Scott Clemmensen .. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE

Hockey Weekend Across America


Many Canadians are familiar with the annual tradition “Hockey Day in Canada” where CBC will broadcast live from an outport community and features a triple header showdown of six-Canadian based NHL teams demonstrating Canada’s love for the game.

In turn, the USA Hockey association created their own annual event and dubbed it “Hockey Weekend across America” with this weekend being the 5th year of the event.

This weekend is an effort by USA hockey to help push the sport, and help gain interest in the game of hockey across the United States. Sunday the NBC Sports Group will be featuring NHL games throughout the day on NBC, and the NBC Sports Network as the USA hockey association wishes to help attract young athletes to join the game, and develop their skills.

When observing the Florida Panthers current roster, they have only two American born players on the team: Jack Skille from Madison, Wisconsin and Scott Clemmensen of Des Moines Iowa.

Skille is currently playing in his first full season as a Panther after he was acquired on January 9th 2011 along with Hugh Jessiman and David Pacan from the Chicago Blackhawks for Michael Frolik and Alexander Salak.

Skille grew up playing as a member of the USA-Hockey sponsored National Development Team. He spent two seasons with the program where he had 37 points in 42 games before moving onto the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

In 35 games this season, the 24-year old has 3 goals and 7 points as he now struggles to recover from a shoulder injury.  A former 7th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft the Chicago Blackhawks, Skille has picked up 16 goals and 18 assists in 127 career NHL games.

Scott Clemmensen has flourished as the backup netminder for the Panthers this season as he has really found his game, proving himself dependable in key situations.  With Jose Theodore missing action previously due to a knee injury, the Panthers were fortunate to have the veteran Clemmensen available to step in.

Clemmensen, who has spent most of his career as a backup netminder – most notably with the New Jersey Devils behind Martin Brodeur – has put the Panthers team on his back as of late, winning big games, and taking away the starting position from Jose Theodore in the process.

Clemmer has posted a 10-5-5 record so far this season with a 2.74GAA and a 0.908 save percentage, demonstrating that he is the real deal in making 40 saves several times this season. In 144 career games, Clemmensen has gone 60-44-19 between the Florida Panthers, Toronto Maple Leafs, and New Jersey Devils.

Whether he is prepared for the long road ahead and the responsibility of helping the Panthers snap the 10-year postseason drought will soon unfold as he is temporary the number 1 guy considering Jose Theodore is back and forth with injuries, and rookie Jacob Markstrom is out long term due to a knee injury.

Interesting fact: Scott Clemmensen is the first Iowa born player to play in the NHL.

Thanks for reading.

Adam Reid

[email protected]

Tags: Florida Panthers Hockey Hockey Weekend Across America Jack Skille Martin Brodeur New Jersey Devils Scott Clemmensen Toronto Maple Leafs

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