I thought this would be a good way to help pass the NHL shutdown and take a look back at former Florida Panthers as well as the current guys, going number by number. Most numbers will be worthy of a poll for you lot to vote on who the best player to don a certain number was. This is not one of those, today we’ll go with the second best to sport numero uno.
The recently-retired number one is synonymous with one Panther and that’s goaltender Roberto Luongo.
Luongo is one of three Florida goalies to sport the number one in a regular season game. Let’s take a look at this trio of keepers.
A huge talent drafted fourth overall by the New York Islanders in 1997, Luongo retired on June 26, 2019 after nineteen seasons in the NHL as the Florida franchise leader in games played (572), wins (230) and shutouts (38). He is currently third all-time in NHL history with 489 wins; second all-time in games played (1044) behind Patrick Roy; and his 77 shutouts is ninth-best in league history. Luogno won gold at the Olympics twice and was the Vancouver Canucks goalie in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final. The Panthers hung Luongo’s #1 from the rafters on March 7. He was the first player in franchise history to receive that honor.
The Panthers selected Weekes in the second round of the 1993 NHL Entry Draft. He was the second-ever selection the team made after taking Rob Neidermayer in the opening round. Weekes appeared in 11 games for the Panthers, and was the first Cat to sport the number one, during the 1997-98 season and compiled an 0-5-1 record before he was traded to the Vancouver Canucks the following summer as part of the package that brought superstar Pavel Bure to Sunrise. In addition to playing for the Panthers and Canucks, Weekes played for Islanders, Tampa Bay Lightning, Carolina Hurricanes, New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils. He retired following the 2008-09 campaign with 105 career wins and 19 shutouts to his credit. Weekes is now a popular mainstay on the NHL Network.
Originally drafted by the New Jersey Devils in 1984, Kirk McLean spent ten and half seasons with the Vancouver Canucks (and backstopped the team to the 1994 Stanley Cup Final) before heading east to the Carolina Hurricanes via trade on January 3, 1998. His stint in Greensboro (this was pre-Raleigh, folks) was a short one, as he only made 8 appearances (4-2) for the team formerly known as the Hartford Whalers before he was dealt to the Panthers for Ray Sheppard on March 8. He went 4-2-1 to finish out the year and then posted a 9-10-4 record and two shutouts for the Cats in 1998-99 while serving as the backup to Sean Burke. McLean played an additional two seasons with the New York Rangers, the club that bested his Canucks in seven classic games in ‘94, before calling it quits.
Who was the second-best Panthers to wear Number 1?
This poll is closed