So how did the Panthers fare in the NHL’s new alignment, one in which Florida and Tampa Bay leave the sunny south and count the likes of Buffalo, Boston, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Detroit as divisional rivals? Depends on whom you ask. The business side of the organization loves the new format, with six of the seven other teams coming from “snowbird’’ areas in the northeast, Michigan and Canada. The other team in the new and as-yet-unnamed division is a short drive away. That means a full building many nights as fans of Original Six teams Toronto, Boston, Montreal and Detroit make their way to Sunrise. The Panthers should also get a boost in television coverage with so many games against high-interest opponents. “Not only will we maintain and grow our in-state rivalry with the Lightning, but we will also be able to cultivate rivalries with some of the NHL’s most historic clubs,’’ Panthers president Michael Yormark said in a statement. The hockey side of things, however, isn’t as thrilled with the change.
New alignment plan will have pros, cons for Florida Panthers
Miami Herald | Mar 16