Welcome to today's edition of the LBC All-Time Florida Panthers Roster Countdown. For all the details on the nuts and bolts of this list, click here.
Yesterday, we touched base with current Panthers Marco Sturm and Jack Skille, as well as with San Antonio Rampage center Bracken Kearns. We also looked at Ryan Johnson and Kyle Rossiter.
In todays entry, part six of 99, we profile two right wingers, two centers and a defenseman. To check it out, follow the jump.
264. Jamie Rivers
Rivers (above) was a 6'1" defenseman with the OHL Sudbury Wolves when selected by the St. Louis Blues in the third round of the 1993 NHL Entry Draft with the 63rd overall pick. He completed a total of four seasons (two before being drafted and two after) with Sudbury, totalling 56 goals and 201 assists in 228 games.
In 1995-96, Rivers made his professional debut with the AHL Worcester IceCats, scoring 52 points in 75 games. He earned two callups to St. Louis during the season, playing a total of three games and totalling a minus-1 rating and two penalty minutes. Over four seasons with the Blues, he compiled six goals and 14 assists over 153 games with a minus-3 rating and 91 penalty minutes.
Waived by the Blues prior to the 1999-00 season, Rivers was claimed by the New York Islanders. In his only season with the club, he scored one goal and a career high 16 assists with a minus-4 rating and 84 penalty minutes.
After starting 2000-01 with the IHL Grand Rapids Griffins, Rivers joined the Ottawa Senators for the season and the start of 2001-02, earning 48 penalty minutes and scoring two goals with four assists and a plus-three rating over 47 games. Placed on waivers early in the season, he was snapped up by the Boston Bruins and played in 64 games, scoring a career high four goals along with two assists, a plus-6 rating and 45 penalty minutes.
In November 2002, Rivers signed a contract with the AHL San Antonio Rampage, and spent 50 games with the club. He was called up for one game with the Panthers, a 12-2 loss to the Washington Capitals. He finished the game with a minus-2 rating and two penalty minutes, totalling 23 shifts. He is one of 10 Panthers to play in only one game with the club.
Rivers went on to play three more NHL seasons, split between the Detroit Red Wings and the Phoenix Coyotes before rejoining the Blues for 31 games in 2006-07. He later played in Russia with Spartak Moscow, in Chicago with the AHL Wolves, and the in the Swiss league with HC Ambri-Piotta.
Rivers suffered a ruptured spleen after completing a check as a member of KHL Medvescak of the Austrian Hockey League on December 16, 2010. After initially going undiagnosed, a few days later Rivers was rushed to hospital and underwent emergency surgery. Suffering a large amount of internal bleeding, Rivers heart stopped before he was electronically defibrillated back to life.
All-Time Statline: One season, one game, zero goals, zero assists, zero points, minus-2 rating, two PIM, -0.1 APS
263. Mike Casselman
Casselman was a 5'11" center for the Clarkson Golden Knights for four collegiate seasons. He totalled 48 goals and 71 assists over 129 games, graduating after the 1990-91 season. He was selected by the Detroit Red Wings in the 1990 NHL Supplimental Draft.
He spent most of the 1991-92 year with the ECHL Toledo Storm, totalling 99 points in 61 games. 1992-93 would see him promoted to the AHL Adironack Red Wings, with whom he spent most of the next three seasons. With Adironack, he scored 46 goals and 100 assists over 198 games, and making the All-Star team in 1992.
Casselman signed a free agent contract with the Panthers on Halloween, 1995, reporting to the AHL Carolina Panthers (not a typo). Over the 1995-96 season, he posted his most impressive AHL numbers, scoring 34 goals and 68 assists in 70 games. His play earned him a look in Florida, where over three games in February and March he totalled a minus-1 rating while taking two shots on goal.
Casselman spent the next two seasons in Florida's and San Jose's minor league systems, with the Cincinnati Cyclones and the Rochester Americans. He later played several seasons in Germany before returning to the Cyclones for two seasons starting in 2002-03.
All-Time Statline: One season, three games, zero goals, zero assists, zero points, minus-1 rating, zero PIM, -0.1 APS.
