The Edmonton Oilers are a professional ice hockey team based in Edmonton, Alberta. They are members of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League; the Oilers were founded in 1971 by W. D. "Wild Bill" Hunter and Dr. Chuck Allard; the team played its first season in 1972, as one of the twelve founding franchises of the major professional World Hockey Association. They were intended to be one of two WHA Alberta teams, along with the Calgary Broncos. However, when the Broncos relocated to Cleveland, before the WHA's first season began, the Oilers were renamed the Alberta Oilers, they returned to their current name in the following year, subsequently joined the NHL in 1979 as one of four franchises absorbed through the NHL merger with the WHA. After joining the NHL, the Oilers went on to win the Stanley Cup on five occasions: 1983–84, 1984–85, 1986–87, 1987–88 and 1989–90. Along with the Pittsburgh Penguins, they are tied for the most championships won by any team since the NHL-WHA merger and the most won by any team that joined the league in or after 1967.
Among all NHL teams, only the Montreal Canadiens have won the Stanley Cup more times since the League's 1967 expansion. For their success in the 1980s, the Oilers team of this era has been honoured with dynasty status by the Hockey Hall of Fame. However, the Oilers began to struggle shortly after the 2004–05 NHL lockout, having missed the playoffs every year since 2006, with the exception of 2016–17; the Oilers have drafted 12 first round selections since 2007, 10 of which were within the first 10 draft choices overall, 6 of those picks were within the first 4 picks overall, 4 of those 6 were first overall selections. In the NHL Entry Draft Edmonton Selected first overall Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Nail Yakupov and Connor McDavid with those picks, only two of those players remain with the Oilers today; the Oilers are one of two NHL franchises based in Alberta. Their close proximity to each other has led to a fierce rivalry known as the "Battle of Alberta". On November 1, 1971, the Edmonton Oilers became 1 of the 12 founding WHA franchises.
The original owners were "Wild Bill" Hunter and partner, Dr. Charles A. "Chuck" Allard who, a decade also brought the SCTV sketch comedy TV series to Edmonton. Hunter owned the Edmonton Oil Kings, a junior hockey franchise, founded the Canadian Major Junior Hockey League. Hunter's efforts to bring major professional hockey to Edmonton via an expansion NHL franchise had been rebuffed by the NHL. So, he looked to the upstart WHA instead, it was Hunter. This was a name, used as a nickname for the Edmonton Oil Kings in the 1950s and 1960s. Hunter served as head coach during the 1972–73, 1974–75, 1975–76 seasons, the Oilers' mascot, Hunter, is named in his honour. After the newly founded Calgary Broncos folded prior to commencement of the inaugural WHA season, the Oilers were renamed the Alberta Oilers as it was planned to split their home games between Edmonton and Calgary. For financial reasons or to allow for a less complicated return of the WHA to Calgary, the team played all of its home games in the Edmonton Gardens and changed its name back to the Edmonton Oilers the following year.
They won the first game in WHA history 7–4 over the Ottawa Nationals. The Oilers drew fans with players such as defenceman and team captain Al Hamilton, goaltender Dave Dryden and forwards Blair MacDonald and Bill Flett. However, a little-noticed move in 1976 would have an important impact on the history of the franchise; that year, journeyman forward Glen Sather was acquired by the Oilers. It turned out to be his final season as a player and was named player-coach late in the season, moving to the bench full-time after the season. Sather would be the coach or general manager of the Oilers for the next 23 years. Although the Oilers' on-ice performance for most of the WHA's history was mediocre, they remained well-supported and financially stable by WHA standards. In 1976, Hunter and Allard sold the franchise to Vancouver real estate tycoon Nelson Skalbania, who would become notorious for flipping property, both real and franchised. Skalbania soon made Peter Pocklington a full partner sold his shares to him the following year.
The team's fortunes improved in 1978 when Pocklington acquired underage player Wayne Gretzky, as well as goaltender Eddie Mio and forward Peter Driscoll, for cash, from Skalbania's folded Indianapolis Racers. His first year of WHA experience prevented Gretzky from being an official 1979–80 NHL rookie). However, Edmonton failed to win the championship, as they fell to the Winnipeg Jets in the Avco World Trophy Final. Dave Semenko of the Oilers scored the last goal in WHA history in the third period of the final game, which they lost 7–3; the Oilers joined the NHL for 1979–80, along with fellow WHA teams Hartford Whalers, Quebec Nordiques and the Jets following a merger agreement between the two leagues. Of these four teams, only Edmonton has avoided renaming; the Oilers lost most of the players from 1978–79 when the NHL held a reclamation draft of players who had bolted to the upstart league as they were allowed to protect two goaltenders and two skill players. Gretzky was not el
1992–93 NHL season
The 1992–93 NHL season was the 76th regular season of the National Hockey League. Each player wore a patch on their jersey throughout the 1992–93 regular season and playoffs to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Stanley Cup, it proved, at the time, to be the highest-scoring regular season in NHL history, as a total of 7,311 goals were scored over 1,008 games for an average of 7.25 per game. Twenty of the twenty-four teams scored three goals or more per game, only two teams, the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Chicago Blackhawks, allowed fewer than three goals per game. Only 68 shutouts were recorded during the regular season. A record twenty-one players reached the 100-point plateau, while a record fourteen players reached the 50-goal plateau—both records still stand as of the 2018–19 NHL season; the Montreal Canadiens won their league-leading 24th Cup by defeating the Los Angeles Kings four games to one. As of 2018, this is the last time; this was the final season of the Wales and Campbell Conferences, the Adams, Patrick and Smythe divisions.
