Welcome back to the LBC All-Time Florida Panther Roster Countdown. For a quick explanation on how this list works, click here.
Last week, we left off with LW Stephane Matteau, C Mark Cullen, D Colby Robak, G Richard Shulmistra, and C Ryan Carter. Today, we'll get off on the right foot with a currently-rostered defensive forward and faceoff specialist, a right winger who was once traded for Brian Campbell, and two players who appeared for a cup of coffee with Florida in the inaugural season.
Follow the jump for more...
204. Jerred Smithson
Smithson was a 6'3" center from Vernon, British Columbia who played five seasons with the WHL Calgary Hitmen. In 319 career contests he scored 47 goals and 64 assists through the 1999-00 season.
Undrafted, Smithson signed an entry level free agent contract with the Los Angeles Kings. He spent the 2000-01 season between the AHL Lowell Lock Monsters (24 games) and the ECHL Trenton Titans (three games). In 2001-02, the Kings employed the Manchester Monarchs as their AHL affiliate. Smithson played 78 games, scoring five goals and 13 assists on the season.
2002-03 would see Smithson open the season with the Monarchs, earning his first callup to the NHL near the end of December. In two callups he played a total of 22 games, averaging nine minutes of TOI and finishing with two assists and a minus-5 rating. He also scored four goals and 21 assists in 38 games with Manchester.
In 2003-04, Smithson spent the bulk of the season with the Monarchs, scoring seven goals and 13 assists in 66 AHL games. In an eight game callup beginning in November, he assisted on one Kings goal, taking two shots on net and averaging 16 shifts per game.
Just prior to the never-played 2004-05 season, Smithson signed a contract with the Nashville Predators. Instead of sitting at the house, he played 80 games with the AHL Milwaukee Admirals, scoring 11 goals and 11 assists, helping the Admirals to the Calder Cup Playoffs (where they lost in the first round).
Smithson began the 2005-06 season with the Admirals, appearing in eight games before his final callup to the NHL. He spent the better part of the next seven seasons with the franchise, ranking sixth on their all-time list with 497 games played. Although he was never a big scoring threat, Smithson excelled on the penalty kill, and is also sixth on the Predators all-time list with five shorthanded goals. His Nashville career ended with 36 goals and 50 assists, a minus-30 rating, and 313 penalty minutes.
Smithson was traded to the Panthers for a sixth-round draft pick on February 24th. He made one assist in 16 games for Florida, adding another in five playoff games. He plowed nine New Jersey Devils in the Panthers 3-0 victory in game five of the 2012 Eastern Conference Quarterfinal, adding seven more in the Panthers 3-2 two overtime loss in game seven.
Throughout his career, Smithson's defensive prowess has roughly equalled his offensive shortcomings, resulting in a career point share of -0.1 in 543 NHL contests.
All-Time Statline: One season, 16 games, zero goals, one assist, one point, plus-1 rating, four PIM, 0.2 APS.
203. Steve Bernier
Bernier was a 6'2" right winger from Quebec City. He was playing in the QMJHL with the Moncton Wildcats when the San Jose Sharks selected him in the first round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft with the 16th overall pick. In his four seasons with the Wildcats ending in 2004-05, he scored 151 goals and 162 assists in 271 games played. In 34 Memorial Cup Playoff games, he scored 14 goals with 23 assists.
2005-06 would see Bernier split the season between the AHL Cleveland Barons (49 games, 20G, 23A) and the Sharks, (39 games, 14G, 13A). He would remain in the Sharks organization for most of three seasons in total, scoring 42 goals and 39 assists in 160 games. On February 26th, the Sharks traded him with a first round pick to the Buffalo Sabres for Brian Campbell (!) and a seventh round pick. He would appear in 17 games with the Sabres, scoring three goals and six assists.
Buffalo packed Bernier off to the Vancouver Canucks following the season for a second and a third round draft pick. He would total 26 goals and 28 assists in 140 regular season games, adding six goals and three assists through 22 playoff games. During the 2010 offseason, Canucks traded him along with a first round draft pick (eventually Quinton Howden) and Michael Grabner to Florida for Keith Ballard and Victor Oreskovich.
Bernier began the 2010-11 season as a member of the Panthers. In his Florida debut, he collected assists on both of the Panthers goals in a 3-2 season opening loss to the Edmonton Oilers. On December 1st, Bernier scored twice and added an assist in Florida's 5-3 loss to the Anaheim Ducks. He would total 68 games that season with the Panthers, scoring five goals and 10 assists.
