The Florida Panthers have reshaped their front office after an abysmal showing in the 2016-17 season. The Panthers ended their last season with a bottom-10 offense and the defense didn’t pull their weight either. With at least 80 points in the standing, the Panthers had the worst goal deferential (minus-27) of any team. The record last season stood at 35-36-11 which pushed both coach Gerard Gallant and General Manager Dale Tallon out.
However, all is not lost with the Panthers, as they made key additions in the shape of Right Wing Evgeny Dadonov from SKA Saint Petersburg and another Right Wing from the Arizona Coyotes, Radim Vrbata.
The Panthers are locked and loaded and have their sights set high for this upcoming season. Led by a highly talented young core, Florida is ready to capture the Atlantic division and bring home a Stanley Cup. They will look to edge out rivals the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Philadelphia Flyers for their shot at championship glory.
Get your Florida Panthers tickets and head over to the BB&T Center to be a part of your team's championship hunt.
Florida Panthers Memorable Moments
Founded in 1993 and member of the Atlantic Division in the Eastern Conference of the NHL, the Florida Panthers represent the Miami metropolitan area. With one Conference Championship and two Division Championships under their belt, the Florida Panthers have had many memorable moments in their history.
The Rat Trick – More of a gimmick than a memorable moment, this comedic folk lore came into existence on October 8, 1995. After killing a rat in the locker room before the Panthers’ home opener against Calgary, right wing Scott Mellanby scored two goals. When asked about Mellanby’s performance, goalie John Vanbiesbrouck joked saying Mellanby had a rat trick which involved him killing rats before the game and then scoring. Almost immediately Panthers fans started throwing plastic rats on the ice every time the Panthers scored a goal. The tradition went on for a season before it was outlawed by the NHL.
Clock Strikes Midnight – The Florida Panthers Cinderella run came to an end on June 10, 1996. Having won the Conference Quarter Finals against the Boston Bruins, the Conference Semi Finals against the Philadelphia Flyers and the Conference Finals against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Panthers faced the Colorado Avalanche in the Stanley Finals. The Panthers gave it their all in the series but the Avalanche proved to be too good for Florida. The Panthers lost the series 4-0 with the last game going into triple overtime before the Avalanche were able to get one past Vanbiesbrouck. The Breezer saved 55 attempts from the Avalanche that night.
Florida Panthers Greatest Players
The greatest list for the Florida Panthers starts with Pavel Bure. This Russian born Right Wing spent only two seasons with the Panthers, in which he scored 60 goals each in back to back campaigns. Bure’s game had all the elements prominent in the Soviet Union. He had the speed, skill and the ability to possess the puck. During his two seasons with the Panthers and throughout his sixteen year career, he was called the Russian Rocket.
John Vanbiesbrouck is another Panther who played a critical role in the franchise’s success. Known as the Breezer or VBK, the Detroit born goaltender played for the Panthers from 1993 till 1998. In addition to setting numerous franchise records, Vanbiesbrouck played an instrumental role in the Panther’s trip to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1996.
A few other players who deserve a mention in this category are Roberto Luongo, Scott Mellanby, Stephen Weiss and Robert Svehla.
The Florida Panthers Live at the BB&T Center
The BB&T Center overlooks the glorious Everglades where the endangered Florida Panther still roams. Its ideal location adjacent to Fort Lauderdale and just north of Miami allows fans of all ages to take in some great pre-game activities. The arena also provides fans with a unique nightclub experience with Club Red.
It will be interesting to see how the changes in the Panthers front office and line up reflect on the ice rink. There is a possibility that the Panthers make it all the way to the playoffs this season.
Be there when it happens with Florida Panthers Playoff Tickets available here.