262. Viacheslav Butsayev
Butsayev, a 6'2" center from the former USSR, was selected by the Philadelphia Flyers in the sixth round of the 1990 NHL Entry Draft, 109th overall. He would see his first NHL action two seasons later, making the Flyers roster out of the 1992-93 training camp. In 52 games he scored two goals and a career high 14 assists with a plus-3 rating and 61 penalty minutes.
Butsayev spent the 1993-94 season split between the Flyers and the San Jose Sharks, after a February trade. He scored a career high 12 goals along with 11 assists and an even rating with 68 penalty minutes over 59 games.
In 1995-96 and 1996-97, Butsayev totalled 13 NHL games between the Sharks and the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, scoring three goals with a minus-6. He spent the balance of those seasons with the AHL Baltimore Bandits and in Sweden. Florida signed him to a free agent contract in the 1998 offseason.
Butsayev spent 71 games that season with the IHL Fort Wayne Comets, earning a callup to the Panthers for a March 3rd loss to the Colorado Avalanche, 7-5. He totalled a minus-1 rating with two penalty minutes in 22 shifts. He was traded to the Ottawa Senators five days later for a sixth round draft pick, and would appear in five games over the next two seasons with the club. He also played with the Tampa Bay Lightning for two games in 1999-00.
Butsayev returned to Russia following the season, and spent the next five seasons with several Russian teams.
All-Time Statline: One season, one game, zero goals, zero assists, zero points, minus-1 rating, two PIM, -0.1 APS.
261. Herbert Vasiljevs
Vasiljevs was a Latvian 5'11" right winger from Riga, USSR. He joined the Guelph Storm in the OHL as a 19-year old free agent in 1995-96, scoring 34 goals and 33 assists in 65 games with the club. 1996-97 would see him with the AHL Carolina Monarchs for 54 games, scoring 31 points.
Vasiljevs played the 1997-98 season with the Beast of New Haven, scoring 36 goals and 30 assists in 76 games. He earned his first NHL callup the following season, a five game cup of coffee with the Panthers. In 74 shifts he took six shots on goal and spent two minutes in the box with a minus-1 rating. Most of the year was spent as a point-per-game player with the AHL Kentucky Thoroughblades.
Starting in 1999-00, Vasiljevs played 28 games at the NHL level with the Atlanta Thrashers, scoring five goals and five assists with a minus-14 rating and 18 penalty minutes. He appeared in 2001-02 for 18 games with the Vancouver Canucks, scoring three goals and two assists, closing his NHL career.
After playing the 2002-03 season with the AHL Manitoba Moose, Vasiljevs moved back to Russia, playing one season with Amur Khabarovsk before playing the next nine seasons in the German League. He is still playing with Krefeld Pinguine.
All-Time Statline: One season, five games, zero goals, zero assists, zero points, minus-1 rating, two PIM, -0.1 APS.
260. Jamie Linden
Linden was a 6'3" right winger from Medicine Hat, Alberta. In 1988-89 he joined the WHL as a member of the Portland Winter Hawks, spending the next four seasons with four different WHL teams. He totalled 77 points in 263 games.
Just before Florida's inaugural 1993-94 season, Linden was signed to a minor league contract, and made his IHL debut with the Cincinnati Cyclones, splitting the season with the ECHL Birmingham Bulls. In 63 games, he scored a combined four goals and 12 assists.
Linden started 1994-95 with the Cyclones, totalling nine points over 51 games. He earned a callup to Florida in February, and in four games totalled a minus-1 rating and 17 penalty minutes. It was the only NHL action of his career.
Over the next three seasons, Linden appeared throughout the AHL and the IHL. His brother is 19-year NHL veteran and two-time All-Star Trevor Linden.
All-Time Statline: One season, four games, zero goals, zero assists, zero points, minus-1 rating, 17 PIM, -0.1 APS.
I hope you enjoyed today's entry, and I'm curious to know if anyone remembers any of these guys on the ice for Florida. Leave your comments below, and check back tomorrow for a look at players ranked from 259 up to 255.