Welcome to Chapter LXIII of the Panthers All-Time Countdown. We've been at it since the first week of May, and we'll keep going until number one, on September 22, just in time for training camp. For an explanation on the nuts and bolts of how this list was ordered, click here.
Yesterday, we looked into current Panthers goaltender Jose Theodore (22-16-11, 2.46, .917), and defenseman Mike Weaver (164 games, two goals, 27 assists). Today, we'll look at an original Panther at right wing, and another 2011-12 single season superhero, a Czech left winger.
If this sounds like an itch you have to scratch, click to follow along below.52. Jody Hull
Hull, a 6'2" right winger from Petrolia, Ontario, was a two year starter for the OHL Peterborough Petes (110 games, 28 goals, 56 assists) when picked in the first round of the 1987 NHL Entry Draft by the Hartford Whalers, 18th overall. He remained with the Petes for one more season in juniors, scoring 50 goals with 44 assists in 60 contests. He also scored 15 goals and 22 assists for the Petes through 40 postseason contests over his three seasons.
The 1988-89 season would see Hull make his professional debut with the Whalers, spending the whole season with the club (60 games, 16 goals, 18 assists). In 1989-90, he split the season between the NHL Whalers (38 games, seven goals 10 assists), and their AHL affiliate, the Binghampton Whalers (21 goals, seven goals, 10 asssists). After the season, the Whalers traded him to the New York Rangers for Carey Wilson and a third round pick (Michael Nylander).
In 1990-91, Hull scored five goals and eight assists in 47 games for the Rangers. The following season would see him demoted to the AHL's Binghampton Rangers (69 games, 34 goals, 31 assists), making a brief three game stop with New York. During the 1992 offseason, Hull was traded to the Ottawa Senators for "future considerations."
Hull was one of very few bright spots for the inaugural Senators, a team that went 10-70-4. He scored 13 goals and 21 assists in 69 contests with the club. After the season, Hull signed a free agent contract with the Panthers, his second expansion team in as many campaigns.
In 1993-94, Hull had six multi-point efforts for the first version of the Panthers, including two goals in a 4-1 win over the New York Islanders on April 14. He totalled 13 goals on 100 shots, added 13 assists, a plus-6 rating, and only eight penalty minutes.
1994-95 would see Hull play in 46 games of the Panthers strike-shortened 48 game season. He scored in each of the seasons first four games, and totalled three multi-point games, including two goals against his former employer, the New York Rangers on May 2 in a 4-3 victory. He ranked third on the team with 11 goals on 63 shots with eight assists, a minus-1 rating, and eight more penalty minutes.
In 1995-96, Hull posted seven multiple point efforts, including a goal and two assists for his first three point game as a member of the Panthers in a 6-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on October 24. He ranked fourth on the team with a career high 20 goals on 120 shots, adding 17 assists, a plus-5 rating, and 25 PIM in 78 games. He added three goals and two assists in 14 postseason games for the Eastern Conference Champions.
Hull played 67 games for the 1996-97 Panthers, scoring 10 goals on 92 shots with six assists, a plus-1 rating, and four penalty minutes. In 1997-98, he managed to score twice on 23 shots over 21 contests with the Cats, earning him a cross-state trade to the Tampa Bay Lightning along with Mark Fitzpatrick for Dino Ciccarelli and Jeff Norton. He scored twice with four assists in 28 Bolts games.
Hull went on to appear for three seasons each with the Philadelphia Flyers (210 games, 20 goals, 22 assists), and in a second tour with the Ottawa Senators (95 games, five goals, 10 assists). After retiring, he went on to find work as an assistant coach with his old OHL team, the Peterborough Petes.
All-Time Statline: Five seasons, 281 games, 56 goals, 44 assists, 100 points, plus-12 rating, 49 PIM, 8.8 APS.
Fleischmann is a 6'1" left winger from Koprivnice, Czechoslovakia. He was a three year veteran of the HC Vitkovice Jr. team. After a 2001-02 campaign which saw him score 26 goals and 35 assists in 46 games, he was picked in the second round of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, 63rd overall by the Detroit Red Wings just after his 18th birthday.
Fleischmann joined the WHL Moose Jaw Warriors for two seasons of junior hockey after jumping the pond, scoring 54 goals and 92 assists in 125 contests.The Red Wings traded his rights to the Washington Capitals near the end of the 2003-04 season with a first and a fourth round pick (Mike Green and Luke Lynes, respectively) for Robert Lang.
2004-05 would see him make the transition to the professional game, as he played 53 games with the AHL Portland Pirates, scoring seven goals and 12 assists. In 2005-06, Fleischmann played most of the season with the AHL Hershey Bears (57 games, 30 goals, 33 assists). He also saw his first NHL action, tabbing two assists in 14 games with the Capitals.
Fleischmann scored four goals and four assists in 29 games for Washington in 2006-07, playing the balance of the season back in Hershey (45 games, 22 goals, 29 assists). He joined the Capitals permanently in 2007-08. Over parts of six seasons with the Caps he played 283 games, scoring 60 goals and 78 assists. He added three goals and two assists in 22 playoff games.The Caps traded him to the Colorado Avalanche on November 30, 2010 for Scott Hannan.
Fleischmann scored eight times with 13 helpers in his first 22 games with the Avs, nearly a point per game average. Things were looking to be on the upswing for Flash when he was sidelined for the rest of the season with pulmonary emboli, a potentially life-threatening condition.
Despite his health issues, Dale Tallon signed Fleischmann to a four year/$18,000,000 contract on July 1, 2011. He was the only Panthers forward to appear in every game, along with defensemen Mike Weaver and Brian Campbell, averaging 19:06 TOI per game. He started the season with 12 goals and 18 assists in his first 29 games with the club, combining with Kris Versteeg and Stephen Weiss to form the hottest line in the NHL through the first quarter of the season. He had 13 multi-point games on the season, including two goals and an assist in a Halloween shootout loss to the Winnepeg Jets, 4-3. Later, he scored a goal and two helpers in a December 3 5-3 win over the San Jose Sharks. He scored 27 goals on 217 shots, leading the Panthers in both categories. He also tacked on a team third best 34 assists for a team leading 61 points on the season. He finished with a minus-7 rating and 26 PIM. He added a goal and two assists in the Panthers seven game series loss to the New Jersey Devils in the postseason. It was revealed soon afterwards that he had played most of the series with a broken finger, a condition that did not require surgery.
Tomas Fleischmann Season Goals 2011-2012 (via shadowcfootball)
All-Time Statline: One season, 82 games, 27 goals, 34 assists, 61 points, minus-7 rating, 26 PIM, 8.8 APS.
That's it for today. Check back tomorrow as we break the seal on the Panther's Top 50 with a right winger from Moscow and a goaltender from Illinois. Vote in the poll, leave a comment or three, and tune in tomorrow night for the second weekly installment of LitterBoxChats, at 9PM with myself, host Ryan, and lead blogger Donny.