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Florida Panthers
Conference Eastern
Division Atlantic
Founded 1993
History Florida Panthers
Arena BB&T Center
City Sunrise, Florida
Team Colors Red, Blue, Flat Gold
Media Bally Sports Florida
WQAM Sports Radio (560 AM)
Owner(s) Sunrise Sports & Entertainment
(Vincent Viola, chairman)
General Manager Flag of the United States Bill Zito
Head Coach Flag of Canada Joel Quenneville
Captain Flag of Finland Aleksander Barkov
Minor League affiliates Charlotte Checkers (AHL)
Greenville Swamp Rabbits (ECHL)
Stanley Cups 0
Presidents' Trophies 0
Conferences 1 (1995–96)
Divisions 2 (2011-12, 2015-16)
Official Website
Florida Panthers Home Uniform.gif Florida Panthers Road Uniform.gif
Home ice
Florida Panthers ice rink logo.gif

The Florida Panthers are a professional ice hockey team based in Sunrise, Florida, in the South Florida metropolitan area. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). They play their games at the BB&T Center in Sunrise and are currently the southernmost team in the NHL.

Franchise history


Blockbuster Video magnate H. Wayne Huizenga was awarded an NHL franchise for Miami on December 10, 1992. The Panthers were brought into the league with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks and took part in the 1993 expansion draft, which was hosted by the Quebec Nordiques. The expansion draft produced 10 players that would be a part of the 1996 Eastern Conference championship team. The team played at the Miami Arena, and its first major stars were New York Rangers goaltender castoff John Vanbiesbrouck, rookie Rob Niedermayer, and Scott Mellanby, who scored 30 goals. Their first game was a 4-4 tie on the road against the Chicago Blackhawks. The first win in franchise history was a 2-0 shutout of the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Thunderdome before a then-NHL record crowd of 27,227. The Panthers had one of the most successful first seasons of any expansion team (and the best first year of any NHL team), finishing one point below .500 and narrowly missing out on the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Their first-year success was attributed mainly to the "trap defense" that first-year coach Roger Neilson implemented. This conservative style was widely criticized by NHL teams; some even suggested that the Panthers were ruining the game at the time.

After another close brush with the playoffs in 1994–95, Neilson was fired and replaced by Doug MacLean. The team then acquired Ray Sheppard from the San Jose Sharks at the trade deadline in 1995–96 and looked toward the playoffs for the first time.

Also during that season, a very unusual goal celebration developed in Miami. On the night of the Panthers' 1995–96 home opener, a rat scurried across the team's locker room. Mellanby reacted by "one-timing" the rat against the wall, killing it.[1] That night, he scored two goals, which Vanbiesbrouck quipped was "a rat trick." Two nights later, as the story found its way into the world, a few fans threw rubber rats on the ice in celebration of a goal. The rubber rat count went from 16 for the third home game to over 2,000 during the playoffs.

In the 1996 playoffs, as the fourth seed, the Panthers faced the Boston Bruins in the first round and won in five games. Bill Lindsay's famous series-clinching goal is still a trademark image for the incredible run the third-year franchise went on. The Cats went on to upset the top-seeded Philadelphia Flyers in six games and then the second-seeded Pittsburgh Penguins in seven (with Tom Fitzgerald scoring what would end up being the game-winning goal) to reach the Stanley Cup Final. Their opponent, the Colorado Avalanche, swept the Panthers in four games. Uwe Krupp scored the winning goal on a slap shot from the blue line for the Avalanche in the third overtime of Game 4 to defeat the Panthers 1-0. Colorado was led by captain Joe Sakic in the franchise's first year in Denver after moving from Quebec City.

The Panthers would begin the next season with a 17–game unbeaten streak but faded in the second half of the season. They lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Wayne Gretzky-led Rangers in five games.

The 1997–98 season would be a return to mediocrity for the Panthers. After a 7–12–4 start, the Panthers fired MacLean, replacing him for the season with general manager Bryan Murray. The change did not aid matters, as Florida suffered a franchise-worst 24–43–15 record, including a 15–game winless streak. This season would also mark the end of Vanbiesbrouck's time in Florida, who in the midst of that streak, was shelled by the Chicago Blackhawks and never played another game for the Panthers. He would sign with the Flyers that off-season as a free agent.

