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Florida phases out ‘Lady Panthers’

Pittsburgh Penguins v Florida Panthers

SUNRISE, FL - NOVEMBER 30: A member of the Florida Panthers ‘Redline Lady Panthrs’ holds a team banner prior to the start of the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the BB&T Center on November 30, 2013 in Sunrise, Florida. The Penguins defeated the Panthers 5-1. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

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While the San Jose Sharks upset more than a few of their fans by strongly considering shifting their ice crew to appear more like cheerleaders (or “ice girls”), at least one other team is reversing that trend. The Florida Panthers announced that they’re doing away with the “Lady Panthers” after employing them for nine years.

As you can see, they’re going with a “skating-only” crew next season, which would essentially be a reversal of the Sharks’ change (assuming San Jose goes through the proposed changes).

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Craig Davis reports that the Panthers didn’t provide their reasoning behind the decision, but points to some trends moving away from the practice of employing cheerleaders (or cheerleader-like promotions) in the NHL and other sports.

The New York Rangers disbanded theirs in 2007, the same year the team settled a sexual harassment lawsuit by a former ice girl.

The Panthers wouldn’t comment on whether the move was influenced by several lawsuits filed this year by NFL cheerleaders. The Panthers have made a number of organizational changes in the past year since an ownership change.

Follow James O’Brien @cyclelikesedins