Panthers launching behind-the-scenes digital series chronicling team’s return from COVID-19 stoppage

The Florida Panthers take part in a practice at the Ice Den in Coral Springs. (David Dwork, WPLG)

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. – Buckle up, hockey fans, because after nearly four months off, the NHL is ready to hit the ground running. 

Sort of. 

The NHL is preparing to resume its season after pausing everything in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the hope is for all 24 teams participating in the league's Return to Play Plan to enter mandatory training camps in the coming weeks. 

The league moved to Phase 2 of its plan in early June, opening up team facilities to players and limited staff members for voluntary, non-contact workouts in small groups. 

Since that time, around half of the Florida Panthers roster has been taking part in Phase 2 at the Ice Den in Coral Springs. 

The NHL and NHLPA are hoping to open official training camps on, or around, July 10th.

According to the league's plan, when the season does resume, Florida will face the New York Islanders in a best-of-5 qualifying round series. 

As Panthers players continue to get back into form and prepare to battle the Islanders, the team is launching a new, behind-the-scenes series that aims to provide an all-access look at how Florida’s players go from pause to playoffs. 

The five-part digital series called ‘Panthers Uncaged’ premieres Wednesday, July 1st at 5 p.m. on the team’s Facebook, IGTV, PanthersVision and YouTube pages. 

A link to the YouTube premiere can be found by clicking here.

According to a statement released by the team, "(Panthers Uncaged) will be created with a combination of socially-distant footage, go-pros, Zoom interviews, iPhone footage and non-traditional content capture."

It will be a welcomed window into the world of the Panthers as they navigate through this completely new and unparalleled experience while preparing to compete for the most sought after trophy in professional sports. 

“We wanted to give our Panthers family a behind-the-scenes look at what our players, trainers and staff are doing to ensure a safe environment as the NHL’s Return to Play plan begins,” Panthers Senior Vice President Shawn Thornton said in a press release. “During these unprecedented times, we aim to provide access into players’ lives to showcase their emotions, perseverance and dedication in their quest to bring the franchise its first Stanley Cup.”

About the Author:

David Dwork joined the WPLG Local 10 News team in August 2019. Born and raised in Miami-Dade County, David has covered South Florida sports since 2007.