Friday, September 11, 2009

Not the best news

Hockey hounds in South Florida know that incredibleICE in Coral Springs, the Florida Panthers practice facility, is the best place to score autographs. But, now that the facility has expanded -- adding a third rink and a gated parking lot for players -- it could increase the degree of difficulty in adding to your collection.

As work on the new rink nears completion, it's easy enough to see how hounding will pan out as the Panthers and visiting NHL teams practice there, reports Moody, Hound Central 5.0's roving Southeast correspondent. See what he means:

Teams will practice on the third sheet of ice, next to team offices. Dressing rooms are at the end of the hall with a private entrance. As a result, fans will have no access to teams. The player’s parking lot is private, too, and has a pair of gated exits. Yes, sports fans, those would be obstacles.

Word, too, is that visiting team buses will pull into the lot. However, if team buses park in front of incredibleICE, that offers the best opportunity for autographs.

At best, hounding at incredibleICE will be tricky, becoming a cat-and-mouse game inside or outside at the parking lot gates. Over time, though, hounds will find a way to get their autographs. We always do.

Two more looks from inside the new rink:

Prospects within the Florida Panthers organization run through drills on the new sheet of ice.

Here's a nice touch -- Comfy front-row seats to watch the practices rather than cold bleachers on concrete slabs. They look too low to be useful, don't they?

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