1993–94 Florida Panthers season

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1993–94 Florida Panthers
Division 5th Atlantic
Conference 9th Eastern
1993–94 record 33–34–17
Home record 15–18–9
Road record 18–16–8
Goals for 233
Goals against 233
Team information
General Manager Bob Clarke
Coach Roger Neilson
Captain Brian Skrudland
Alternate captains Joe Cirella
Scott Mellanby
Arena Miami Arena
Team leaders
Goals Scott Mellanby (30)
Assists Scott Mellanby (30)
Points Scott Mellanby (60)
Penalties in minutes Brent Severyn (156)
Plus/minus Brian Skrudland (+13)
Wins John Vanbiesbrouck (21)
Goals against average John Vanbiesbrouck (2.53)

The 1993–94 Florida Panthers season was the Panthers' first season. Blockbuster Video magnate H. Wayne Huizenga was awarded an NHL franchise for his native Miami in 1992. The team played at the Miami Arena, and its first major stars were New York Rangers goaltender castoff John Vanbiesbrouck, rookie Rob Niedermayer, and Scott Mellanby, who scored 30 goals during the regular season.

Offseason[edit]

Expansion Draft[edit]

# Player Drafted from Drafted by
1. John Vanbiesbrouck (G) Vancouver Canucks Florida Panthers
4. Mark Fitzpatrick (G) Quebec Nordiques Florida Panthers
5. Daren Puppa (G) Toronto Maple Leafs Florida Panthers
7. Milan Tichy (D) Chicago Blackhawks Florida Panthers
10. Paul Laus (D) Pittsburgh Penguins Florida Panthers
12. Joe Cirella (D) New York Rangers Florida Panthers
13. Alexander Godynyuk (D) Calgary Flames Florida Panthers
15. Gord Murphy (D) Dallas Stars Florida Panthers
18. Steve Bancroft (D) Winnipeg Jets Florida Panthers
20. Stephane Richer (D) Boston Bruins Florida Panthers
21. Gord Hynes (D) Philadelphia Flyers Florida Panthers
24. Tom Fitzgerald (C/RW) New York Islanders Florida Panthers
25. Jesse Belanger (C) Montreal Canadiens Florida Panthers
27. Scott Levins (C) Winnipeg Jets Florida Panthers
30. Scott Mellanby (RW) Edmonton Oilers Florida Panthers
32. Brian Skrudland (C) Calgary Flames Florida Panthers
33. Mike Hough (LW) Washington Capitals Florida Panthers
35. Dave Lowry (LW) St. Louis Blues Florida Panthers
38. Bill Lindsay (LW) Quebec Nordiques Florida Panthers
40. Andrei Lomakin (RW) Philadelphia Flyers Florida Panthers
41. Randy Gilhen (C) Tampa Bay Lightning Florida Panthers
43. Doug Barrault (LW) Dallas Stars Florida Panthers
46. Marc Labelle (LW) Ottawa Senators Florida Panthers
48. Pete Stauber (LW) Detroit Red Wings Florida Panthers

NHL Draft[edit]

Round Pick Player Nationality College/junior/club team
1. 5. Rob Niedermayer (C)  Canada Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL)

Regular season[edit]

October[edit]

The Panthers played their first ever regular season game on October 6, as they recorded a 4-4 tie on the road against the Chicago Blackhawks. Scott Mellanby scored the first ever Panthers goal, against Ed Belfour. On October 9, in their third game, the club earned their first victory and shutout, as John Vanbiesbrouck made 36 saves in a 2-0 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. On October 12, Florida played their first home game, losing 2-1 to the Pittsburgh Penguins, as Mellanby scored the first goal on home ice. The Panthers first win at home came on October 14, as they defeated the Ottawa Senators 5-4, as Rob Niedermayer scored the winning goal midway through the third period. In a game against the Los Angeles Kings on October 19, the Panthers fired 52 shots at Kings goaltender Kelly Hrudey, however, the club had to settle for a 2-2 tie.

