There's one last order of business to complete before the Florida Panthers can finally get this season started.
It comes Saturday night, not long before the first dropped puck of this new and condensed season, and it's a moment 12 years in the making. The Panthers will pay homage to last season one more time, with the hoisting of the banner to commemorate their first Southeast Division title.
And Panthers coach Kevin Dineen doesn't think the added pomp and circumstance will in any way create a distraction.
''We waited seven months to get going,'' Dineen said. ''I think an extra 15 minutes for a really special night will be good for us.''
In some ways, it'll be both a reminder of good times and bad for the Panthers, when that banner gets displayed before Florida's season begins against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Yes, the Panthers had their long-awaited breakout season. And no, winning the Southeast isn't exactly the franchise...