About The Florida Panthers

For a quarter century, the Florida Panthers have brought excitement, entertainment and surprises to South Florida. Established in 1993, the Florida Panthers soon proved to be a force in the Eastern Conference. In only their third year, the 1995-1996 season, they rocketed to the playoffs, led by their top scorers — Scott Mellanby and Rob Niedermayer — and the goaltending of John Vanbiesbrouck. They defeated the Boston Bruins (on Bill Lindsay’s memorable series clincher) in the first round. Florida then upset the Philadelphia Flyers and the Pittsburgh Penguins to advance to the Stanley Cup Final. There, the Panthers were swept by a powerful Colorado Avalanche team.

In 1996-1997, the team fizzled after a hot start and lost in the playoffs to Wayne Gretzky and the New York Rangers. Three years later, and one year after moving into their new arena, the Panthers reached the playoffs again behind a 94-point season from the NHL’s leading goal scorer Pavel Bure, aka “The Russian Rocket.” Even though the Panthers boasted two 70-point scorers in Ray Whitney and Viktor Kozlov playing alongside Bure, the Panthers again fell in the first round, this time to the eventual Stanley Cup champs, the New Jersey Devils.

More than a decade of struggles followed, until the 2011-2012 season. Led by the balanced scoring attack of Tomas Fleischmann, Stephen Weiss, Kris Versteeg, Jason Garrison and Brian Campbell — the Panthers won the Southeast Division. Facing the Devils in the playoffs, the Panthers took a 3-2 series lead, but New Jersey rallied in overtime in Game 6 and double overtime in Game 7 to advance.

The team’s latest foray into the playoffs came in 2015-2016, when, after a franchise-record 12-game winning streak, the Jaromir Jagr-led Panthers won the Atlantic Division. Despite Florida’s best regular season in franchise history, the New York Islanders upset them in the first round of the playoffs.

From the improbable season of the "Rat Trick" to Robert Luongo's string of NHL records, over 25 years the Panthers have delighted fans with some of the most famous names and accomplishments in recent NHL history.
Some Florida Panthers History Highlights
December 10, 1992
  • December 10, 1992
  • October 6, 1993
  • October 8, 1995
  • April 17-June 10, 1996
  • October 9, 1998
  • April 13, 2006
  • April 7, 2012
  • September 27, 2013
  • Dec 15, 2015-Jan 10, 2016
  • April 9, 2016
Wayne Huizenga was awarded an NHL expansion franchise for the future Florida Panthers.
Panthers Hockey Hall of Fame Honorees
Panthers player 2006-2007,
inducted 2011
Panthers player 1992-2002,
inducted 2012
Panthers player 1997-1999,
inducted 2010
Panthers GM 1993-1994,
inducted as a player 1987
Igor Larionov
Panthers player 2000-2001,
inducted 2008
Roger Neilson
Panthers head coach 1993-1995,
inducted as a Builder in 2002
Joe Nieuwendyk
Panthers player 2005-2007,
inducted 2011
William (Billy) John Smith
Panthers goaltending coach 1993-2000,
inducted as a player 1993
Dave Strader
Panthers broadcaster 2005-2007,
Foster Hewitt Award Winner 2017
Bill Torrey
Panthers president 1993-2001,
inducted as a Builder in 1995
Panthers Playoff Appearances

Won Conference Quarterfinal
(4-1) v. Boston Bruins

Won Conference Semifinal
(4-2) v. Philadelphia Flyers

Won Conference Final
(4-3) v. Pittsburgh Penguins

Lost Stanley Cup Final
(4-0) v. Colorado Avalanche
Lost Conference Quarterfinal
(4-0) v. New Jersey Devils

Lost Conference Quarterfinal
(4-3) v. New Jersey Devils
Lost Conference Quarterfinal
(4-1) v. New York Rangers
Lost First Round
(4-2) v. New York Islanders
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