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Panthers to fly players, staff to Boston ahead of Hurricane Irma

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

(TSX / STATS) -- The Florida Panthers have chartered a plane to take the team's players, staff members, families and pets out of the state ahead of Hurricane Irma.

Approximately 80 players and staff will take Friday's flight from Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) to Boston, including forwards Vincent Trocheck, Aleksander Barkov and Derek MacKenzie as well as goaltender Roberto Luongo, the Miami Herald reported.

"We hope this is just a couple days up in Massachusetts and a flight home," Panthers CEO Matthew Caldwell told the Miami Herald. "But we don't know what's going to happen, don't know what we will sustain.

"We have a good mix of players going up there and they'll have great facilities in Boston. Hopefully everything works out here and we can fly them back in a few days."

The players will be allowed to use the team's American Hockey League facilities in Springfield, Mass., to hold training camp should events warrant.

The Panthers home arena, BB&T Center, will serve as a staging area for emergency equipment ahead of the Category 5 hurricane.

Hurricane Irma is expected to hit Florida over the weekend.

Updated September 7, 2017

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