It's easy to laugh at this. As the two outcasts in the Flortheast division, the Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning more than likely aren't going to be contenders for the Stanley Cup this season. The pretty stacked Atlantic Division has the Detroit Red Wings and Boston Bruins, who are two early favorites this year.
The Panthers and Lightning shouldn't worry, though. They'll be able to duke it out for a pretty nice consolation prize. Florida governor Rick Scott announced the creation of the Governor's Cup today, to be awarded to the Florida team who wins the head-to-head match-up.
Don't be dismissive; this is a pretty good deal for local hockey and charity. From the press release:
The winner of the annual season series between the two Atlantic Division and in-state rivals will be awarded the Governor’s Cup following the final matchup of the season and each team will make a donation to the other team’s youth hockey initiatives. In addition, both teams will provide tickets to local students for Governor’s Cup games and select players will take part in local reading programs throughout the season.Governor Rick Scott said, “The Sunshine State is a national leader in sports, and the creation of the Governor’s Cup is great news for Florida hockey. This competition is an excellent way to highlight the opportunities that Floridians, and our visitors, have to enjoy all of the wonderful activities that our state has to offer.”The winner of the Governor’s Cup is determined by the team with the most points during the four Governor’s Cup games (two points for a win, one point for an overtime or shootout loss, and zero points for a regulation loss). The first tiebreaker is goal difference.