South Florida weather delays Panthers' flight to Edmonton for Stanley Cup Final

Jordan McPherson, Miami Herald on

Published in Hockey

The Florida Panthers, unlike most civilians, have the luxury of a direct, chartered flight to get to Edmonton for Games 3 and 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.

The Panthers do not, however, have the luxury of avoiding Mother Nature.

South Florida’s continuous stream of rain delayed the Panthers’ Wednesday flight to Edmonton International Airport by more than three hours.

The team took off from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport at about 4:25 p.m. They were originally scheduled to leave Fort Lauderdale at 1 p.m.

Their estimated time of travel from takeoff to landing once they get airborne is about five hours and 45 minutes, so they should land around 8 p.m. local time (Edmonton is in the Mountain Time Zone, two hours behind South Florida).

The Oilers left South Florida on Tuesday to return to Edmonton. With two days between Games 2 and 3, the Panthers opted to stay home the extra day.

“We didn’t like the idea of getting them up [Tuesday] early enough to get in at a reasonable time in Edmonton,” said Panthers coach Paul Maurice, who added he didn’t get home until about 1 a.m. Tuesday after Game 2. “We did not see a value in it. It’s also all logistics. We’re going to go up there and be fairly cloistered just with the amount of people outside. We’ll stay close to the rink so we’re gong to be in that building [a lot]. We didn’t necessarily need another day in there.”


Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final is scheduled for an 8 p.m. start Thursday. Game 4 is 8 p.m. Saturday.

The Panthers lead the best-of-7 series 2-0 after winning Game 1 3-0 on Saturday and Game 2 4-1 on Monday.

South Florida is in the midst of a second consecutive day of a deluge of rain.

Miami saw about 4 to 6 inches of rain on Tuesday alone, according to preliminary results from the Miami office of the National Weather Service. Miami Beach saw even more, at nearly 7 inches.

Broward County was equally as impacted, with around 6 inches in Hallandale Beach and 5 inches in Hollywood. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport had 3.3 inches of rain on Tuesday.

Flights at both Fort Lauderdale and Miami International Airport are experiencing hours-long delays.

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