After a five game winless streak, in which Florida posted a 0-3-2 record, the team finished October with two consecutive wins, defeating the New York Islanders 5-2 and the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1. Florida finished the month with a 4-5-3 record, good for fifth in the Atlantic Division, and tied for eighth in the Eastern Conference.

November[edit]

Florida opened November with two consecutive losses, before heading out for a three game road trip. Florida went a perfect 3-0-0 on the road, highlighted by a 3-1 win over the defending Stanley Cup champions, the Montreal Canadiens, as John Vanbiesbrouck led the way with 37 saves. The Panthers struggled on their five game homestand, as they went 1-4-0, only earning a victory against the Washington Capitals. Florida ended the month on a quick two game road trip, losing to the Boston Bruins, then suffered their first ever shutout loss, as they were defeated 4-0 by the Hartford Whalers.

At the end of November, the Panthers had a record of 8-13-3, earning 19 points, and sat in sixth in the Atlantic Division, and 11th in the Eastern Conference.

December[edit]

Florida started December with a solid 2-1 overtime victory over the Buffalo Sabres, as Jesse Belanger scored the overtime winner, and John Vanbiesbrouck was solid with 33 saves. The Panthers then went on a five game road trip, beginning with a 2-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks on December 5. On December 7, Florida faced their expansion cousins, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, winning the game 3-2. The next night, the Panthers defeated the Los Angeles Kings 6-5. They finished their road swing with a 5-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets and a 4-4 tie with the Dallas Stars, going 3-1-1. Florida finished the month continuing to play good hockey, going 3-1-2 in their remaining six games in December.

By the end of the month, Florida had an overall record of 15-15-6, getting 36 points, sitting in fifth place in the Atlantic Division, and 10th in the Eastern Conference, only one point out of eighth place for the final playoff position.

January[edit]

The Panthers began January where they left off in December, earning a 4-2 win over the Anaheim Mighty Ducks on New Years Day, to move over the .500 level, and into eighth place in the Eastern Conference. The club then began a six game road trip, which began with two losses, 3-2 to the New York Rangers, and 4-1 to the New Jersey Devils. Florida rebounded in the next two games, earning ties against the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins. The team finished the road trip with two wins, defeating the Montreal Canadiens 5-2, and the New York Islanders 2-1, to earn a respectable 2-2-2 record. Florida continued winning when the returned home, beating the Washington Capitals 5-1 on January 19, followed by a 8-3 blowout victory against the Montreal Canadiens to push their record to 20-17-8. The club finished January going 1-0-2 in their last three games, as they extended their overall unbeaten streak to nine games.

At the end of January, the Panthers had a 21-17-10 record, earning 52 points, and were in third place in the Atlantic Division, and sixth in the Eastern Conference.

February[edit]

The team opened February with two games on the road, and in the first game on February 1, the Panthers unbeaten streak came to an end, as the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated Florida 2-1. The Panthers rebounded the next night, defeating the Ottawa Senators 4-1, as Rob Niedermayer had two goals, and Mark Fitzpatrick made 32 saves for the win. The team returned home for two games, as they were blown out 7-2 against the Buffalo Sabres on February 4, however, Florida won their next game, shutting out the Boston Bruins 3-0, with Mark Fitzpatrick making 19 saves. The Panthers lost their next game in overtime, 4-3 to the Philadelphia Flyers, as Eric Lindros scored the winning goal, however, the team followed up the heart breaking loss with a solid 4-3 win over the New York Islanders. On February 13, the Panthers defeated the Vancouver Canucks 2-1 to improve to 25-20-10 on the season.

The club then went on another quick two game road trip, where they lost both games, including a 7-3 blowout loss to the Detroit Red Wings. When returning home, the Red Wings defeated Florida again, this time by a 4-1 score, as the club was on a three game losing streak. Florida snapped the losing streak with a 3-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets, however, the team would lose their last three games of the month to fall back to the .500 level.

