Just when you want to break up with the Florida Panthers altogether, they go out and pick a player with a Dickensian name like Keaton Ellerby, who, with such a moniker, could be a partner at a London law firm, prime minister of New Zealand, or a hip-hop producer. (To boot, he played on a Canadian junior team called the Kamloops Blazers.) The kids got a 95-mph slap shot, and according to one scouting publication: As a 17-year-old, Ellerby established himself as an efficient and reliable pugilist. You never know whether or when draftees -- even 10th overall picks -- will make the roster. Thats as good a reason as any to keep an eye on the penultimate exhibition game of the preseason, against the Atlanta Thrashers, who looked fine last season until the Rangers swept them out of the first round of the playoffs.
The return to hockey is abrupt, coming so soon after football resumed, but considering how much the Dolphins of this year resemble the Dolphins of last, a little diversion might be in order. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. at the BankAtlantic Center. Tickets start at $17 and escalate to unruly.
Wed., Sept. 26, 7:30 p.m., 2007