Florida Panthers by the numbers: Number 7

Eleven Cats have worn this digit - choose your favorite

The number seven has been worn by a total of eleven Florida Panthers in franchise history, Its original holder was veteran defenseman Brian Benning and it’s currently being sported by pesky defensive foward Colton Sceviour. Let’s take a look at Florida’s group of sevens.

Brian Benning

The first Panther to don the number seven was Brian Benning. Florida signed the veteran free agent on July 13, 1993 to bring additional stability and experience to the Cats blue line. He finished second among the team’s defensemen in four different categories with six goals, 24 assists, 30 points and 107 PIM. Benning appeared in just 24 games during Florida’ second season, contributing one goal and seven assists, before calling it a career.

Mike Casselman

The first forward in our retrospective, Mike Casselman was drafted out of Clarkson University by the Detroit Red Wings in the 1990 NHL Supplemental Draft. He played just three big league games all with the Panthers during the 1995–96 season, going scoreless. He put up career-highs in the American League that season by pouring in 34 goals an 102 points for the Carolina Monarchs and was named to the AHL’s All-Star team.

Rhett Warrener

Florida selected defenseman Rhett Warrener with the first pick of the second round (27th overall) in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft. Warrener played 28 games for Cats in the 1995-96 season and followed that up with 62 games the following year and a career-high 79 games in 1997-98. Warrener’s best season in Florida was in 1996-97 when he scored four goals and added nine assists. After appearing in 48 games with the Cats in 1998-99, Warrener was traded to the Buffalo Sabres along with a fifth round draft pick, for Mike Wilson on March 23, 1999. The Sabres would go on to reach the Stanley Cup Final that season, losing to the Dallas Stars. Warrener played a total of 217 games with Florida and produced four goals, 27 points and 297 PIM.

Mike Wilson

Following the aforementioned trade, Mike Wilson took over the number from Warrener and appeared in just four scoreless games with the Panthers to close out the 1998-99 campaign. Wilson enjoyed his best NHL season in 1999-2000, setting career-highs in goals (4), assists (16) and points (20) while posting a +10 rating. Wilson made just 19 appearances (0G/1A)  with the big club and played four games with the AHL’s Louisville Panthers in 2000-01. He would sign with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the summer of 2001 and spend the majority of the rest of his career as a minor-leaguer.

Matt Herr

Like Casselman, Matt Herr was an unheralded forward who played three scoreless games for the Panthers during the 2001-02 season. Originally drafted in the fourth round (93rd overall) by the Washington Capitals in 1994, Herr spent most of his professional career in the AHL, but he did make a total of 58 NHL appearances, producing four goals and nine points.  He also wore the number 42 in his short stint here.

Pavel Trnka

The Czech-born Trnka was drafted in the fifth round (104th overall) by the then Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in the 1994 draft and started his NHL career with the Ducks in 1997, staying there for six seasons before he was traded to the Panthers, along with Matt Cullen and a fourth round pick in 2003, for Sandis Ozolinsh and Lance Ward on January 30, 2003. In 22 games following the trade, Trnka produced three assists for his new team. Trnka played in 67 games for Florida during the 2003-04 season and scored three goals and 13 assists to go along with a +2 rating and 51 PIM. Trnka returned to Europe the following season and retired after playing the 2011-12 campaign with Vitkovice HC of the Czech Extraliga.

Alexander Karpovtsev

Karpovtsev played a total of 596 NHL games with five different teams, including a largely forgotten six-game scoreless stint with the Panthers early in the 2005-06 season. He originally signed as a free agent with Florida on July 14, 2004, but that first season of his contract was didn’t happen due to the lockout. On September 7, 2011, Karpovtsev lost his life when the aircraft carrying nearly his entire Lokomotiv team, crashed just outside Yaroslavl, Russia. RIP, Alexander.

Steve Montador

The Panthers acquired Montador, along with Dustin Johner, in exchange for Kristian Huselius on December 2, 2005 and he appeared in 51 games and he produced a goal and five assists following the trade. Montador scored a goal and eight assists and racked up 119 PIM while appearing in 72 games in 2006-07. The following season, his last in Florida, he notched a career-high eight goals and added 15 helpers in 73 games to break the 20-point plateau for the first time. The popular Montador would leave the Cats to sign with the Anaheim Ducks in the summer of 2008 and go on to play with the Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Chicago Blackhawks and KHL’s  Medveščak Zagreb. He unexpectedly passed away on February 15, 2015 at the age of 35. RIP, Steve.

Noah Welch

Originally drafted in the second round (54th overall) by the Penguins in 2001, Welch played a total of 29 games for the Panthers spread over three different seasons after he was acquired from Pittsburgh on February 27, 2007 for veteran forward Gary Roberts. Welch put up a goal and an assist in a 23-game stint with the Cats in 2008-09, his only points in a Florida uniform. He went on to make NHL stops with the Tampa Bay Lightning and Atlanta Thrashers and finished his career after an effective seven-year run in the Swedish Hockey League.

Dmitry Kulikov

Florida drafted Kulikov with the 14th overall pick in the 2009 draft after the young Russian enjoyed a standout 62-point season for the Drummondville Voltigeurs of the QMJHL. Kulikov made the Panthers as an 18-year-old and appeared in 68 games, scoring three goals and 16 points. He would go to play six more seasons with the Cats, with his best for Florida coming in 2011-12, when produced career-bests in assists (24) and points (28). He scored a career-high eight goals during the 2013-14 campaign. On June 25, 2016, Kulikov was traded to the Sabres, along with the 33rd overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft in exchange for defenseman Mark Pysyk and picks 38 and 89 in that draft. The best and long-running number seven in club history, Kulikov played a total of 460 games and produced 28 goals and 110 assists in his seven seasons with the Panthers.

Colton Sceviour

The current holder of the number is hard-working forward Colton Sceviour. A fourth round pick (112th overall) of the Dallas Stars in 2007, Sceviour left that organization as a free agent to sign a two-year contract with the Panthers on July 1, 2016. Sceviour played 156 games and put up a total of 20 goals and 48 points in his first two years with the club to earn a three-year extension. Last season, Sceviour produced five goals and 15 points in 59 games and had six goals and 16 points in 69 games this year before the season was postponed. The 31-year-old will see his first postseason action since 2016 if the NHL is able to restart later this summer.

Who is your favorite number seven?

Brian Benning2
Mike Casselman0
Rhett Warrener9
Mike Wilson0
Matt Herr0
Pavel Trnka1
Alexander Karpovtsev0
Steve Montador2
Noah Welch0
Dmitry Kulikov29
Colton Sceviour12