Welcome back to another week of your 2012 offseason, and our continuing player-by-player retrospective of the first 18 seasons. For the skinny on how the list was constructed, click here.
On Friday we recapped the Panthers careers of C Steve Washburn (81 games, 14 goals, 15 assists), C Jason Wiemer (70 games, 11 goals, 20 assists), RW Dino Ciccarelli (42 games, 11 goals, 12 assists), and LW Chris Higgins (48 games, 11 goals, 12 assists).
In today's entry we will take a gander at two Canadian centers and two American defensemen. To go on with the show, click to follow below.
124. Mathieu Biron
Biron was a 6'6" defenseman from Lac-St. Charles, Quebec. He was picked in the first round of the 1998 NHL Entry Draft by the Los Angeles Kings. As a member of the QMJHL Shawinigan Cataractes, Biron totalled 21 goals and 60 assists in 128 games. He was traded with Olli Jokinen, Josh Green and a first round pick to the New York Islanders for Ziggy Palffy, Brian Smolinski, Marcel Cousineau and a fourth round pick.
In 1999-00, Biron made his professional and NHL debut with the Islanders. He scored four goals and four assists through 60 games. 2000-01 would see him split the season between the AHL Lowell Lock Monsters (22 games, one goal, three assists), the AHL Springfield Falcons (34 games, zero goals, six assists), and the Islanders (14 games, zero goals, one assist). The Islanders traded him to the Tampa Bay Lightning with a second round pick for Adrian Aucoin and Alexander Kharitonov during the 2001 offseason.
As a member of the Bolts, Biron appeared in 36 games, failing to score any points and finishing with a minus-16 rating. He also played 35 games with Springfield, scoring four goals and nine assists. He was claimed in the waiver draft just before the 2002-03 season by the Columbus Blue Jackets, and was promptly traded to the Panthers for Petr Tenkrat.
Biron scored three goals and eight assists in 43 games with the AHL San Antonio Rampage in 2002-03. He was twice called up to join the Panthers. He collected two assists in a 4-4 tie with the Lightning on February 8, ultimately finishing the season with one goal on 52 shots, along with eight assists in 34 NHL games. He posted a minus-18 rating along with an ATOI of 21:08, ranking third amongst Panthers defensemen.
2003-04 would see Biron play 57 games with Florida. He scored three goals on 75 shots with 10 assists. He also had 51 PIM and a minus-13 rating, averaging 18:13 TOI. After spending the cancelled 2004-05 season with the Thetford Mines of the Ligue Nord-Americaine de Hockey, he signed a free agent contract to play with the Washington Capitals.
Biron scored four goals and nine assists with the Caps through 52 games in 2005-06. He later played with the AHL Worchester Sharks (24 games, three goals, 15 assists), the AHL Hamilton Bulldogs (88 games, 13 goals, 20 assists), the German Elite League Frankfurt Lions (49 games, five goals, 16 assists), the German Hamburg Freezers (56 games, five goals, 19 assists), and the Ligue Nord-Americaine de Hockey Thetford Mines Isothermics (13 games, one goal, four assists).
All-Time Statline: Two seasons, 91 games, four goals, 18 assists, 22 points, minus-31 rating, 65 PIM, 2.5 APS.
123. Keaton Ellerby
Ellerby was a 6'4" defenseman from Strathmore, Alberta. He was Florida's first round selection of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, 10th overall. A graduate of the WHL Kamloops Blazers (and 53 games with the Moose Jaw Warriors), Ellerby honed his craft for four seasons, finishing with six goals and 54 assists in 266 games.
Ellerby embarked on his pro career in 2008-09 with the AHL Rochester Americans, appearing in 75 games and scoring three goals and 20 assists. In 2009-10 he split the season between the Americans (58 games, six goals, 13 assists) and the Panthers. With Florida, Ellerby played in 22 games, playing in each of the last 20 of the season. He only averaged 5:26 TOI, took five shots on goal (total), and finished with a minus-1 rating and two PIM.
In 2010-11, Ellerby scored two goals and three assists in 17 games with Rochester. He also appeared in 54 Panthers games. On October 23rd he posted his first two point game, with two assists in a 4-3 win over the New York Islanders. He ended up with two goals on 56 shots with 10 assists, averaging 16:06 on ice with a minus-15 overall rating.
