The last time Vancouver wandered into Florida they were beaten on a night where the Panthers gave away free flat screens for every goal Bob gave up. Ah, pre-recession hi-jinks. Seems fair though considering Bertuzzi only played seven games for Florida. I still can't believe that, what a joke.
Some other memorable tidbits to snack on between Vancouver and the place where they historically send disgruntled right wingers:
- In the '93-'94 season when the Canucks went to the SCF, they first faced Florida and lost to them. Twice. By the same score (2-1).
- In 1998 Mark Messier's forehead notched his 1,000 assist on a Alexander Mogilny goal against Florida, making him only the 6th player in NHL history to reach that milestone at the time.
- Later that same year, Messier's forehead scored the 600th goal of his career against the Panthers (and Kirk McLean...sigh). Vancouver won 5-0 behind a little black on black violence and netminding dominance by now-Isles GM Garth Snow.
- When the Panthers chucked Luongo and Krajicek to Vancouver, they also included a sixth round pick that turned out to be Sergei Shirokov, another potential "enigmatic" Russian winger that Vancouver will undoubtedly trade back to Florida in about five years time for their best defenseman and what's left of David Booth.
- Prior to the aforementioned 2008 loss, Vancouver hasn't lost to Florida since 1999, winning four times and tying them twice. If you're too young to remember what a hockey "tie" is, it's a horrible nasty thing that prophet Bettman and his angelic white horse destroyed so never you mind little Mr. & Mrs. Curiosity.
- Other notable players who have worn both the Orca and the Kitty Cat: Greg Adams, Dave "Man up Hodgson!" Gagner, Martin Gelinas, Jessie Belanger (we're stretching "notable" here), Tanner Glass, the fists that are attached to Lee Goren, Mr. Hordichuk, Kristi Yamaguchi's husband, Ryan Johnson's titanium nutsack, Dave Lowry, Bryan McCabe (stifled laughter), Byron Ritchie, that Kirk McLean chump, Esa Tikkanen's linguistics and, of course, Mike Sillinger. [note: I ignored the players involved in the Bure and Bertuzzi deals, but I missed some folks: Jason Cullimore, Sean Burke, Greg Hawgood, Igor Larionov, Mikael Samuelsson, Kevin Weekes and technically John Vanbiesbrouck]
- Large chunks of both fanbases would like to take Mike Keenan, give him hundreds of paper cuts, squirt lemon juice in the cuts, roll him around in gunpowder and watch him sweat while they flick lit matches at him.
Have I also mentioned I'm jiving on some cold meds these days? So that last one could be just me. But seriously, last night I dreamt Vancouver had Niclas Bergfors. Why? I have no idea.