Monday evening marks the first time Florida has held the ominous "worst overall" moniker heading into the lottery since its league-wide adoption in 1995 - meaning the Cats have a 25% chance of landing the first pick in June's NHL Entry Draft, and a 100% certainty of selecting no lower (or is it higher?) than second.
The Panthers won the lottery twice, in 2002 and '03, gaining first-overall slotting from league doormats Atlanta and Carolina respectively. As is infamously common knowledge 'round these here parts, Florida elected to trade those picks prior to the draft in each year, essentially swapping Rick Nash for Jay Bouwmeester and Marc-Andre Fleury for Nathan Horton. Though the logic in 2003 was at least defensible (the Cats already had Roberto Luongo), the Bouw/Nash "effort" a year earlier continues to stir debate.
Otherwise, this is the Panthers' debut at Number One - or Number Thirty, if you prefer - and Sunrise Overlord Dale Tallon will be in attendance as the ping pong balls settle out to determine the initial order of selection; the full list of odds for participating clubs can be found here. The lottery will be carried live on NBC Sports Network and TSN, and of course we'll fire up an Open Thread at 7 ET to get in the proper mood, so do join us.