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Florida Panthers castaways and the Stanley Cup Playoffs

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I haven't posted up an obligatory list of my playoffs predictions for two reasons:

  • First, I'm typically batting around .220, lifetime, on calling these
  • Second, I've been busy rewinding old Blockbuster videos (the modern-day classic "Roadhouse" holds a special place on The Box's alter. Who can argue with a solidly-written black-hat baddie like Brad Wesley? Any takers?)

Cast_wesley_medium

 A Ben Gazzara role for the ages. And why not; his character supplies liquor to the Double Deuce, after all. Self-stitchin' Dalton and hard-livin'-but-lovable Wade Garrett have other ideas...

 

That won't prevent a little light shone on former Cats who happen to be in the playoff mix. (I'm beholden to state that a whole lot of current Cats would be losing to the Broons right now if not for a techni...technical...oh drat. I refused to utter that word. Honor the promise, we shall.

So which names familiar to the Sunrise Faithful remain in action on clean sheets of ice while scraping has finished up at the BAC? Glad you asked. Really.

Our Roll of Honor after the leap.

 

We'll start in the west, if only for no other reason than every other list begins with the east.

WESTERN CONFERENCE


Kristian Huselius

#20 / Left Wing / Columbus Blue Jackets

6-1

179

Nov 10, 1978


Hard to envision him playing on a Keenan-coached team. That's why he doesn't any longer. Run out of Florida, ditto Calgary. Given this guy can't shake the former Panthers coach/GM, BJs fans may now commence fretting over Iron Mike becoming their next bench boss. Condolences.

Currently battling: Detroit.

 


Todd Bertuzzi

#7 / Right Wing / Calgary Flames

6-3

231

Feb 02, 1975


Mr. I-Am-What-I-Am is now with his fifth organization in almost three years, the former Vancouver standout has cemented his place within the hallowed pantheon of irrascible execs such as Brian Burke and...Mike Keenan! Played almost seven games for the Cats until knocked out by the punchless 2006 Capitals. The October 1996 Capitals. Creepy.


Currently battling: Chicago.

 


Olli Jokinen

#21 / Center / Calgary Flames

6-3

215

Dec 05, 1978


The longtime Florida captain has finally made the postseason. Hurrah for the unquestionably solid good-guy off the ice. Apparently the Phoenix Coyotes couldn't use a former 90-point player. Anything to that?

 Currently battling: Chicago.

 


Roberto Luongo

#1 / Goalie / Vancouver Canucks

6-3

205

Apr 04, 1979


Taken to arbitration by his club in 2005 - an NHL first, masterminded by Mike Keenan (see a pattern yet?) - "Louie" has found himself an embracing fanbase in British Columbia. Until a few weeks ago, anyway.

Currently battling: St. Louis.

 


Bret Hedican

#3 / Defenseman / Anaheim Ducks

6-2

210

Aug 10, 1970


Moving along...

Currently battling: San Jose. Injuries. Oh, and age. (But his wife's a decent alternative if the Ducks need a fill-in who can skate. Just give her a stick. Haha...I said "stick".)

 


Chris Gratton

#77 / Center / Columbus Blue Jackets

6-4

226

Jul 05, 1975


The Norfolk Admirals (24gp-3g-12a-15p, -2) assuredly miss the Bolt first-rounder, but the Jackets don't. Really got to have a piece of The Other Chris (not this one, duh)? Dust off your Lightning sweaters from '93. And '99. And '07.

Currently battling: a call from Heaven for retirement and a position with the NHLPA. That's what failed draft picks do these days, or so I'm told.

 


Alexei Semenov

#21 / Defenseman / San Jose Sharks

6-6

245

Apr 10, 1981


Noted. Next... Ahhh, he played hard while with the Panthers. No complaints.

Currently battling: Anaheim. And a Wikipedia nightmare for those who confuse him with this Tampa Bay legend of a similar name.


Darcy Hordichuk

#24 / Left Wing / Vancouver Canucks

6-1

215

Aug 10, 1980


68 games - and 172 PIMs - should have cemented this Kamsack, Saskatchewan native in Florida lore forever. Didn't happen, though his official site is kinda cool, with lots of blues and greens. Pretty.

Currently battling: Irrelevancy. And the St. Louis Blues.

 

 


Byron Ritchie

#15 / Center / Vancouver Canucks

5-10

190

Apr 24, 1977


Though his 25 points in 111 games for Florida should have translated to a guaranteed long-termer in those halcyon days of the early 2000s in Sunrise, Ritchie's currently listed as a member of the Canucks. Granted he's not the most offensive-minded player in the league, but this may be too much. His drafting by the Hartford Whalers in 1995 demands his inclusion on this list. And happy almost birthday!

Currently battling: St. Louis Blues. Or whomever the Geneve-Servette club is playing.

 

Jeez...this might have been a lot easier on everyone had I simply profiled ex-Whalers (Where have you gone, Bates Battaglia? Oh yeah...the Marlies).

The Eastern Conference former Panthers are due up this weekend. And no, I haven't forgotten the Sunrise Season in Review, so pipe down. All six of ya. It's a work in progress, so to speak. (Can I get away with that?)

If I missed anyone, let me know.

Go Cats.