Florida's alternate logo; a palm tree and a hockey stick crossing one another over a sun.

The Panthers moved into the brand new National Car Rental Center (now known as BankAtlantic Center) in 1998. In 1998–99, they acquired Pavel Bure (the "Russian Rocket"), in a blockbuster trade with the Vancouver Canucks. They reached the playoffs again in 1999–00, losing in a first-round sweep to the eventual Stanley Cup Champion New Jersey Devils.


The team slumped in 2000–01. The following season, 2001–02, the Panthers had their worst record ever. Bure struggled despite being reunited with his brother Valeri, and was traded to the Rangers at the 2002 trading deadline.

The Panthers then started coveting defenceman Jay Bouwmeester, who was widely tipped to be picked first overall in the 2002 draft. But then-General Manager Rick Dudley sent Florida's first pick to the Columbus Blue Jackets, who took winger Rick Nash. The Atlanta Thrashers, after picking goalie Kari Lehtonen second overall, announced that the Panthers had given them two draft picks to guarantee that Bouwmeester would still be available for Florida's selection. Bouwmeester was selected third overall by the Panthers. Said then-head coach Mike Keenan, "We shouldn’t have done that ... Jay would have been number-one if we'd kept that pick."[2]

In 2003, the Panthers hosted the NHL All-Star Weekend in which the Western Conference earned a 6–5 victory after the first OT shootout in All-Star history. The West overcame a four-goal outburst by Thrashers winger Dany Heatley, who took home MVP honors in his first All-Star Game.

On June 23, 2006, the Panthers were again involved in a blockbuster trade with the Vancouver Canucks, sending Roberto Luongo, Lukas Krajicek, and a sixth-round draft pick (Sergei Shirokov) in exchange for Todd Bertuzzi, Alex Auld, and Bryan Allen. This trade has been regarded by some as one of the worst trades in professional sports history. Luongo who was and still is at the prime of his career is one of the top goalies in the NHL. Bertuzzi only played a handful of games for the Cats before getting injured. He would be traded to Detroit Red Wings at the trade deadline for Shawn Matthias and prospect Rob Capellupo. Alex Auld ended up being a poor replacement for the Panthers former franchise goalie and was let go after one season.

On June 22, 2007, the Florida Panthers were involved in yet another draft day deal involving a goalie. The Florida Panthers acquired Tomas Vokoun from the Nashville Predators in exchange for three draft picks, a first round pick in 2008, a second round pick in 2008, and a conditional second round pick that can be used in 2007 or 2008. The move would eventually pay off when Vokoun was selected to the Eastern Conference All-Star team.

On July 28, 2007, the Florida Panthers unveiled their new jerseys to over 11,000 fans at the BankAtlantic Center during the first intermission of the Panthers 1996 Reunion game. Star forwards Nathan Horton and Stephen Weiss were both in full gear to help showcase the sweater changes.

As of 2008, the Florida Panthers are the only team in the NHL to have a lifetime winning percentage of .500 or better over the team with the most Stanley Cup titles in NHL history, the Montreal Canadiens.

In June 2008, the Panthers traded their captain Olli Jokinen to the Phoenix Coyotes for a second round draft pick and two defensemen: Keith Ballard and Nick Boynton.

The Panthers finished the 2008–09 season with a strong 41-30-11 record and 93 points, their second best ever in franchise history. Despite this, however, the Panthers missed the playoffs for an eighth straight season, the current longest streak in the NHL.

On November 23, 2009 the Panthers made their third jersey, ridding red from the alternate jersey, replacing it with powder blue.

The Florida Panthers missed the playoffs for the 9th consecutive time in the 2009-10 NHL Season, making them the first team in NHL history to do so in one city. If the Panthers are to miss the playoffs in the 2010-11 NHL Season, they will have the sole record for most consecutive seasons of missing the playoffs, with 10.


This is a list of seasons completed by the Florida Panthers of the National Hockey League. This list documents the records and playoff results for all seasons the Florida Panthers have completed in the NHL since their inception in 1993.

