Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 10/12/13 at 07:56 AM ET
from Craig Davis of the Sun Sentinel,
Fans began pouring in an hour before faceoff, most decked out in the requisite red. Original season-ticket holder Bob Feinberg, of Plantation, wore a Rob Neidermayer jersey, his wife Robin in a Scott Mellanby jersey in tribute two prominent Panthers from the beginning of the franchise.
“As a hockey fan I come here to see hockey. I heard [team President Michael] Yormark say tonight on TV that it’s not necessarily the product on the ice, it’s the whole entertainment experience. It’s not,” Bob Feinberg said. “I come here to see good quality hockey, that’s what I pay for. Unfortunately, they’ve turned it into an entertainment palace.”
Feinberg is typical of the diehards in the fan base who continue to support the franchise despite little return on their emotional investment over the past decade. They do so out of a genuine love for the game but with a healthy measure of skepticism about every change of course the franchise undergoes.
Viola’s purchase of the team just before the beginning of the regular season and vow to provide the resources necessary to make it a winner has brought reason for optimism. But the 1-3 start on the road, including two blow-out losses, reinforced that it will be a tough climb over rocky terrain.
“Look, every time we have new ownership they all come in with grand ideas. We’ll see what he does. It’s all about the product they put on the ice, it’s that simple,” Feinberg said, but said Viola gets his benefit of the doubt. “He’s a Brooklyn boy, I’m a Brooklyn boy, so I’ve got to have a little confidence in him.”
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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