After an offseason that saw the addition of several new faces, the Panthers’ owner, Vinnie Viola, brought his team to his alma mater, the United States Military Academy at West Point, for team bonding and training activities. Read on for a brief look back at the team’s travels from last year and a hint at where they’ll go this year.
The 2014 trip to West Point was not the first made by the Panthers as they also traveled their in 2007 and 1995, and they joined the Rangers, Flyers, Penguins, Devils, and Sabres as teams that have trained at the military academy. This time around, the Panthers held a team barbeque, participated in drills to test their team skills and problem solving abilities, and went on a hike. It was at the end of this hike that newly-signed Willie Mitchell was named the 7th captain in team history by Gerard Gallant, while Brian Campbell, Scottie Upshall, Derek MacKenzie, and Dave Bolland were named assistant captains. The team then raised a Panthers flag at the top of the mountain. The Panthers also held several practices at Tate Rink, the home arena of Army Hockey, and ate dinner with players of the Army hockey team, the Black Knights:
Cats on the Prowl spoke with Panthers co-owner Doug Cifu yesterday and he told us that the team would be making a similar trip this year, however it will be at a military installation in Florida rather than at West Point. He wasn’t able to give us further details and went as far as to say the trip is “black ops,” but did say it would be “very very cool,” so we’ll have to wait for more on that.