Ellerby stayed with the NHL Panthers all season in 2011-12. As Florida's de facto seventh defenseman, Ellerby often found himself the odd man out, spending much of the season watching from the press box. He played in 40 games, averaging 15:23 TOI per game and finishing the season at minus-3. He earned five assists and failed to score a goal, even though he took 45 shots. He played in his first ever playoff game in the fourth game against the New Jersey Devils on April 19th, appearing on the ice for 8:42.
Ellerby's future with the team is unclear, but he is often brought up in conversations as "trade bait." He is the cousin of Phoenix Coyotes captain Shane Doan, and the second cousin of Montreal Canadien goaltender Carey Price.
All-Time Statline: Three seasons, 116 games, two goals, 15 assists, 17 points, minus-20 rating, 34 PIM, 2.6 APS.
122. Matt Cullen
Cullen was a 6'1" center from Virginia, Minnesota. He was picked 35th overall by the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in the second round of the 1996 NHL Entry Draft. In 75 games over two collegiate seasons with St. Cloud State, he totalled 27 goals and 59 assists.
In 1997-98, Cullen made his NHL debut with Anaheim. Ultimately, he spent six seasons with the Ducks, and is ranked eighth on the teams all-time list with 427 games played. He scored 65 goals with 135 assists, a minus-39 rating and 168 PIM. Midway through the 2002-03 season, the Ducks sent him to the Panthers with Pavel Trnka and a fourth round pick for Sandis Ozolinsh and Lance Ward.
On February 6, Cullen's second game with the Cats, he scored a goal with two assists in a 6-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. He played in the last 30 games of the seasons for Florida, ending the year with six goal on 54 shots averaging 14:43 TOI per game. He posted a minus-4 rating with 22 PIM.
Cullen played in 56 games for the Panthers in 2003-04, missing two months with a groin muscle injury. He scored six goals on 75 shots with 13 assists while averaging 14:12 TOI. He collected 24 PIM with a cumulative minus-2 rating.
Cullen joined the Carolina Hurricanes in 2005-06, scoring a career high 25 goals and 24 assists in 78 games. He later played for the New York Rangers (80 games, 16 goals, 25 assists), again with the Hurricanes (188 games, 47 goals, 85 assists, the Ottawa Senators (21 games, four goals, four assists), and the Minnesota Wild (151 games, 26 goals, 48 assists). He is currently entering the third year of a three season contract with the Wild, and serves as their alternate captain. His brother Mark played six games with the Panthers in the 2011-12 season.
All-Time Statline: Two seasons, 86 games, 12 goals, 19 assists, 31 points, minus-6 rating, 46 PIM, 2.7 APS.
121. Marty Reasoner
Reasoner was a 6'1" center from Honeoye Falls, New York. He was picked in the first round of the 1996 NHL Entry Draft by the St. Louis Blues with the 14th overall pick. In three collegiate seasons with the Boston College Eagles, he totalled 69 goals with 93 assists in 111 contests.
Reasoner made his pro debut in 1998-99, and over the next three seasons split the season between the Blues (95 games, 18 goals, 30 assists) and their AHL affiliate, the Worchester IceCats (122 games, 57 goals, 68 assists).
Reasoner joined the Edmonton Oilers in 2001-02, (197 games, 28 goals, 48 assists), later making appearances with the Boston Bruins (19 games, two goals, six assists), again with the Oilers (154 games, 17 goals, 28 assists), and the Atlanta Thrashers (159 games, 18 goals, 29 assists). He was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks during the 2010 offseason, soon thereafter getting traded again, this time to the Panthers for Jeff Taffe.
Reasoner started out with a bang, scoring both Panthers goals in a season opening 3-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers. Along with Mike Weaver, David Booth, and Mike Santorelli, he appeared in every game for Florida in 2010-11. He ranked fourth on the team with 14 goals on 124 shots, and fifth with 32 points. His 17:10 ATOI was second amongst Panther centers (behind Stephen Weiss). He was also one of few Panthers to post a positive rating, finishing at plus-3 with 22 PIM.
Panthers @ Oilers 10/10/10 (via NHLVideo)
After the Panthers did not tender him a deal, he signed on to play with the New York Islanders during the 2011 offseason, scoring one goal and five assists in 61 games with a minus-25 rating.
All-Time Statline: One season, 82 games, 14 goals, 18 assists, 32 points, plus-2 rating, 22 PIM, 2.7 APS.
Thanks for coming along for the ride. Make sure you leave comments below, vote in our poll, and come back and check us out tomorrow as we take a look at three defensemen, a Czech, a Russian, and a Canadian.