Panthers GM Bill Zito calls out the NHL after being disrespected at the Draft

Samer Dagher
June 29, 2024  (8:00 PM)

Florida Panthers GM Bill Zito
Photo credit: BVM Sports

Florida Panthers general manager Bill Zito has called out all NHL teams after being disrespected at the draft in Las Vegas.

Something interesting caught people's attention at this year's NHL Draft.
Traditionally, when teams go up to the podium to make their initial selections on day one of the draft, they congratulate that season's Stanley Cup Champion. However, this did not happen at Sphere in Las Vegas. Not once did anyone step up and acknowledge the Florida Panthers for winning the hardest trophy in pro sports.
The first-round of the NHL Draft has come to an end and not a single team congratulated the Florida Panthers on their Stanley Cup win.

Can't remember the last time that happened, usually multiple teams give a shoutout to the winner.

This seems to fit the narrative that the Panthers are the most disliked team in the NHL right now. They play a tough, aggressive style that is exhausting for opponents, as seen throughout the playoffs when Florida shut down offensive stars round after round.
The lack of congratulations was mentioned to Panthers General Manager Bill Zito after the draft.
«No one likes us,» Zito joked.

He explained that while there were no public congratulations, he received plenty of kind words from people throughout the weekend in Vegas.
«I could not have gotten more congratulations today,» Zito said.

At one point on Saturday, Zito had to walk across the draft floor to complete a trade but couldn't make it to his destination without being stopped by someone offering a genuine gesture.
«I had to actually do a trade, and someone stopped me, a good friend, and I couldn't walk by them,» Zito said. «It's all good, it's nice.»

Despite the absence of public praise for Florida's achievement, it didn't seem to bother anyone at the Panthers' draft table. They'll be attending a Stanley Cup Champions parade on Sunday and getting fitted for championship rings soon.
So, if there are any haters out there, let 'em hate. For those in Pantherland, life is as good as ever.
See you on the beach.
Source: thehockeynews
No public congratulations for Stanley Cup Champion Florida Panthers during NHL Draft
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Panthers GM Bill Zito calls out the NHL after being disrespected at the Draft

Do you think it was disrespectful that the Florida Panthers didn't get any congratulatory messages at the NHL draft?

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