I have been jokingly asked by a loyal fan and follower of our site to do this segment on number 17. At first thought, I said to myself, I really don’t believe that many players wore the number, and quite honestly I can’t think of one right off the top of my head. When I went to start the article, not being sure that I would have anything to write about for this post, I couldn’t believe how many Florida Panther players wore it. 12. Yes that’s right TWELVE! Here they are:
Mike Foligno: Most likely the most famous NHL player to wear this number for the Panthers, he was in the twilight of his career when he joined the Panthers for the 1992-1994 season. He played 39 games for Florida, scoring four goals and getting five assists for nine points. Foligno a RW was better known for his days in Buffalo and Toronto playing for the Sabres and Leafs where he made his goal scoring celebration his personal trademark.
We’ll do the rest alphabetically since there’s so many:
Greg Adams: Greg played for 16 seasons in the NHL, most of them with Vancouver, and was also in the twilight of his career by the time he landed here in South Florida in 2000-2001. Greg scored 355 goals in his NHL career, with 11 of them coming in his final NHL season with the Panthers. One of the most respected players in the NHL during the time he played, he unfortunately came to us too late.
Viacheslav Butsayev: Say that three times fast. Butsayev was a Panther for one game before he was traded to the Ottawa Senators for a draft pick in 1999. He played 16 minutes in that obe game, and was a minus one with one minor penalty. I honestly don’t remember him.
Matt Cullen: Cullen was acquired in a trade along with defenceman Pavel Trnka from the Anaheim Ducks in 2003 with the Panthers sending Sandis Ozolinsh and Lance Ward the other way. In parts of two seasons Cullen played 86 games and accumulated 31 total points. He was less than impressive during his time here, and was not signed following the 2004 season. He signed as a free agent with the Carolina Hurricanes where he turned his career around.
Dwayne Hay: Dwayne played 15 games for the Panthers and I’ll bet you don’t remember one. He averaged just over six minutes of ice time and was a non factor for those minutes. Dwayne had no points and two penalty minutes in those 15 games. He was traded in 1998 to the Panthers for Esa Tikkanen. Yes, that Esa Tikkanen.
Ryan Johnson: Drafted in the second round by the Panthers, 36th overall, Ryan ultimately became one of the best 4th liners in the league. Dependable, good at faceoffs and adept at killing penalties. Johnson was traded with Dwayne Hay to Tampa for Mike Sillinger in 2000. Florida missed him so much they got him back in 2001. Johnson last played for the Chicago Blackhawks in 2011.
Jon Matsumoto: Acquired in a minor league deal from Carolina in 2012, Matsumoto played one game for Florida during a flurry of injuries to the forwards. He’s had a decent AHL career, but hasn’t been given ample opportunity to transfer that to the NHL.
Kenndal McArdle: A first round pick of the Panthers in 2005, Kenndal never lived up to the hype, or expectations of a top pick. Two successful seasons with the Moose Jaw Warriors had the Panthers thinking he could be that power forward the organization was longing for. It. Didn’t. Work. Out. The Panthers traded him to the Winnipeg Jets for Angelo Esposito before last season began. Esposito is now playing in Europe. McArdle also wore number 71 which was not meant to confuse you.
Garth Murray: Picked up for toughness at a time when the Panthers were lacking it, Murray played six games for Florida after being picked up on waivers from the Montreal Canadiens. An injury shortened his year, and the next season Garth found himself in Phoenix.
Jason Podollan: Drafted in round two by Florida in 1994, Podollan’s junior success never translated with the same impact in the NHL. Matter of fact Podollan played in only 41 NHL games six seasons, scoring once. He was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Kirk Muller.
Dave Tomlinson: Tomlinson was sent to the Panthers by Toronto for cash in 1993. Hopefully it was less than $100. That was back in the day when teams made cash transactions for players. Something that would never happen today. In 42 NHL games, Dave scored once, and had three assists. He later bounced around the AHL and Europe.
Steve Washburn: Washburn was picked in the third round by Florida in the 1993 draft (78th overall). Washburn played parts of four seasons with the Panthers, with the 1997-1998 campaign being his most productive. In 58 games Washburn scored 11 times, and had eight assists. Washburn was later claimed off waivers by the Vancouver Canucks.
A fairly unimpressive list of players for the most part, with the exception of Greg Adams and Mike Foligno. 425 players have worn the number 17 with Peter Marsh and Wayne Presley of the Chicago Blackhawks being my favorites. Both players were kind of underdogs, which might be why I rooted for them. Just wanted them to have some success for whatever reason.
I’d like to thank my good friend Chantal otherwise known as @habsgirl4life for the suggestion. I’ll bet she thought she would never see this!
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