The Red Sox are everywhere. They're on the Panthers' splash page right now: As if a matchup against one of the East's best wasn't enough, to say nothing of Official Florida Man Tim Thomas going up against his old team.
Via Puck Daddy, a big part of the Panthers' marketing for tonight's game against the Bruins is making sure fans know they won't have to miss out on the Boston-Detroit ALCS matchup. You know what? There is absolutely nothing wrong with this. As much fun as it is to poop on the Panthers (and it is fun), this is a victory of knowing your audience.
Florida fans will be outnumbered by Boston fans tonight, be they snowbirds or bandwagoners. That's a given. The Panthers, whose main goal is selling tickets, are merely and explicitly telling those Bruins fans in the area that they don't have to choose between hockey and baseball. Why not watch both? Especially with tickets starting at under $10.
There's no shame in October hockey taking a backseat to playoff baseball. Is there shame in the local NHL team being the third or fourth most popular NHL team in the market? Sure. But that's a long-term issue. One that doesn't do the Panthers any good—or make them any money—to pretend doesn't exist.