It was a bit surprising to me to find out that only eight players, all defenseman, have sported the #2 since the 1993 birth of the Florida Panthers. I was even more surprised that there has been only quartet of skaters to wear #3, but that's a story for another day. Today, we will look back at the guy that spent the most time sporting that number #2, Terry Carkner.
Carkner had 579 games of NHL experience when the Panthers inked the then free agent defenseman to a two-year deal in the summer of 1995. The Smith Falls, ON native was coming of a tough season that saw him suit up just twenty times for the Detroit Red Wings.
The signing produced immediate dividends with the 29-year-old Carkner playing in 73 regular games and scoring 3 goals and 10 assists to go along with a +10 rating that was tops among the team's defensemen and second-highest on the club behind winger Bill Lindsay's +13 mark.
Carkner appeared in all 22 games of the Cats magical run to the '96 Stanley Cup Final that saw the team fall to the Colorado Avalanche in a four-game sweep. The rugged blueliner posted a +8 rating and collected four helpers.
In 1996-97, Carkner played in 70 games and finished the season with 14 assists, a -4 rating and 96 PIM. He played in all five games of Florida's opening-round playoff loss to the New York Rangers.
The Cats re-signed Carkner, and he played two more seasons for the club, logging 74 games in 1997-98 (1G/7A) and 62 more (2G/9A) in his final campaign in 1998-99. The Panthers failed to make the postseason those years.
A first round pick of the Rangers in 1984, Carkner went on to play 13 seasons and 858 games in the NHL.
Other Panther players to wear #2: Joe Cirella, Lance Pitlick, Lyle Odelein, Lucas Krajicek, Branislav Mezei, Keith Ballard, Alexander Sulzer