2024 Stanley Cup Final: Canadian air traffic control jokingly tries to divert Florida Panthers’ plane

Written by on June 13, 2024

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Canadian air traffic control officers poked fun at the Florida Panthers‘ inbound flight for Edmonton on Wednesday night, telling the team plane to run low on fuel so that it would divert and not be able to land at Edmonton International Airport ahead of Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals. The Panthers are playing the Edmonton Oilers, who they currently hold a 2-0 lead over.

Per air traffic control audio, an officer told the Panthers’ inbound plane that they had about a two-hour hold, “or whatever it would take for you to be low enough on fuel that you’ll have to divert from Edmonton,” telling the pilot to mention it to his passengers — “Maybe they’ll figure something out.”

The officer was, of course, only joking, and proceeded to guide the plane’s descent “against my better judgment.” The exchange then prompted a conversation among air traffic controllers about hockey, touching on the time of the game, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, and how the Panthers’ plane “didn’t seem interested” in listening to the directive to divert.

The Panthers’ travel to Edmonton was disturbed Wednesday by heavy storms in the Fort Lauderdale area, which delayed the team’s outbound flight by three hours. According to ESPN, the Panthers eventually landed in Edmonton at approximately 8 p.m. Wednesday night, while others in Fort Lauderdale dealt with flight delays and cancellations due to the severe weather as well as standing water at the airport.

The post 2024 Stanley Cup Final: Canadian air traffic control jokingly tries to divert Florida Panthers’ plane first appeared on CBS Sports.


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