Canucks and Beyond

Remembering the Pink Elephant

08/05/2008 at 3:39pm EDT

With its pink walls, the Miami Arena became known as the “Pink Elephant” to some, the design seemingly-inspired by Don Johnson’s wardrobe in that other prominent 1980s embarrassment of the region. Built in 1988, it became the first home of the Florida Panthers in 1993 before they departed in ‘99 for their current residence—the luxurious but disturbingly under-insured and just begging-for-a-hurricane Bank Atlantic Center. image

But the Miami Arena has been gutted in recent days and the building will be demolished by the end of summer, taking with it a small piece of hockey history. And while it may be hard to imagine these days, hockey was actually a hot commodity in Miami for a while…

George Richards at On Frozen Pond remembers the good ol’ days:

Perhaps the best times the old arena ever saw was the Panthers run to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1996. It’s hard to explain to an outsider the way that hockey team took over this town. The Panthers owned South Florida at that time. A third year team going to the Stanley Cup Finals? You kidding?

Read on for more of George’s reflections on the old building.

And never forget the quaint charm of the first time you ever saw piles of rats on NHL ice…

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