators, beating their old lowest record of 10,063.

Now don’t get me wrong. The lack of success for the Florida Panthers over the past 20 years is horrific. Sure, they made the Stanley Cup finals in their first year, but what have they accomplished since? How long can fans wait? How many thousands of dollars should a fan spend before realizing they are flushing their money down the toilet? If I took up tennis 20 years ago and to this day, was still awful at it, I would have quit long ago. With that said, the Florida Panthers are at least trying to build a can’t deny that they helped themselves more than hurt themselves this past year.

I live in a community of just over 40,000 people, our local Junior A team, who has had plenty of success over the past few seasons has, on numerous occasions, sold out the arena of nearly 5500 fans. These are just kids, doing anything they can to create a bright future for themselves, whether it be through further advancement in hockey, or through a scholarship at a school. These kids aren’t NHLers and there is a high chance that nearly all of them won’t be. Sure, one or two may hit it huge, but they aren’t NHL superstars. There are many levels of junior hockey across Canada that will put up 7000+ on any given night and even AHL teams will do the same... Of course, success is key…

Now, one topic I don’t like to discuss often is the idea of relocation. The fans want it, the NHL doesn’t appear to, yet how much longer can they continue making excuses for the small market teams? How long does profit sharing have to keep these teams afloat? There are city’s around North America that would DIE to have an NHL franchise, yet we are letting one DIE in Florida…

I understand that the idea of relocation is huge and the amount of work behind the scenes goes beyond anything that I could ever understand but let’s be real…

When is enough, enough?
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  1. Happy Gilmore's Avatar
    Perhaps, what they need, is do do what oiler fans do, and litter the ice with panthers jerseys

    I agree 100 with you, i would HATE to see this team relocate, but the fact is, that the attendance record in Florida has become a redundant topic year after year, and now it is beyond an embarrassment, for the team, and the NHL in general.