 Stanley Cup Champions   Conference Champions   Division Champions   President's Trophy 

Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, OTL = Overtime Losses, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against, PIM = Penalties in minutes

Season Team GP W L T OTL Pts GF GA PIM Finish Playoffs
1993–94 1993–94 84 33 34 17 83 233 233 1620 5th, Atlantic Did not qualify
1994–951 1994–95 48 20 22 6 46 115 127 770 5th, Atlantic Did not qualify
1995–96 1995–96 82 41 31 10 92 254 234 1494 3rd, Atlantic Won in Conference Quarterfinals, 4–1 (Bruins)
Won in Conference Semifinals, 4–2 (Flyers)
Won in Conference Finals, 4–3 (Penguins)
Lost in Finals, 0–4 (Avalanche)
1996–97 1996–97 82 35 28 19 89 221 201 1628 3rd, Atlantic Lost in Conference Quarterfinals, 1–4 (Rangers)
1997–98 1997–98 82 24 43 15 63 203 256 1676 6th, Atlantic Did not qualify
1998–99 1998–99 82 30 34 18 78 210 228 1522 2nd, Southeast Did not qualify
1999–2000 1999–2000 82 43 27 6 6 98 244 209 1329 2nd, Southeast Lost in Conference Quarterfinals, 0–4 (Devils)
2000–01 2000–01 82 22 38 13 9 66 200 246 1509 3rd, Southeast Did not qualify
2001–02 2001–02 82 22 44 10 6 60 180 250 1994 4th, Southeast Did not qualify
2002–03 2002–03 82 24 36 13 9 70 176 237 1127 4th, Southeast Did not qualify
2003–04 2003–04 82 28 35 15 4 75 188 221 1192 4th, Southeast Did not qualify
2004–05 2004–05 Season cancelled due to 2004–05 NHL lockout
2005–06 2005–06 82 37 34 11 85 240 257 1255 4th, Southeast Did not qualify
2006–07 2006–07 82 35 31 16 86 247 257 1059 4th, Southeast Did not qualify
2007–08 2007–08 82 38 35 9 85 216 226 1002 3rd, Southeast Did not qualify
2008–09 2008–09 82 41 30 11 93 231 223 903 3rd, Southeast Did not qualify
2009–10 2009–10 82 32 37 13 77 208 244 961 5th, Southeast Did not qualify
2010–11 2010–11 82 30 40 12 72 195 229 961 5th, Southeast Did not qualify
2011–12 2011–12 82 38 26 18 94 203 227 792 1st, Southeast Lost in Conference Quarterfinals, 3–4 (Devils)
2012–13 2012–13 48 15 27 6 36 112 171 541 5th, Southeast Did not qualify
2013–14 2013–14 82 29 45 8 66 196 268 848 7th, Atlantic Did not qualify
2014–15 2014–15 82 38 29 15 91 206 223 733 6th, Atlantic Did not qualify
2015–16 2015–16 82 47 26 9 103 239 203 849 1st, Atlantic Lost in First Round, 2–4 (Islanders)
2016–17 2016–17 82 35 36 11 81 210 237 813 6th, Atlantic Did not qualify
2017–18 2017–18 82 44 30 8 96 248 246 4th, Atlantic Did not qualify
2018–19 2018–19 82 36 32 14 86 267 280 5th, Atlantic Did not qualify
Season Team GP W L T2 OTL2 Pts GF GA PIM Finish Playoffs
Reg. season totals3 1984 817 830 142 195 1971 5245 5741 27311
Playoff totals4 44 18 26 All-time series record: 3–5
Grand totals5 2028 835 856 142 195
1 Season was shortened due to the 1994–95 NHL lockout.
2 As of the 2005–06 NHL season, all games will have a winner; the OTL column includes SOL (Shootout losses).
3 Totals through the 2018–19 season
4 Totals through the 2018–19 season
5 Totals through the 2018–19 season


Notable players

Current roster

Updated October 7, 2010.[3]

# Nat Player Pos S/G Age Acquired Birthplace
5 Flag of Canada Allen, BryanBryan Allen

D L 41 2006 Kingston, Ontario
26 Flag of Canada Bernier, SteveSteve Bernier

RW R Error: Need valid year, month, day 2010 Quebec City, Quebec
12 Flag of Canada Bitz, ByronByron Bitz

 Injured Reserve

RW R 37 2010 Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
10 Flag of the United States Booth, DavidDavid Booth