Both the conferences and the divisions would be renamed to reflect geography rather than the league's history for the following season. This was the last year in which the playoff structure bracketed and seeded teams by division; this season saw two new clubs join the league: the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Senators were the second Ottawa-based NHL franchise and brought professional hockey back to Canada's capital, while the Tampa Bay franchise strengthened the NHL's presence in the American Sun Belt, which had first started with the birth of the Los Angeles Kings in 1967; this was the final season of play for the Minnesota North Stars, before relocating to Dallas, the following season. All teams wore a commemorative patch this year celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Stanley Cup. Gil Stein was appointed NHL President in the summer of 1992, on an interim basis. On February 1, 1993, Gary Bettman became the first NHL Commissioner. With the expiration of Gil Stein's tenure on July 1, 1993, the position of President was merged into the position of Commissioner.
On March 28, 1993, through a brokered deal with ESPN, ABC begins the first of a two year deal with the National Hockey League to televise six regional Sunday afternoon broadcasts. This marked the first time that regular season National Hockey League games were broadcast on American network television since 1974–75. Schedule length changed to 84 games. Two games in each team's schedule to be played in non-NHL cities. Instigating a fight results in a game misconduct penalty. Substitutions disallowed for coincidental minor penalties. Minor penalty for diving introduced. Teemu Selanne of the Winnipeg Jets shattered the rookie scoring record by scoring 76 goals and 56 assists for 132 points this season, he was named the winner of the Calder Memorial Trophy as the NHL Rookie of the Year, his goals and points marks remain the NHL rookie records as of 2018. The New York Rangers missed the playoffs; this marked the first time since the President's Trophy had been introduced that the previous season's top team missed the next year's playoffs.
For the first time in his NHL career, Wayne Gretzky did not finish in the top three in scoring. A back injury limited Gretzky to 45 games. Note: W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against, Pts = Points As a part of the 1992 strike settlement, the NHL and Bruce McNall's Multivision Marketing and Public Relations Co. organized 24 regular season games in 15 cities that did not have a franchise, providing as a litmus test for future expansion. Four of the cities chosen – Phoenix, Atlanta and Miami – were the sites of expansion or relocations, although neither Cleveland nor Cincinnati received NHL franchises, there would be one placed in Columbus, located halfway between the two cities. Two arenas that hosted neutral-site games had hosted NHL teams before: Atlanta's The Omni and Cleveland's Richfield Coliseum; the Hartford-St. Louis game was scheduled to be played on December 29, 1992, in Birmingham, Alabama. Manon Rheaume became the first woman to play for a major sports league in North America as she tended goal for the Tampa Bay Lightning in an exhibition game on September 23, 1992, against the St. Louis Blues.
The Ottawa Senators and Tampa Bay Lightning were two new teams to be added to the league, bringing the league to 24 teams. Both teams would win their opening games and sit atop their respective Divisions, which led to Harry Neale jokingly proclaiming before the end of Ottawa's first win that both the Senators and Lightning would reach the Stanley Cup finals in May. October 1992: Gil Stein named NHL President. February 1993: Gary Bettman named NHL Commissioner. Record set for most 50-goal scorers in one season. February 10, 1993: In a 13–1 drubbing of the San Jose Sharks, Calgary Flames goaltender Jeff Reese set NHL records for most points and most assists by a goaltender in one game, with three; the 1993 Stanley Cup playoffs marked the 100th anniversary of the Stanley Cup. Pittsburgh Penguins set the NHL record for longest win streak at 17 games. Conversely, the San Jose Sharks tied the NHL record for longest losing streak at 17 games. June 30, 1992: Eric Lindros traded from Quebec to Philadelphia fo
Saint-Georges Cool FM 103.5
The Saint-Georges Cool FM 103.5 is a professional hockey team based in Saint-Georges, Canada. The team is part of the Ligue Nord-Américaine de Hockey, plays at the Centre Sportif Lacroix-Dutil; the team was founded in 1996-97 as the Rive-Sud Jackals in the former Quebec Semi-Pro Hockey League. The Jackals became the Saint-Georges Garaga in 1998-99, when relocating to Quebec; the Garaga dominated Canadian senior hockey in the early 2000s, winning the 2002 Allan Cup and the 2004 Allan Cup. In 2005, the team was purchased by businessman Jean-Paul Blais, who owns the CRS Express trucking company, renamed the team Saint-Georges CRS Express. Blais sold the team to investors in 2010, the team was renamed after a local radio station, CKRB-FM; the last previous professional hockey team in the region were the Beauce Jaros from 1975-1977. Garaga defeated the Saguenay Marquis four games to two. Garaga scored 38 goals during the series. Three of the four victories against Saguenay were games. St. Georges would advance to the Futura Cup Finals against the Sherbrooke St. François, who were the regular season champions.
