Florida Panthers Wear #16 Jerseys in Warmups to Honor Jose Fernandez

during Opening Night of the 2016-2017 NHL Season at BB&T Center on October 13, 2016 in Sunrise, Florida.
Derek MacKenzie

The Florida Panthers opened their season on Thursday night by paying tribute to the late Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez.

The entire Panthers lineup donned #16 jerseys and helmet decals in honor of the former Rookie of the Year during the pregame skate. The organization also donated $35,000 to the Jose Fernandez Foundation.

The gesture follows the Marlins roster wearing #16 jerseys against the New York Mets in their first game back after the 24-year-old pitcher’s death and the Miami Heat sporting warmup jerseys with Hernandez’s name and initials on them during the preseason. The Miami Dolphins held a moment of silence on the day of the All-Star’s death.

The Panthers started their season off on a winning note after their winning move during warmups. They beat the New Jersey Devils 2-1 in overtime.

Fernandez died along with two friends in an early morning boating accident in Miami. Their 32-foot vessel hit a jetty extending from the shore at a high rate of speed. In parts of four seasons with the Marlins, the Cuban immigrant went 38-17 with a 2.58 ERA. He led the National League in strikeouts per nine innings in his last season.

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