On The Prowl: Former Florida Panthers in the Stanley Cup Final
The Panthers may have missed the playoffs but a quintet of former players will be looking to claim hockey's ultimate prize.
Although the Florida Panthers sank to the bottom of the standings after capturing the Southeast Division crown last season, five former Cats will be looking to have their name engraved on the Stanley Cup at the end of the series between the Bruins and Blackhawks which starts tonight in Chicago. Keep an eye on these ex-Panthers as they go for post-season glory.
Nathan Horton (BOS - Forward) The former Cats' first-rounder is enjoying a fine post-season campaign and will likely be one of the offensive keys if the Bruins are to best the league-leading Blackhawks. Horton has 17 points (7G/10A) in 16 games over the first three rounds of the playoffs. He has also posted a robust +21 rating. Horton never made the playoffs during his stint with the Panthers but will be looking to pick up a second cup win in just his third season in Beantown.
Dennis Seidenberg (BOS - Defense): Signed as a free agent by the Panthers in 2009, the German defender played just 62 games for Florida before he was dealt by then GM Randy Sexton to the Bruins. Seidenberg has one assist and is +6 in 12 playoff games this season. He will be counted on to help shut down Chicago's speedy forwards during the finals. Like Horton, Seidenberg will be looking for a second cup win since coming over from the Cats.
Matt Bartkowski (BOS - Defense) Bartkowski was drafted by Florida in the seventh round in 2008 but never played for the Panthers. He was part of the Seidenberg trade which netted the Cats Byron Bitz, Craig Weller and a 2010 2nd-round pick. The former Ohio State defender has picked up two points (1G/1A) and has posted a -1 rating in 7 playoff games. This is his first taste of NHL post-season action and he will be hungry to hoist his first cup.
Gregory Campbell (BOS - Forward) The former Cats' third-rounder was enjoying a fine post-season with 7 points (3G/4A) before breaking his leg against the Penguins. Campbell will be out for the final series but will have his name hammered into the chalice for the second time if the Bruins are victorious. Campbell was a hard worker during his five seasons in Florida but was shipped off to Boston with Nathan Horton for Dennis Wideman and two draft picks on June 22, 2010.
Michael Frolik (CHI - Forward) Frolik was drafted by the Panthers in the first round (10th overall) back in 2006, but despite a pair of 20-goal seasons, never quite lived up to expectations. He was traded to Chicago along with Alexander Salak on February 9, 2011 for Jack Skille, Hugh Jessiman and David Pacan. Frolik plays more of a checking role these days but chips in offensively now and then. In 17 playoff games this season Frolik has posted 6 points (3G/3A) and an even rating. The Czech native will be looking to capture the cup for the first time.
Who will win the Stanley Cup?