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The Daily: Remember When Florida Panthers Had Rat-Throwing?

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Octopus throwing is as much a part of Detroit hockey tradition as Mickey Redmond sayings and Gordie Howe records.  But do you remember when the Florida Panthers fans threw rats on the ice?

Florida Panthers fans got to reminisce this week about their traditions, like when fans celebrated playoff goals by throwing plastic rats onto the ice. Yesterday marked the 28th anniversary of the Panthers’ debut as an NHL franchise.

The rat-throwing didn’t come to Miami Arena until 1996 when the Panthers made their first and only run to the Stanley Cup Final. The rat-infested celebrations started after it was reported that player Scott Mellanby killed a live rat in the Panthers’ dressing room with a hockey stick. Goalie John Vanbiesbrouck called it a “rat trick.”

Many of the players from the Year of the Rat were also there in 1993 when the Florida Panthers launched the franchise in Miami. Today, the play in Sunrise, Florida. That first Panthers’ squad, coached by Roger Nielsen, posted a 33-34-17 record.

It’s hard to believe it’s been 28 years. Mike Foligno was on that first Panthers team and he now has sons in the NHL. Florida Hockey Now’s George Richards writes about the Panthers’ anniversary this morning.

Around the NHL

Detroit:  Bob Duff of Detroit Hockey Now debuts a weekly Detroit Red Wings prospect report with a look at Kiril Tyutyayev

Seattle: The expansion Seattle Kraken were competitive but lost to the Vegas Golden Knights 4-3 in their opener. 

Philadelphia: The Flyers and Claude Giroux could break up after the season? 

Ottawa: The Senators and RFA Brady Tkachuk are no closer to a contract extension. 

Montreal: The Habs paid Nick Suzuki. According to Sportsnet, the third-year center will earn $8 million per season for eight seasons. 

Vancouver: It looked as if forward Alex Chiasson didn’t make the Canucks. But they signed him after waiving Zack MacEwen. 

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