Olli Jokinen is gone, doomed to suffer in Phoenix after the Panthers traded him for two young defensemen (Keith Ballard and Nick Boynton). The Cats also welcome another stud D-man in Bryan McCabe, acquired from Toronto for Mike Van Ryn. No one is happier about these moves than goalie Tomas Vokoun, who faced a league-high 2,213 shots last year and still managed a solid .919 save percentage. Its not all defense to look forward to for Panthers fans this year we get to check out Shawn Matthias, a 20-year-old center who plays a gritty game driving the net and scrapping for pucks. New coach Peter DeBoer has a solid team to work with, and Panthers fans can look forward to a hard-hitting season with eyes on ending the playoff drought. Watch the new look Panthers crush their division rival Thrashers tonight at 7 p.m. at the BankAtlantic Center (1 Panther Pkwy., Sunrise). Tickets can be had from ticketmaster.com for as little as $17.
Sat., Oct. 11, 7 p.m., 2008