"That’s an act of war" "Serious hockey fans up there": NHL fans react as Canadian air traffic controllers joke with Panthers' pilots ahead of Game 3

NHL: Stanley Cup Final-Edmonton Oilers at Florida Panthers
Canadian air traffic controllers joke with Panthers' pilots ahead of Game 3

The Stanley Cup Final series between the Florida Panthers and the Edmonton Oilers has taken an unexpected turn off the ice. The Panthers lead the series 2-0.

As the Panthers' flight approached Edmonton for Game 3, Canadian air traffic controllers decided to engage in playful banter with the team's pilots. The controllers jokingly suggested that they would keep the plane in the air until it ran out of fuel to prevent the Panthers from landing in Edmonton.

Fans reacted on social media to this light-hearted attempt to give the hometown Oilers an advantage. Some fans have taken the joke in stride, appreciating the air traffic controllers' dedication to their team.

"Serious hockey fans up there," one fan tweeted on X, acknowledging the passion Canadians have for the sport.
"An act of war," another fan tweeted.

While the comment was likely made in jest, it highlights the intense rivalry and high stakes surrounding the Stanley Cup Final.

"They say ATC is one of the most stressful jobs, they look like they’re having a great time," one fan tweeted.
"If this is real that is fireable if not a federal crime even if meant as a joke. I wouldn’t be laughing if I were the pilot," another fan tweeted.
"This is fun. I hope no one takes this too seriously," a user tweeted.
"I don’t find this funny. I expect air traffic to do their job and not put any plane in danger, even if it’s a joke," another user tweeted.

Canadian air traffic controllers’ conversation with Panthers' pilots

The audio clip between the Canadian air traffic controllers and the Panthers' pilots is filled with hockey-related quips and friendly jabs. It showcases the controllers' wit and sense of humor.

The primary controller, setting the tone for the exchange, jokingly threatened the pilots with a lengthy hold:

"I've got about a two-hour hold for you or whatever it would take for you to be low enough on fuel that you will have to divert from Edmonton."
"Mention this to your passengers and maybe they'll figure it out," he suggested before reluctantly allowing the plane to begin its descent.

The banter continued among the air traffic controllers.

"You got a score on the hockey game?" one asked, to which another replied, "Game's tomorrow."

The primary controller chimed in, confirming that the Panthers were arriving in Edmonton. When a colleague jokingly proposed diverting the plane, he revealed,

"I threatened them with a hold until they would have to divert," eliciting laughter over the radio.

The exchange concluded with a word of caution from another controller:

"The last call you guys need is Gary Bettman calling the ACC."

He was referring to the NHL commissioner's reaction to the playful banter.

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Edited by Abhimanyu Gupta
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