Written by Josh Gold-Smith 15h ago

The Florida Panthers continue to take safety measures ahead of a looming storm of potentially significant proportions.

Hurricane Irma's imminent arrival is forcing the club to charter a plane to transport players, staff members and their families to Boston on Friday, according to the Miami Herald's George Richards.

The Panthers are funding the flight and may open training camp in Springfield, Mass., - home of the team's AHL affiliate, the Springfield Thunderbirds - next week.

"We have the facilities in Springfield and could start camp there if we had to," Panthers CEO Matthew Caldwell said Wednesday, according to Richards. "We hope this is just a couple days up in Massachusetts and a flight home. But we don't know what's going to happen, don't know what (kind of damage) we will sustain."

Aleksander Barkov, Vincent Trocheck, Roberto Luongo, and Derek MacKenzie are among the players planning to take the charter flight. Keith Yandle, who hails from Boston, has apparently arranged his own flight to Massachusetts.

Irma is projected to make landfall in Florida on Sunday at about 2 p.m. ET, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Earlier Wednesday, the Panthers canceled their prospect tournament that was originally scheduled to take place in Estero, Fla., from Sept. 9-12.