From Pines to Panthers: Chase Priskie will make NHL debut in Sunrise arena he attended as a boy

Panthers defenseman Chase Priskie speaks at FLA Live Arena. (WPLG)

SUNRISE, Fla. – Pines Ice Arena is a local rink that, if you played hockey as a kid in Miami-Dade or Broward Counties, you’ve probably skated there at least once or twice.

It’s been around for decades, well before the Panthers Ice Den in Coral Springs was built and surviving after the more centrally located Miami Ice Arena was demolished.

Chase Priskie was born and raised in Pembroke Pines.

He’s probably skated on every available ice surface down here at one time or another, but Pines was the home rink.

He was part of countless games at the two-surface barn, proudly wearing the sweater of the Jr. Panthers while growing up a fan of his hometown team.

Priskie attended plenty of Panthers games at the big rink in Sunrise, cheering on players like Stephen Weiss and Roberto Luongo while surely dreaming of someday, somehow, taking his spot on that ice.

Thursday night, that dream becomes a reality.

“To be honest, I’m mostly just speechless,” Priskie said following Thursday’s morning skate, wearing a Panthers team issued t-shirt, standing at a Panthers podium and in front of a Panthers backdrop.

“You dream about this day forever,” he continued. “You put in a lot of hard work, and with a little luck, you’re able to achieve it.”

Indeed, the 25-year-old who attended his first Panthers game as an infant at Miami Arena – his parents were season ticket holders, and the team was on a run to the Stanley Cup Final – will live out a dream that none before him ever have.

Priskie will become the first South Florida homegrown hockey player to suit up for the hometown Panthers.

It’s something that not only means a lot to him, but to all kids growing up down here with dreams to someday play professional hockey.

“It’s pretty unique what he’s been able to do in South Florida,” Panthers interim head coach Andrew Brunette said. “I think it’s exciting for South Florida hockey, to see one of their own playing in a National Hockey League game. How special is that?”

Priskie said he received around 30 requests from friends and family for tickets to Thursday’s game.

Based off of all the texts and other messages he’s received, the 25-year-old expects to see more than double that amount at FLA Live Arena.

That means there will likely be a large cheer from inside the building when Priskie takes the ice for his customary solo rookie lap at the beginning of pregame warmups.

It promises to be an incredibly special night, one to be shared by Priskie, his friends and family, and the local hockey community as a whole.

A night to celebrate South Florida hockey, thanks to Priskie living out a dream that so many young Panthers fans are envisioning on a daily basis at Pines Ice Arena.

“I don’t think it’s really hit me yet,” he said.

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.