Welcome back to the LBC exclusive All-Time Panther Roster Countdown, as we recap the pantheon of past and present Florida Panther heroes. If you need more information on how this list was constructed, click here.
In yesterday's entry, we looked back at original Panther left wing Dave Lowry (252 games, 50 goals, 60 assists) and left winger Johan Garpenlov (265 games, 47 goals, 74 assists). In today's article, we'll take a look at Canadian defenseman Rhett Warrener and Czech defenseman Jaroslav Spacek.
To continue, follow the jump.
34. Rhett Warrener
Warrener was a 6'1" defenseman from Shaunavon, Saskatchewan with the WHL Saskatoon Blades. He was selected by Florida in the second round of the 1994 NHL Entry Draft with the 27th overall pick. He played one additional season with the Blades after selection, bringing his four season WHL totals to 22 goals and 62 assists in 197 games.
In 1995-96, Warrener started his professional career in the big show with the Panthers opening day roster. He played in 28 contests, making three assists and failing to notch a goal on 19 shots on net. He finished the season with a plus-4 rating and 46 penalty minutes. After the regular season, he appeared in 21 of the Panthers 22 postseason contests as the team won the Eastern Conference Championship in only their third season of existence. He also played in nine games with the AHL Carolina Monarchs.
1996-97 would see Warrener appear in 62 games for the Panthers. On January 23, he scored a goal and an assist in a 4-1 Florida victory over the Boston Bruins. He totalled four goals on 58 shots, pitching in on nine other goals with an assist. He led the Panthers with a plus-20 rating and spent 88 total minutes in the penalty box.
In 1997-98, Warrener played in a career high and Panthers third best 79 regular season games. He went scoreless on 66 shots, dishing out a grand total of four assists. He posted a minus-16 rating, good for the second worst rating on the team, also racking up 99 penalty minutes.
Warrener played in 48 games for the 1998-99 Panthers (zero goals, seven assists, minus-1 rating, 64 PIM) before getting traded to the Buffalo Sabres on March 23 with a fifth round pick (Ryan Milller) for Mike Wilson. He finished out the season with the Sabres, scoring a goal in 13 games.
Warrener totalled parts of five seasons in Buffalo (266 games, nine goals, 33 assists) before getting traded to the Calgary Flames after the 2002-03 season. He was bundled along with Steve Reinprecht for Chris Drury and Steve Begin. He would total four seasons in Calgary (231 games, 11 goals, 26 assists). He is currently still part of the Flames organization, as a scout.
All-Time Statline: Four seasons, 217 games, four goals, 23 assists, 27 points, plus-7 rating, 297 PIM, 11.0 APS.
33. Jaroslav Špaček
Špaček, a 6' defenseman from Rokycany, Czechoslovakia, played five seasons with Plzen HC in the Czech League starting in 1992-93. He totalled 20 goals and 62 assists in 187 contests before playing one season in the Swedish Elite league with Farjestads BK Karlstad. He racked up 10 goals and 16 assists in 45 games in 1997-98. His strong play caught the eye of the Panthers, who drafted him in the fifth round of the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, 117th overall.
Špaček joined the Panthers out of training camp for the 1998-99 campaign. He averaged 19:27 per game with Florida that season, appearing in 63 NHL games, mostly as part of the second pairing. On January 20, he logged a season high two assists in a 5-2 win over the New York Islanders. In total, he scored three goals on 92 shots, assisting on 12 more. He also led the team with a plus-15 rating and only 28 PIM. He also scored four goals and eight assists in 14 contests with the AHL Beast of New Haven.
In 1999-00, Špaček enjoyed eight multi-point games for the team, including a goal and two assists in a 5-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on December 18. He was one of three Panthers to appear in all 82 games, averaging 22:40 per game, second only to first pair mate Robert Svehla. He led Florida defensemen with 10 goals on 111 shots, assisting a blue-line second best 26 assists. He finished the campaign with a plus-7 rating and 53 penalty minutes. He did not score in the Panthers very short postseason appearance that season, a four game sweep at the hands of the New Jersey Devils, accruing a minus-1 rating in the process.
2000-01 would see Špaček play the first 12 games of the season with the Panthers, averaging 19:12 TOI. He scored twice on 21 shots with one assist, a minus-4 rating, and eight PIM. He was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks for Anders Eriksson on November 6.
Špaček played in parts of two seasons in his first tour of duty with Chicago (110 games, eight goals, 28 assists). He later played with the Columbus Blue Jackets (153 games, 16 goals, 55 assists), a second round with the Blackhawks 45 games, seven goals, 17 assists), the Edmonton Oilers (31 games, five goals, 14 assists), the Buffalo Sabres (205 games, 22 goals, 76 assists), and the Montreal Canadiens (145 games, four goals, 36 assists) before joining the Carolina Hurricanes for the second half of the 2011-12 season (34 games, five goals, seven assists). Now 38 years old, the defenseman is currently an unsigned free agent.
All-Time Statline: Three seasons, 158 games, 15 goals, 39 assists, 54 points, plus-18 rating (Panthers sixth all-time), 89 PIM, 11.4 APS.
That's it for today. Thanks for you attention - and make sure to come back tomorrow as we continue our crawl up the listing of Panthers of yore, with a defenseman from Minnesota and a Czech left winger.