Edmonton Air Traffic Controllers Jokingly Suggest Panthers’ Plane Divert Ahead of Game 3

As the Florida Panthers’ flight from Fort Lauderdale approached Edmonton International Airport on Wednesday, air traffic controllers engaged in some light-hearted banter, suggesting the team’s plane should divert to avoid landing ahead of Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

The Panthers, who held a 2-0 (at the time of the flight, and now 3-0) lead over the Edmonton Oilers in the series, faced travel disruptions due to severe storms in the Fort Lauderdale area. Their flight, originally scheduled to depart at 1 p.m. EDT, was delayed by approximately three hours.

According to air traffic control audio, an officer jokingly instructed the Panthers’ inbound plane to “run low on fuel” to necessitate a diversion from Edmonton. The officer even encouraged the pilot to mention the situation to the passengers, quipping, “Maybe they’ll figure something out.”

The air traffic controller proceeded to guide the plane’s descent, albeit “against [his] better judgment.” 

The Panthers’ delayed arrival in Edmonton, at around 8 p.m. local time, came amidst flight disruptions and cancellations in Fort Lauderdale due to the severe weather conditions and standing water at the airport.

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