Garaga would go to defeat the Sherbrooke team four games to two Jesse Bélanger, 2010 LNAH Most Sportsman-like Player. Delisle died as a result of an automobile accident in March 2006; the Delisle Trophy has been named in his honour and is awarded to the LNAH player who "best exemplifies leadership in the regular season." Official website
1995–96 NHL season
The 1995–96 NHL season was the 79th regular season of the National Hockey League. The Stanley Cup winners were the Colorado Avalanche, who, in their first year as the Avalanche, swept the Florida Panthers in four games; the 1995–96 season was the first season in Denver for the Avalanche, who had relocated from Quebec City where they were known as the Quebec Nordiques. Prior to the season, Colorado was assigned to the Pacific Division of the Western Conference, they played at McNichols Arena, the building that the New Jersey Devils played in from 1976 to 1982 when they were known as the Colorado Rockies. The Avs would play in that building until they moved to the Pepsi Center in 1999, it was the last season of existence for the original Winnipeg Jets, as they announced that they would be moving from Manitoba to Arizona and become the Phoenix Coyotes at the season's end. The NHL would not return to Manitoba until the Atlanta Thrashers moved there to become the "new" Winnipeg Jets following the 2010–11 season.
This season would mark the last season the Buffalo Sabres would play in the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium, the Philadelphia Flyers at the CoreStates Spectrum, the Senators at the Ottawa Civic Centre, the Canadiens at the Montreal Forum. The Sabres made their new home at the Marine Midland Arena, the Flyers at the CoreStates Center, the Senators at the Corel Centre, the Canadiens at the Molson Centre; the two latter arenas opened before the end of this season. With the Montreal Forum closed, Maple Leaf Gardens was the last remaining arena from the Original Six era at the time; the Boston Bruins played their first season at Fleet Center after spending the last 67 at the old Boston Garden, the Vancouver Canucks played their first game at General Motors Place. During the 1992–93 and 1993–94 seasons, each team played 84 games. Starting in the 1995–96 season, the neutral site games were eliminated, which reduced the regular season to 82 games per team; the Detroit Red Wings had a spectacular season, finishing with the second-highest regular-season point total in NHL history, setting the NHL record for most wins in the regular season.
However, they fell to the Avalanche in the Western Conference Final, the sixth game of which marked the beginning of the heated Detroit-Colorado rivalry, which would last for years to come. Jaromír Jágr broke the record for points by a right winger in a single season. Mario Lemieux had the NHL's last 150+ point season with 161 points in 70 games; this would be the last season in which at least one player would score at least 60 goals until 2008. The New Jersey Devils became the first team since the 1969–70 Montreal Canadiens to miss the playoffs after winning the Stanley Cup the previous season. GP = Games Played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, Pts = Points, GF = Goals For, GA = Goals Against Teams that qualified for the playoffs are highlighted in bold; the Colorado Avalanche swept the final series over the Florida Panthers in the minimum four games. Both teams were making their first appearance in the Final. For Colorado, it followed the team's first season in Colorado after moving from Quebec City.
