Panthers honour Florida shooting victims with emotional pre-game tribute

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 are doing their part to help a community heal on Thursday night, one week after a high school shooting left 17 people dead in nearby Parkland, Florida.

The team dedicated Thursday’s game, their first home appearance since the attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, to honouring the victims and their families.

Their efforts have included a blood drive, several fundraisers and a pre-game tribute in which an emotional Roberto Luongo addressed the crowd. (You can watch the entire tribute at the top of this post.)

“No child should ever have to go through that,” Luongo said. “It’s terrible. It’s time for us, as a community, to take action. Enough is enough. We’ve got to take action.”

The 38-year-old goaltender resides in Parkland and also said he intends to spend the rest of his life there.

The team also removed all advertisements from the rink’s boards, focusing only on paying tribute to the community using the hashtag #MSDStrong. Players will also sport the MSD stickers on their helments and crests on their sweaters for the remainder of the season.

Here are some of the photos and words from what was an incredibly emotional evening in Florida:

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