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Florida phases out ‘Lady Panthers’

Jul 23, 2014, 9:00 PM EDT

While the San Jose Sharks upset more than a few of their fans by strongly considering shifting their ice crew to appear more like cheerleaders (or “ice girls”), at least one other team is reversing that trend. The Florida Panthers announced that they’re doing away with the “Lady Panthers” after employing them for nine years.

As you can see, they’re going with a “skating-only” crew next season, which would essentially be a reversal of the Sharks’ change (assuming San Jose goes through the proposed changes).

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Craig Davis reports that the Panthers didn’t provide their reasoning behind the decision, but points to some trends moving away from the practice of employing cheerleaders (or cheerleader-like promotions) in the NHL and other sports.

The New York Rangers disbanded theirs in 2007, the same year the team settled a sexual harassment lawsuit by a former ice girl.

The Panthers wouldn’t comment on whether the move was influenced by several lawsuits filed this year by NFL cheerleaders. The Panthers have made a number of organizational changes in the past year since an ownership change.

  1. capspats - Jul 23, 2014 at 9:05 PM

    I went to a couple panthers games when I visited Miami, and they were pretty hot…

    • blomfeld - Jul 24, 2014 at 12:05 AM

      *** This message is computer generated … please do not attempt to reply ***

      FLORIDA PANTHERS = RED INK, 100 DEGREE ‘PLUS’ TEMPS, CROCODILES AND MEN !!!

      • bullwinkle60061 - Jul 24, 2014 at 3:36 PM

        dude, Burger King is hiring!@!!

    • kaptaanamerica - Jul 24, 2014 at 1:54 AM

      political correctness run amok…

  2. sportsfaninyyc - Jul 23, 2014 at 9:09 PM

    A damn shame…

  3. mikeyhigs - Jul 23, 2014 at 9:16 PM

    Noooooooooooooo!

  4. rsl22 - Jul 23, 2014 at 9:17 PM

    There goes the only reason to be a Panthers fan.

  5. pone27 - Jul 23, 2014 at 9:18 PM

    Its Florida…. One of the few states that should keep them to be honest.

    They “garner” way more attendance in the southern states than anywhere else.

    But at the same time, I don’t knock it.

    Just keep the Blackhawks Babes (at least that’s what I call the ladies in Chi Town)

    • alicesrightfootesq - Jul 23, 2014 at 10:10 PM

      “They “garner” way more attendance in the southern states than anywhere else.” Lol at the idea of anyone paying money and spending 3 hours of their time just to watch attractive girls skate on the ice for a few minutes. Especially in south Florida where gorgeous women are a dime a dozen.

      • pone27 - Jul 24, 2014 at 7:26 AM

        Hence why “garner” was in quotes.

        Obviously no one pays for tix to just go see them. Just saying in the South, it’s more of an incentive than say here in NY.

        Pretty simple marketing: Hockey in the South is not nearly as popular in the North. Anything to keep you in the seats during a game is a plus.

    • JC De La Torre - Jul 24, 2014 at 4:11 PM

      Hmm…that’s odd. Tampa Bay out drew the Rangers, Islanders, Devils, Buffalo and Boston.

      Guess they don’t love Hockey in the Northeast as much as they do in Tampa.

  6. Idaslapter - Jul 23, 2014 at 10:19 PM

    The women are just prettier in the south.

    • guitarhunterdude - Jul 24, 2014 at 12:15 AM

      Clearly you’ve never been to Louisiana.

      • barkar942 - Jul 24, 2014 at 1:37 PM

        He said women, not swamp monsters. LOL!

  7. pitpenguinsrulez - Jul 23, 2014 at 10:28 PM

    I remember when the Pens had cheerleaders, not the ice crew, and damn were some of them attractive!

    • frankiesweep - Jul 25, 2014 at 2:22 AM

      Pittsburgh chicks? I’ve been to Pittsburgh. The women there leave lots to be desired.

  8. dueman - Jul 23, 2014 at 11:01 PM

    They’re probably just letting them go because they can’t afford to pay them anymore…

  9. nicofthenorthstar - Jul 23, 2014 at 11:21 PM

    Too bad. They were the only real talent in the hockey rink down there in the swamp. One more reason for their six fans not to show up.

    • desertfan - Jul 24, 2014 at 11:58 AM

      Seven

  10. President Charles Logan - Jul 23, 2014 at 11:46 PM

    you northern yankee folks are so miserabale and bitter lol

  11. hieronymous27 - Jul 24, 2014 at 6:32 AM

    As a Red Wings fan, I’m hoping Detroit would acquire the Lady Panthers in a trade for Dan Cleary. This would rank as the Wings best off season move since they failed to sign any UFA’s. Do the Lady Panthers have a no movement clause in their contract?

    • clefty1 - Jul 24, 2014 at 9:52 AM

      LOL. Good one. I would make that trade in a heart beat. The Wings could use some hotties to clear the ice..

      • cliffatola - Jul 25, 2014 at 12:55 AM

        Mr. Sobotka would be in heaven, instead of picking up the octopus he’d turn into one.

  12. brewinflames - Jul 24, 2014 at 7:21 AM

    Damn Shame….

    I’m guessing this is as much of a cost cutting move as it is a “PC” move.

    • nyrnashty - Jul 24, 2014 at 12:37 PM

      Why would ice girls not be considered pc? They’re just like cheerleaders in the NFL, but can actually skate and be productive by cleaning the ice instead of doing some dumb dances and cheering retarded slogans!

  13. crazemastercraze - Jul 24, 2014 at 11:48 AM

    Yeah, let them go get real jobs that actually contribute to society

  14. Hard to BeLeaf - Jul 24, 2014 at 5:27 PM

    I think icegirls and cheerleaders are a good thing. It’s probably different from team to team, but a lot use them beyond just looking pretty and jumping up and down at games. They do a lot of charity work and team events. I don’t think a bunch of girls should lose their jobs because a bunch of former girls are insecure about guys being attracted to them. Most ice girl uniforms are pretty tasteful.

    Women like to play the victim card, but they’re no different than men. My wife dragged me into bringing her to the first Twilight sequel’s opening night. Big mistake… but it showed me women are possibly even worse than men at exploiting the opposite sex. The theater was a room mostly women. The theater was a room full of women in their 30s and 40s screaming hysterically at the teenaged boys on the movie screen. I felt so violated!!!… just kidding… I thought it was hilarious… but then though what if the opposite happened. A bunch of guys started hooting and howling at the pretty girls on the movie screen… feminists would go completely insane.

  15. ragsrus - Jul 24, 2014 at 6:55 PM

    Tampa outdrew the Rangers, Sabres, and Bruins? When did this miracle happen??

  16. cliffatola - Jul 25, 2014 at 12:49 AM

    I saw some of the pictures of the “out of work” ice girls during the last lockout, some of those young ladies sure are easy on the eyes.

  17. chief361 - Jul 27, 2014 at 7:19 PM

    bummer

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