LW L 37 2004 Detroit, Michigan
30 Flag of the United States Clemmensen, ScottScott Clemmensen

G L 44 2009 Des Moines, Iowa
14 Flag of the Czech Republic Dvorak, RadekRadek Dvorak

RW R 45 2007 Tábor, Czechoslovakia
67 Flag of the Czech Republic Frolik, MichaelMichael Frolik

C L 34 2006 Kladno, Czechoslovakia
52 Flag of Canada Garrison, JasonJason Garrison

D L 37 2008 White Rock, British Columbia
21 Flag of the United States Higgins, ChristopherChristopher Higgins

LW L 39 2010 Smithtown, New York
16 Flag of Canada Hordichuk, DarcyDarcy Hordichuk

LW L 41 2010 Kamsack, Saskatchewan
7 Flag of Russia Kulikov, DmitryDmitry Kulikov

D L 31 2009 Lipetsk, Soviet Union
18 Flag of Canada Matthias, ShawnShawn Matthias

C L 34 2007 Mississauga, Ontario
15 Flag of Canada McArdle, KenndalKenndal McArdle

LW L 35 2005 Toronto, Ontario
24 Flag of Canada McCabe, BryanBryan McCabe


D L 47 2008 St. Catharines, Ontario
85 Flag of the Czech Republic Olesz, RostislavRostislav Olesz

LW L 36 2004 Bílovec, Czechoslovakia
19 Flag of the United States Reasoner, MartyMarty Reasoner

 Injured Reserve

C L 45 2010 Honeoye Falls, New York
27 Flag of Canada Reinprecht, StevenSteven Reinprecht

C L 46 2009 Edmonton, Alberta
13 Flag of Canada Santorelli, MikeMike Santorelli

C R 36 2010 Vancouver, British Columbia
61 Flag of Canada Stillman, CoryCory Stillman


LW L 48 2008 Peterborough, Ontario
29 Flag of the Czech Republic Vokoun, TomasTomas Vokoun

G R 45 2007 Karlovy Vary, Czechoslovakia
43 Flag of Canada Weaver, MikeMike Weaver

D R 44 2010 Bramalea, Ontario
9 Flag of Canada Weiss, StephenStephen Weiss


C L 39 2001 Toronto, Ontario
6 Flag of Canada Wideman, DennisDennis Wideman

D R 39 2010 Kitchener, Ontario

Team captains

Honored members

Hall of Famers


Retired numbers

  • 1 - Roberto Luongo, G, 2000–06, 2014–19, retired March 7, 2020
  • 37 - Wayne Huizenga, owner, 1993–01, retired January 19, 2018
  • 93 - Bill Torrey, president, general manager, 1993–01, retired October 23, 2010

First-round draft picks

Franchise scoring leaders

These are the top-ten point-scorers in franchise history. Figures are updated after each completed NHL regular season.

Note: Pos = Position; GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; P/G = Points per game; * = current Panthers player

Player Pos GP G A Pts P/G
Olli Jokinen C 567 188 231 419 .73
Scott Mellanby RW 552 157 197 354 .64
Nathan Horton C 422 142 153 295 .66
Viktor Kozlov C 414 101 190 291 .70
Robert Svehla D 573 61 229 290 .51
Stephen Weiss* C 481 103 181 284 .59
Rob Niedermayer C 518 101 165 266 .51
Pavel Bure RW 223 152 99 251 1.13
Radek Dvorak* RW 560 106 141 247 .44
Ray Whitney LW 273 97 130 227 .83

NHL awards and trophies

Prince of Wales Trophy Stanley Cup

Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy

Franchise individual records


  1. Florida Panthers FAQ Page.
  2. McDonell, Chris. (2005). Hockey's Greatest Stars: Legends and Young Lions. Firefly Books, 135. ISBN 1–55407–038–4. 
  3. Florida Panthers - Team - Roster. Florida Panthers. Retrieved on 2010-10-07.

External links

Florida Panthers Head Coaches
Neilson • MacLean • B. Murray • T. Murray • Sutter • Keenan • Dudley • Torchetti • Martin • DeBoer • Dineen • Horachek • Gallant • Rowe • Boughner • Quenneville

This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Florida Panthers. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Ice Hockey Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 (Unported) (CC-BY-SA).