Panthers give Stoneman Douglas hockey team NHL treatment

The Florida Panthers held an emotional ceremony, including an impassioned speech from Roberto Luongo, honouring those affected by the February 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High.

The Florida Panthers have formed a special bond with the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school as the Parkland community continues to heal from the tragic Feb. 14 shooting.

The high school’s boys hockey team, the Eagles, captured the state championship last month in an inspiring rallying effort to make it to the national tournament in Minnesota, and the Panthers are making sure they make the trip in style.

On Wednesday, the Panthers partnered with Swift Air to give the team the full NHL treatment, complete with a chartered flight to Minnesota.

“They’re getting the full experience that our team would get when flying on a road trip,” former Panthers forward and current vice-president of business operations, Shawn Thornton, told the Palm Beach Post.

Earlier this month, the Panthers hosted an Eagles practice at the BB&T Center, which was followed by a surprise Stanley Cup appearance.

“You can’t ask for anything more than a team of guys that just understand what you’re going through and they’re going through the same thing with you,” said Eagles captain Matthew Hauptman. “And everyone’s come together and making us even stronger as a team.”

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