LBC's All-Time Florida Panthers Roster Countdown: 111-109
It's Friday again, and time for our last countdown entry of the week. If you want to know how the list was put together, or have questions why certain players seem too low or too high, click here.
Yesterday, we reviewed Finnish goaltender Jani Hurme (4-11-6, 2.88, .907), Canadian defenseman Greg Hawgood (33 games, two goals, 14 assists), and Canadian right winger David Nemirovsky (91 games, 16 goals, 22 assists). In today's recap, we'll look into a Minnesotan defenseman and two centers, one from Saskatchewan, and the other from the Czech Republic.
To go on with the show, click below.
111. Lance Pitlick
Pitlick was a 6' defenseman from Minneapolis. He was chosen in the ninth round of the 1986 NHL Entry Draft by the Minnesota North Stars, with the 180th overall pick. He would elect to instead attend the University of Minnesota, playing four years of collegiate hockey with the Golden Gophers. He graduated with the Class of 1990 after having scored 11 goals and 29 assists in 144 games. After graduation, he signed a free agent contract to play with for the Philadelphia Flyers organization.
After graduation, Pitlick reported to the AHL Hershey Bears, with whom he appeared exclusively over the next four seasons of minor league hockey. In 179 games, he ended up with 15 goals, 38 assists and 251 PIM. The Flyers never called him up, and Pitlick signed on to play for the Ottawa Senators prior to the 1994-95 season.
Pitlick opened the season as part of the Prince Edward Island Senators, scoring eight goals and 19 assists in 61 games. Near the end of February, he finally made his first NHL appearance, at the age of 27. He played in the Senators last 15 games of the season, finishing with a minus-5 rating and one assist while going scoreless in 11 shots on goal.
Pitlick spent parts of five seasons with the Senators, racking up 11 goals on 178 shots, along with 25 assists and 200 PIM. During the 1999 offseason, he signed on to appear with the Panthers.
1999-00 would see Pitlick appear in 62 contests, along with four additional playoff matches (all losses to the New Jersey Devils). He scored a game winner in his fourth game with Florida, in a 2-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens. Over the course of the season, he posted an ATOI of 16:33, mostly on the Cats third pairing. He ended up scoring three goals on 26 shots with five assists, 44 PIM, and a plus-7 rating.
In 2000-01, Pitlick appeared in 68 games, scoring one goal on 24 shots along with two assists. He played an average of 13:35 per game, finishing with a minus-5 rating and 42 PIM. In 2001-02, he spent a great portion of the season in the pressbox, appearing in only 35 games for the Panthers as their number seven defenseman. He managed one goal on 15 shots with an assist and a minus-14 rating. He retired following the season.
Pitlick's nephew, Tyler Pitlick, is currently playing with the Oklahoma City Barons in the AHL.
All-Time Statline: Three seasons, 165 games, five goals, eight assists, 13 points, minus-12 rating, 98 PIM, 3.0 APS
110. Kamil Kreps
Kreps was a 6' center from Litomerice in the Czech Republic. He was selected by the Panthers in the second round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft with the 38th overall pick. In three seasons with the OHL Brampton Battalion, he racked up 57 goals and 93 assists in 178 games, adding 10 goals and 13 assists in 23 playoff contests.
Kreps made his professional debut in 2004-05, during the lockout. He stayed in practice by splitting the season between the ECHL Texas Wildcatters (12 games, five goals, six assists) and the AHL San Antonio Rampage (58 games, five goals, six assists). He would spend most of the next two seasons on the AHL Rochester American's roster, collecting 27 goals and 40 assists in 111 contests. He earned the first of three 2006-07 callups in January, ultimately appearing in 14 games for the Panthers. He scored his first NHL goal in a 7-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on April 6. In total, he scored just that goal on 20 shots, adding an assist in 11:13 per match.
2007-08 would see Kreps spend the entire season with Florida, averaging 12:59 TOI in 76 games. He scored eight times on 99 shots, adding 17 helpers and a rating of plus-10 as the Panthers finished nine points out of the playoffs.
Kamil Kreps (FLA) vs. Olaf Kolzig (WSH) Shootout November 28, 2007 (via theshootouts)
In 2008-09, Kreps appeared in 66 games with the Cats, scoring four goals on 77 shots while averaging 13:58 TOI. He chipped in with 15 assists and finished the season at plus-2.
Kamil Kreps - Florida Panthers Goal 12-12-08 vs. Calgary Flames (via NHLSNIPERSdotCOM)
Kreps again played in 76 games for the Panthers in 2009-10, playing 12:42 per night. He took 83 shots on goal, potting five of them with nine assists and a minus-7 rating. He played 2010-11 with Karpat in Finland, totalling 14 goals and 15 assists in 55 games. 2011-12 would see Kreps play in the KHL with Astana Barys, scoring nine times with 20 helpers in 52 contests.
All-Time Statline: Four seasons, 232 games, 18 goals, 42 assists, 60 points, plus-4 rating, 71 PIM, 3.1 APS
109. Mike Sillinger
Sillinger was a 5'10" center from Regina, Saskatchewan. He was selected by the Detroit Red Wings in the first round of the 1989 NHL Entry Draft with the 11th overall pick. In three seasons with the WHL Regina Pats, he totalled 128 goals and 175 assists in 209 games. He would also play in 15 playoff contests with the Pats, scoring 14 goals and 12 assists.
Sillinger is the very definition of the term, "journeyman." He holds the NHL record for playing with different teams, with 12. Before joining the Panthers, he spent time with the Detroit Red Wings (129 games, 10 goals, 45 assists), the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim (77 games, 15 goals, 26 assists), the Vancouver Canucks (138 games, 28 goals, 32 assists), the Philadelphia Flyers (52 games, 11 goals, 14 assists) and the Tampa Bay Lightning (121 games, 27 goals, 27 assists). The Bolts sent him to the Panthers on March 14, 2000 for Ryan Johnson and Dwayne Hay.
Sillinger appeared in 13 games with the Panthers to close out the 1999-00 season. He scored six points in his first four games as a Panther, including three assists in a 4-2 win over the New York Islanders on March 18 and two goals in a 4-3 win over the New York Rangers on March 21. He ended up scoring four goals on 20 shots, along with four assists in 19:33 ATOI. He would add three goals in four postseason matches against the Devils fully half of Florida's scoring total.
In 2000-01, Sillinger scored 13 goals on 100 shots along with 21 helpers and a minus-12 rating while averaging 18:52 TOI. He dished out three helpers on February 24 in a 5-4 loss to the New York Islanders. The Panthers sent him to the Ottawa Senators for future considerations on March 13.
After playing with the Senators (13 games, three goals, four assists), Sillinger would go on to play with the Columbus Blue Jackets (155 games, 38 goals, 48 assists), the Phoenix Coyotes (60 games, eight goals, six assists), the St. Louis Blues (64 games, 27 goals, 24 assists), the Nashville Predators (31 games, 10 goals, 12 assists), and the New York Islanders (141 games, 42 goals, 45 assists). He is the current Director of Player Development for the Edmonton Oilers (that's 13 teams if you want to count it).
All-Time Statline: Two seasons, 68 games, 17 goals, 25 assists, 42 points, minus-13 rating, 60 PIM, 3.2 APS.
Thanks for reading today's entry in the canon of Florida Panther's hockey. Make sure you leave comments below, and check back for Monday's article, in which we profile a Canadian goaltender and two defensemen, one from Minnesota and the other from North Vancouver.