At the end of February, Florida had a 26-26-10 record, earning 62 points, which had them in fourth place in the Atlantic Division, and eighth in the Eastern Conference, tied with the Philadelphia Flyers in points, however, Florida had two games in hand.

March[edit]

Florida continued to struggle into March, losing their first two games, 3-2 to the New Jersey Devils, and 4-1 to the Hartford Whalers, to push their losing streak to four games, and seven of their last eight games. On March 7, the team began a three game road trip to Western Canada, and they put an end to their losing streak as Mark Fitzpatrick made 34 saves in a 2-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks. In their next game against the Edmonton Oilers, the Panthers won 5-3 to go back to the .500 level. The club finished the trip with a loss to the Calgary Flames by a 4-2 score.

Florida returned home for a six game home stand, in which the Panthers went unbeaten, going 3-0-3, which included wins over the New York Rangers, Calgary Flames and Philadelphia Flyers, making their overall season record at 31-29-13. On March 24, the Panthers nearly overcame a 4-0 deficit, losing 4-3 to the Philadelphia Flyers, to end their unbeaten streak. The club rebounded in their next game, defeating the New York Islanders 3-1. The team ended March with two more losses though, losing to the Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues.

By the end of March, the Panthers had a 32-32-13 record, earning 77 points, which had the club in fourth place in the Atlantic Division, and clinging to eighth in the Eastern Conference for the final playoff position, four points of the ninth place Philadelphia Flyers, and five ahead of the 10th place New York Islanders.

April[edit]

The club opened April with a disappointing 2-2 tie against the lowly Ottawa Senators at home before heading out on a three game road trip. The Panthers continued to struggle, dropping a 3-2 decision to the New York Rangers. On April 5, the Panthers blew a 3-1 third period lead against the Quebec Nordiques, and settled for a 3-3 tie, extending their winless streak to five games. On April 7, Florida overcame a 3-1 deficit, earning a 3-3 tie against the Philadelphia Flyers. The club returned home for their final three games, and the winless streak continued, as the Panthers tied the New Jersey Devils 2-2, followed by a 5-2 loss to the Quebec Nordiques, pushing their winless streak to eight games, as Florida slipped into ninth place, behind the New York Islanders. On April 13, the Panthers were officially eliminated from the post-season, as the Islanders defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning to clinch the eighth and final playoff position. The Panthers played their final game of the season on April 14, defeating the Islanders 4-1.

The Panthers finished the 1993-94 season with a 33-34-17 record, earning 83 points, which is an NHL record for points by an expansion team. Florida finished the season in fifth place in the Atlantic Division, and ninth in the Eastern Conference, just one point of a playoff position.

Season standings[edit]

Atlantic Division
No. CR GP W L T GF GA Pts
1 1 z-New York Rangers 84 52 24 8 299 231 112
2 3 New Jersey Devils 84 47 25 12 306 220 106
3 7 Washington Capitals 84 39 35 10 277 263 88
4 8 New York Islanders 84 36 36 12 282 264 84
5 9 Florida Panthers 84 33 34 17 233 233 83
6 10 Philadelphia Flyers 84 35 39 10 294 314 80
7 12 Tampa Bay Lightning 84 30 43 11 224 251 71

[1] Note: No. = Division rank, CR = Conference rank, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, GF = Goals For, GA = Goals Against, Pts = Points
       Teams that qualified for the playoffs are highlighted in bold.


