Greetings From South Florida!

October 8, 1995,  the start of the 95-96 season, the Florida Panthers were in the dressing room preparing for their home opener when a rat made it’s way into the room.  Forward Scott Mellanby used his stick to “shoot” the rat across the room thus killing it .  He then went out and scored two goals in the Panthers 4-3 victory over the Calgary Flames.  His two goal night and killing of the rat prompted goaltender John (The Beezer) Vanbiesbrouck to comment that Mellanby had a
“Rat Trick”.  I cannot take credit for the name of this blog either, but it certainly is fitting.

Fans soon heard of the comment and after the Panthers would score a goal, plastic rats would be tossed out onto the ice in celebration.  Remember those days?  As we know the Panthers went on to the Stanley Cup Finals that year, and while they were swept by the Colorado Avalanche, the team had won the hearts of the South Florida Community.

Known for their hard work, tenacious play and tight defense, it was hard for anyone not to get on the bandwagon.  Well it has been a long 13 years since those finals and it’s been 8 years since they made the playoffs.  The time to get that old tradition back is now.  Coach Peter DeBoer in his second year has firmly indicated that this is his team, and he is going to do things his way.   He emphasizes many of those attributes the Panthers had in the mid to late 90′s that’s been sorely missing from previous Panthers’ squad’s.  Maybe we can refer to this as The Panther Way!

While the changes in the front office this offseason are still unresolved as the Panthers are without a General Manager as Assistant GM Randy Sexton has been running the show, life goes on.  In addition, ownership change which in my opinion is much needed has yet to be finalized as well.

I welcome this site not only for Panther fans, but for fans of all teams to come to and read and comment on.  Don’t expect me to be soft however.  When things are going well, I’ll say so, but when things are not, you’ll know it.  I am dying for this team to not only make the playoffs, but challenge once again for The Stanley Cup.  There’s alot of work to do, but if the bar is set high, then there should be no excuses.

I would like to thank both Zach and Adam for their hard work and giving me the opportunity to do this.  I am really looking forward to the upcoming season and to chatting with all of you.  Take a look at my about page to learn a bit more about me .

Thanks for reading!


  • Zach

    Welcome to the network!

  • Ethan Novak

    Hey Frank. Ethan from Ramblin’ Fan here. Welcome to the network.

  • Tim Redinger

    Frank – welcome aboard – its nice to see another hockey blog on the network!

  • Wally Fish

    Welcome to the family Frank!

  • Frank Rekas

    Thanks guys! It’s great to be here. Going to be fun! Can’t wait for the season to start.

  • Adam

    Welcome to the fam, Frank!

  • Jeffrey Bartl

    Glad to have you aboard, Frank. Thanks for reading Blackhawk Up, and I’ll be chiming in here, too. Good luck!

  • Frank Rekas

    Thanks Jeff. I’m sure we’ll have lots to talk about!

  • Sergei Feldman


    Welcome! I was tempted to greet you with pleasantries, but I happened upon your little nugget about not discussing the Pittsburgh Penguins.

    Shameful, I say!

    All kidding aside, nice to see the NHL get more coverage now with the Panthers being represented. Good luck.

    As for the ‘Hawks and Pens…something tells me there’ll be more battles for Lord Stanley in the not-too-distant future. If not, for your sake, maybe the Panthers will get in the way of the Pens.

    We wait and see in the meantime.


  • Frank Rekas

    Hey Sergei: Thanks for the good wishes. No disrespect to you of course. It’s nothing personal, but I’m sure you can appreciate my dedication!

    Glad to be here and helping the blog world grow.
    Chat with you during the season!

  • Justin Everitt

    Welcome to the network Frank. I wish you the best with your new blog and I’ll read as much as I can. Come check out the Flyers blog if you get a chance! Again good luck and I look foward to reading more. :)

  • Frank Rekas

    Hey Justin! Thanks. I try to read all of the Fan Sided hockey blogs daily. Looking forward to the upcoming season.
    Good luck to you as well.