Florida Panthers’ charter flight to Edmonton takes off after 4-hour storm delay

As Florida gets washed by torrential rainfalls and thunderstorms, travel plans are being interrupted and cancelled. Elliott Knopp on how the weather is impacting the Stanley Cup Final.

The Florida Panthers were en route to Edmonton late Wednesday afternoon, but not before heavy rainfall and thunderstorms delayed their plans.

The Florida Panthers were stuck four hours on the tarmac at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport after their charter flight was delayed, causing issues for the Stanley Cup final.

The Panthers face the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place – roughly 4,000 kilometres from Fort Lauderdale – Thursday night for Game 3. Puck drop is at 6 p.m. local time, with the Oilers trailing the series 2-0.

The Oilers were already in Edmonton and practised Wednesday morning.

The inclement weather caused widespread delays at both the Miami and Fort Lauderdale international airports. The National Weather Service issued a warning of flash floods that it extended until 8 p.m. ET.

The Panthers were initially supposed to take off at 1 p.m. ET, but their flight was first delayed until 3 p.m., then pushed back at least another hour, according to The Associated Press.

The Panthers opted to give players an off day on Tuesday rather than make the trek to Canada, judging that it would be best for the players’ well-being to remain at home for the extra day.

–With files from Elliott Knopp and Sportsnet

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