Schedule and results[edit]

No. R Date Score Opponent Record
1 T October 6, 1993 4–4 OT @ Chicago Blackhawks (1993–94) 0–0–1
2 L October 7, 1993 3–5 @ St. Louis Blues (1993–94) 0–1–1
3 W October 9, 1993 2–0 @ Tampa Bay Lightning (1993–94) 1–1–1
4 L October 12, 1993 1–2 Pittsburgh Penguins (1993–94) 1–2–1
5 W October 14, 1993 5–4 Ottawa Senators (1993–94) 2–2–1
6 T October 17, 1993 3–3 OT Tampa Bay Lightning (1993–94) 2–2–2
7 T October 19, 1993 2–2 OT Los Angeles Kings (1993–94) 2–2–3
8 L October 21, 1993 3–4 OT Toronto Maple Leafs (1993–94) 2–3–3
9 L October 23, 1993 1–2 @ New Jersey Devils (1993–94) 2–4–3
10 L October 26, 1993 2–5 Winnipeg Jets (1993–94) 2–5–3
11 W October 28, 1993 5–2 New York Islanders (1993–94) 3–5–3
12 W October 30, 1993 2–1 OT Tampa Bay Lightning (1993–94) 4–5–3
13 L November 2, 1993 3–4 Philadelphia Flyers (1993–94) 4–6–3
14 L November 3, 1993 3–6 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1993–94) 4–7–3
15 W November 7, 1993 3–1 @ Quebec Nordiques (1993–94) 5–7–3
16 W November 10, 1993 3–1 @ Montreal Canadiens (1993–94) 6–7–3
17 W November 11, 1993 5–4 @ Ottawa Senators (1993–94) 7–7–3
18 L November 14, 1993 2–5 Quebec Nordiques (1993–94) 7–8–3
19 L November 16, 1993 2–4 New York Rangers (1993–94) 7–9–3
20 L November 18, 1993 2–3 Chicago Blackhawks (1993–94) 7–10–3
21 W November 20, 1993 4–3 Washington Capitals (1993–94) 8–10–3
22 L November 23, 1993 1–2 OT Hartford Whalers (1993–94) 8–11–3
23 L November 26, 1993 2–3 @ Boston Bruins (1993–94) 8–12–3
24 L November 27, 1993 0–4 @ Hartford Whalers (1993–94) 8–13–3
25 W December 2, 1993 2–1 OT Buffalo Sabres (1993–94) 9–13–3
26 L December 5, 1993 1–2 @ San Jose Sharks (1993–94) 9–14–3
27 W December 7, 1993 3–2 @ Mighty Ducks of Anaheim (1993–94) 10–14–3
28 W December 8, 1993 6–5 @ Los Angeles Kings (1993–94) 11–14–3
29 W December 10, 1993 5–2 @ Winnipeg Jets (1993–94) 12–14–3
30 T December 12, 1993 4–4 OT @ Dallas Stars (1993–94) 12–14–4
31 T December 15, 1993 3–3 OT Montreal Canadiens (1993–94) 12–14–5
32 L December 19, 1993 1–2 OT Boston Bruins (1993–94) 12–15–5
33 W December 22, 1993 3–2 New York Rangers (1993–94) 13–15–5
34 W December 26, 1993 3–1 @ Tampa Bay Lightning (1993–94) 14–15–5
35 T December 28, 1993 3–3 OT @ Washington Capitals (1993–94) 14–15–6
36 W December 29, 1993 5–3 @ Hartford Whalers (1993–94) 15–15–6
37 W January 1, 1994 4–2 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim (1993–94) 16–15–6
38 L January 3, 1994 2–3 @ New York Rangers (1993–94) 16–16–6
39 L January 7, 1994 1–4 @ New Jersey Devils (1993–94) 16–17–6
40 T January 8, 1994 2–2 OT @ Boston Bruins (1993–94) 16–17–7
41 T January 13, 1994 2–2 OT @ Pittsburgh Penguins (1993–94) 16–17–8
