Hockey in Florida is a tourist attraction for Canadians. Several years ago, the Florida Panthers started charging $20 for parking and increased the prices of food and beverages because they had made the playoffs. Now, this year, they increased the prices of tickets to the Montreal Canadians games and this caused some resentment from Canadian fans.
When the Florida Panthers fired their coach Gerard Gallant at the beginning of the season, he was replaced by general manager Tom Rowe. Gerald Gallant had been a finalist for coach of the year in the previous season. The general manager Dale Tallon, who had hired Gallant, was promoted to president of hockey operations, taking away his ability to continue building a championship club with Gallant as coach.
The Florida Panthers, after winning the division championship last year under Gallant, is out of the playoffs this year under new coach Rowe. Tallon and Gallant were building a championship club and it was destroyed this year by the owners who gave inexperienced individuals the power to make hockey decisions which have backfired on the Panthers. The management team basically took away the power of Dale Tallon to continue making the Panthers a championship team when they traded away defensive players.
The club ownership has also not been friendly to Canadian fans when prices of tickets have been raised on the Panther games against the Montreal Canadians. We received many complaints from individuals on this price increase. The Florida Panthers, except for raising prices on Canadians, rarely acknowledge publicly that many Canadian fans attend their other games with various teams such as with Toronto, Winnipeg and Ottawa. I can’t remember a Canada Night at the arena.
In his first season (2014-15), Gallant directed the Panthers to a 38-29-15 and last season, the Panthers finished 47-26-9.
After that winning season, the Panthers promoted Rowe from associate GM to GM, while naming Tallon president of hockey operations. They basically destroyed the continued building of a winning team under Tallon and Gallant.
It’s sad when an organization tried to take advantage of Canadian hockey fans by increasing prices of well attended games because they fail to produce a winning team to create a fan base for other games.