April 26, 2012; Sunrise, FL, USA; A fan with a rat on her hat shows her spirit prior to game seven of the 2012 Eastern Conference quarterfinals between the Florida Panthers and the New Jersey Devils at BankAtlantic Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-US PRESSWIRE

The Rat Trick

Have you ever wondered how the term The Rat Trick term came about, and became the basis for one of the most successful Fansided Sports Network sites?  Well… don’t look any further than this article.

The term was coined after player Scott Mellanby killed a rat in the locker room of the Florida Panthers… and, then went on to score two goals in a game back in the home opener of the 1995-96 regular season with the same hockey stick.  Fans immediately picked up on this, and started throwing plastic rats onto the ice after a player scored a goal to celebrate.

The rat tossing craze came to a peak during the 1996 playoffs where 3,000 rats rained on the ice after goals.  The Panthers employed 40 rink attendants who were know as Exterminators to clear the ice after each goal.  The team also had a sponsorship deal with Orkin.

The National Hockey League stepped in, as they did with the Detroit Red Wings and amended the rules that allowed for refs to call a delay of game penalty to the home team after a warning was issued over the public address system in 1997.

In 2007, the Panthers declared it the Year of the Rat to celebrate the 1996 team by holding an alumni reunion to raise money for the Florida Panthers Foundation.

During the 2011-12 season, and playoffs the rat tossing was revived, but they were thrown only after winning games.

 

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