42 W January 15, 1994 5–2 @ Montreal Canadiens (1993–94) 17–17–8
43 W January 17, 1994 2–1 @ New York Islanders (1993–94) 18–17–8
44 W January 19, 1994 5–1 Washington Capitals (1993–94) 19–17–8
45 W January 24, 1994 8–3 Montreal Canadiens (1993–94) 20–17–8
46 T January 26, 1994 1–1 OT @ Tampa Bay Lightning (1993–94) 20–17–9
47 T January 28, 1994 3–3 OT San Jose Sharks (1993–94) 20–17–10
48 W January 30, 1994 3–2 @ Buffalo Sabres (1993–94) 21–17–10
49 L February 1, 1994 1–2 @ Pittsburgh Penguins (1993–94) 21–18–10
50 W February 2, 1994 4–1 @ Ottawa Senators (1993–94) 22–18–10
51 L February 4, 1994 2–7 Buffalo Sabres (1993–94) 22–19–10
52 W February 6, 1994 3–0 Boston Bruins (1993–94) 23–19–10
53 L February 10, 1994 3–4 OT @ Philadelphia Flyers (1993–94) 23–20–10
54 W February 12, 1994 4–3 @ New York Islanders (1993–94) 24–20–10
55 W February 13, 1994 2–1 Vancouver Canucks (1993–94) 25–20–10
56 L February 16, 1994 3–7 @ Detroit Red Wings (1993–94) 25–21–10
57 L February 18, 1994 1–4 @ Buffalo Sabres (1993–94) 25–22–10
58 L February 20, 1994 3–4 OT Detroit Red Wings (1993–94) 25–23–10
59 W February 22, 1994 3–2 @ Winnipeg Jets (1993–94) 26–23–10
60 L February 24, 1994 1–2 Washington Capitals (1993–94) 26–24–10
61 L February 26, 1994 2–4 @ Washington Capitals (1993–94) 26–25–10
62 L February 28, 1994 3–4 Pittsburgh Penguins (1993–94) 26–26–10
63 L March 2, 1994 2–3 New Jersey Devils (1993–94) 26–27–10
64 L March 4, 1994 1–2 Hartford Whalers (1993–94) 26–28–10
65 W March 7, 1994 2–1 @ Vancouver Canucks (1993–94) 27–28–10
66 W March 9, 1994 5–3 @ Edmonton Oilers (1993–94) 28–28–10
67 L March 11, 1994 2–4 @ Calgary Flames (1993–94) 28–29–10
68 W March 14, 1994 2–1 New York Rangers (1993–94) 29–29–10
69 W March 16, 1994 2–1 Calgary Flames (1993–94) 30–29–10
70 T March 18, 1994 4–4 OT Edmonton Oilers (1993–94) 30–29–11
71 W March 20, 1994 5–3 Philadelphia Flyers (1993–94) 31–29–11
72 T March 21, 1994 3–3 OT New Jersey Devils (1993–94) 31–29–12
73 T March 23, 1994 1–1 OT Toronto Maple Leafs (1993–94) 31–29–13
74 L March 24, 1994 3–4 @ Philadelphia Flyers (1993–94) 31–30–13
75 W March 26, 1994 3–1 @ New York Islanders (1993–94) 32–30–13
76 L March 28, 1994 4–5 Dallas Stars (1993–94) 32–31–13
77 L March 30, 1994 1–3 St. Louis Blues (1993–94) 32–32–13
78 T April 2, 1994 2–2 OT Ottawa Senators (1993–94) 32–32–14
79 L April 4, 1994 2–3 @ New York Rangers (1993–94) 32–33–14
80 T April 5, 1994 3–3 OT @ Quebec Nordiques (1993–94) 32–33–15
81 T April 7, 1994 3–3 OT @ Philadelphia Flyers (1993–94) 32–33–16
82 T April 10, 1994 2–2 OT New Jersey Devils (1993–94) 32–33–17
83 L April 12, 1994 2–5 Quebec Nordiques (1993–94) 32–34–17
84 W April 14, 1994 4–1 New York Islanders (1993–94) 33–34–17