Bernier was not tendered a contract by Florida prior to the 2011-12 season. He was invited to the New Jersey Devils training camp, and was offered a two-way contract, initially turned down. After a month, he decided to sign on with New Jersey's AHL franchise, the Albany Devils. He eventually reconsidered his initial reticence in signing a two way contract, and received a callup to New Jersey at the end of January. In 32 games, he scored one goal with five assists. Through the current postseason, he has played 17 games, scoring two goals and three assists for the Devils, including a goal and an assist against the Panthers in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.
All-Time Statline: One season, 68 games, five goals, 10 assists, 15 points, minus-14 rating, 21 PIM, 0.2 APS.
202. Peter Andersson
Andersson was a 6' defenseman from Orebro, Sweden. He was originally selected in the fourth round of the 1983 NHL Entry Draft by the New York Rangers with the 75th overall pick. He spent the next six seasons with the Swedish League Farjstads BK Karlstad. He played 208 games, scoring 44 goals and 74 assists for the club, ending in 1988-89.
1989-90 would see Andersson join rival Swedish League team Malmo IF. He played three more seasons, scoring 32 goals and 51 assists in 90 games.
In 1992-93, Andersson made his North American debut with the AHL Binghampton Rangers. After putting up 11 goals and 22 assists in only 27 games, concurrently, Andersson also played 31 games with New York, scoring four goals and 11 assists.
1993-94 would see Andersson used sparingly with New York, totalling eight games through March. The Rangers traded him to Florida for a ninth round draft choice on March 21st. He would then play eight games with the Panthers, scoring one goal and one assist.
After the season, Andersson rejoined Malmo IF, later playing two seasons for Dusseldorfer EG (Germany), four seasons for HC Lugano (Swiss), and four seasons with MIF Redhawks Malmo (Sweden).
All-Time Statline: One season, eight games, one goal, one assist, two points, minus-5 rating, zero PIM, 0.2 APS.
201. Patrick LeBeau
LeBeau was a 5'10" left winger from St-Jerome, Quebec. He was playing with the QMJHL St-Jean Castors when the Montreal Canadiens chose him in the eighth round of the 1989 NHL Entry Draft with the 167th overall pick. In four QMJHL seasons, he played with the Shawinigan Cataractes (136 games), the Castors (49 games), the St-Jean Lynx (57 games), and the Victoriaville Tigres (15 games). He scored 199 goals and 301 assists in 257 career games.
LeBeau opened the 1990-91 season with the Fredericton Canadiens, Montreal's AHL affiliate. In two seasons there he scored 83 goals and 89 assists in only 124 games. In a two game callup in February, 1991, he scored a goal and an assist.
LeBeau opened the 1992-93 season with the Salt Lake Eagles, scoring 100 points in 75 IHL games. He was called up to play one game with the Calgary Flames. He did not impact the scoresheet, as Calgary defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-3 on November 14th. After the season, he signed a free agent contract with the Panthers.
In 1993-94, LeBeau played 74 games with Florida's IHL Cincinnati Cyclones, scoring 47 goals and 42 assists. He was called up to the Panthers near the end of October, collecting a goal and an assist.
LeBeau played eight more NHL games, scoring one goal with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1998-99. He also played with the Swiss Zurcher SC (85 games), the German League Dusseldorfer EG (17 games), the Swiss HC La Chaux-de-Fonds (45 games), the Swiss ZSC Lions Zurich (25 games), and the Swiss HC Ambri-Piotta (44 games). Starting in 2002-03, he played five seasons with the German League Frankfurt Lions, in 206 games, scoring 98 goals and 183 assists.
LeBeau had a long career with success at every level other than the NHL. What I can't figure out is why noone game him more than a cursory glance at the Major League level. A total of 15 NHL games. He racked up 172 points in 124 AHL games, 302 points in 223 German matches, 189 points in 149 IHL contests, 274 points in 196 Swiss League games, and 500 points in 257 QMJHL matches, well over a point per game at every level.
All-Time Statline: One season, four games, one goal, one assist, two points, even rating, four penalty minutes, 0.2 APS.
This concludes Chapter 18 of the Florida Panthers Roster Report. Tune in tomorrow for two 6'5" wingers who never panned out for the Panthers, the first of two men named Kamil, and a recent Florida Everblade.