Player statistics[edit]

Forwards[edit]

Note: GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; PIM = Penalty minutes

Player GP G A Pts PIM
Scott Mellanby 80 30 30 60 149
Jesse Belanger 70 17 33 50 16
Andrei Lomakin 76 19 28 47 26
Brian Skrudland 79 15 25 40 136
Stu Barnes 59 18 20 38 30
Dave Lowry 80 15 22 37 64
Tom Fitzgerald 83 18 14 32 54
Bob Kudelski 44 14 15 29 10
Mike Hough 78 6 23 29 62
Jody Hull 69 13 13 26 8
Rob Niedermayer 65 9 17 26 51
Bill Lindsay 84 6 6 12 97
Scott Levins 29 5 6 11 69
Mike Foligno 39 4 5 9 49
Randy Gilhen 20 4 4 8 16
Evgeny Davydov 21 2 6 8 8
Patrick Lebeau 4 1 1 2 4
Jamie Leach 2 1 0 1 0
Jeff Greenlaw 4 0 1 1 2
Doug Barrault 2 0 0 0 0
Len Barrie 2 0 0 0 0
Jeff Daniels 7 0 0 0 0

Defencemen[edit]

Note: GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; PIM = Penalty minutes

Player GP G A Pts PIM
Gord Murphy 84 14 29 43 71
Brian Benning 73 6 24 30 107
Greg Hawgood 33 2 14 16 9
Keith Brown 51 4 8 12 60
Brent Severyn 67 4 7 11 156
Alexander Godynyuk 26 0 10 10 35
Joe Cirella 63 1 9 10 99
Geoff Smith 56 1 5 6 38
Peter Andersson 8 1 1 2 0
Paul Laus 39 2 0 2 109
Stephane Richer 2 0 1 1 0
Greg Smyth 12 1 0 1 37
Dallas Eakins 1 0 0 0 0

Goaltending[edit]

Note: GP = Games played; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; SV% = Save percentage ; GAA = Goals against average; SO = Shutouts

Player GP W L T SV% GAA SO
John Vanbiesbrouck 57 21 25 11 .924 2.53 1
Mark Fitzpatrick 28 12 8 6 .914 2.73 1
Pokey Reddick 2 0 1 0 .822 6.00 0

Awards and records[edit]

Transactions[edit]

  • Trades listed are from June 1, 1993, to June 1, 1994.
Date Traded Acquired Acquired from
June 26 1993 2nd rd. pick 1993 2nd rd. pick, 1993 3rd rd. pick Winnipeg Jets
July 30 cash Dave Tomlinson Toronto Maple Leafs
Aug 3 Dave Tomlinson Jason Cirone Winnipeg Jets
Sept 30 Darin Kimble Evgeny Davydov, 1994 conditional 4th rd. pick Winnipeg Jets
Oct 3 Milan Tichy Brent Severyn Winnipeg Jets
Nov 5 cash Mike Foligno Toronto Maple Leafs
Nov 3 Anatoli Semenov Dave Capuano, 1994 4th rd. pick Vancouver Canucks
Nov 25 Randy Gilhen, conditional pick Stu Barnes, 1994 6th rd. pick Winnipeg Jets
Nov 28 cash Greg Hawgood Philadelphia Flyers
Dec 6 1994 3rd rd. pick, 1994 6th rd. pick Geoff Smith, 1994 4th rd. pick Edmonton Oilers
Dec 7 Greg Smyth future considerations Toronto Maple Leafs
Dec 16 Alexander Godynyuk Jim McKenzie Hartford Whalers
Dec 16 Jim McKenzie 1995 4th rd. pick Dallas Stars
Jan 6 Evgeny Davydov, Scott Levins, 1994 6th rd pick. 1995 4th rd. pick Bob Kudelski Ottawa Senators
Mar 19 Greg Hawgood Jeff Daniels Pittsburgh Penguins
Mar 21 1994 9th rd. pick Peter Andersson New York Rangers

References[edit]

  1. ^ Standings: NHL Public Relations Department (2008). Dave McCarthy; et al., eds. THE NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE Official Guide & Record Book/2009. National Hockey League. p. 154. ISBN 978-1-894801-14-0.