Joe Sakic won the Conn Smythe Trophy. During the first three rounds home ice is determined by seeding number, not position on the bracket. In the Finals the team with the better regular season record has home ice. Note: GP = Games Played, G = Goals, A = Assists, Pts = Points Regular season The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1995–96: Kyle McLaren, Boston Bruins Jay McKee, Buffalo Sabres Martin Biron, Buffalo Sabres Jarome Iginla*, Calgary Flames Stephane Yelle, Colorado Avalanche Jere Lehtinen, Dallas Stars Miroslav Satan, Edmonton Oilers Ed Jovanovski, Florida Panthers Jeff O'Neill, Hartford Whalers Sami Kapanen, Hartford Whalers Darcy Tucker, Montreal Canadiens Jose Theodore, Montreal Canadiens Saku Koivu, Montreal Canadiens Patrik Elias, New Jersey Devils Petr Sykora, New Jersey Devils Steve Sullivan, New Jersey Devils Bryan McCabe, New York Islanders Todd Bertuzzi, New York Islanders Daniel Alfredsson, Ottawa Senators Daymond Langkow, Tampa Bay Lightning Andrew Brunette, Washington Capitals Brendan Witt, Washington Capitals Shane Doan, Winnipeg Jets The following is a list of players of note that played their last game in the NHL in 1995–96: Cam Neely, Boston Bruins Alexei Kasatonov, Boston Bruins Troy Murray, Colorado Avalanche Paul Cavallini, Dallas Stars Bob Kudelski, Florida Panthers Jimmy Carson, Hartford Whalers Brett Lindros, New York Islanders Joe Cirella, Ottawa Senators Glenn Anderson, St. Louis Blues Greg Gilbert, St. Louis Blues Jim Sandlak, Vancouver Canucks Trading deadline: March 20, 1996.
March 20, 1996: C Jesse Belanger traded from Florida to Vancouver for Vancouver's third round pick in 1996 Entry Draft and future considerations. March 20, 1996: LW Ken Baumgartner traded from Toronto to Anaheim for Winnipeg's fourth round pick in 1996 Entry Draft. March 20, 1996: D J. J. Daigneault traded from St. Louis to Pittsburgh for Pittsburgh's sixth round pick in 1996 Entry Draft. March 20, 1996: LW Kevin Miller traded from San Jose to Pittsburgh for Pittsburgh's fifth round choice in 1996 Entry Draft and future considerations. March 20, 1996: LW Pat Conacher and Calgary's sixth round pick in 1997 Entry Draft traded from Calgary to NY Islanders for C Bob Sweeney. March 20, 1996: RW Kirk Maltby traded from Edmonton to Detroit for D Dan McGillis. March 20, 1996: D Jaroslav Modry and Ottawa's eighth round pick in 1996 Entry Draft traded from Ottawa to Los Angeles
Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament
The Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament is an annual minor ice hockey event in Quebec City. The event was founded in 1960 to coincide with the Quebec Winter Carnival, give an opportunity to players under 12 years of age to have international competition; the tournament raises funds for the local Patro Roc-Amadour foundation, is run by volunteers and a few staff. The event takes place each year in February at the Videotron Centre, spent 56 seasons at the Quebec Coliseum; as of 2018, the event has showcased the talent of over 1,200 future professionals in the National Hockey League or the World Hockey Association. Gérard Bolduc was inspired to begin a youth ice hockey tournament after travelling with teams to tournaments in Goderich and Duluth, founded the Quebec International Pee Wee Hockey Tournament in 1960 along with Paul Dumont, Jacques Boissinot, Pat Timmons, Edmond de la Bruere. Bolduc served as the original president of the tournament, remained in that role until 1974; the tournament became part of the annual Quebec Winter Carnival festivities in February.
The first tournament had 28 teams participate who were local entries, but included teams from Boston and Newfoundland. The first game was played February 1960, at the Quebec Arena in Parc Victoria. Media in Quebec City were quick to cover the event due to its charitable nature, it being the first time minor ice hockey was played in such a large arena; the event drew 12,500 spectators in its first seven days, Bolduc negotiated to moved the final game to the Quebec Coliseum which drew 7,235 fans. The first grand champion of the tournament in 1960, was the Scarborough Lions team. From 1960 onward, every tournament was hosted at the Quebec Coliseum; the tournament structure from 1960 to 1972 included four divisions, one overall grand champion. In 1962, the tournament grew to 54 teams, including entries from Ontario and the United States. Guy Lafleur played in three consecutive tournaments from 1962 to 1964, scoring a combined total of 64 goals; the addition of the Quebec Beavers team to the tournament grew the attendance, as they became a crowd favourite composed of local boys, with Martin Madden as the coach.
In 1965, the tournament inaugurated the Gérard Bolduc trophy, awarded to the winners of the AA division until 2001. In December 1967, the Quebec Amateur Hockey Association threatened not to sanction to 1968 event, due to the tournament organizers wanting to follow the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association age limits which were under 12 years of age as of May, 31 1967, whereas the QAHA wanted the tournament to follow its age limits of under 12 years of age as of December 31, 1967. For the tournament's 10th anniversary in 1969, Jacques Revelin authored the book The story of a fantastic tournament: which each year makes the Quebec Coliseum vibrate during the Winter Carnival. A team from Princeville, won the grand championship in 1969, the first such winner from the host province; the 1970s began with 102 teams playing at the tournament, including new entries from France and West Germany, Bolduc announced that he was negotiating to get a team from the Soviet Union at the tournament by 1971. The 1971 event had 102 teams, including six Canadian provinces, the Northwest Territories, the United States and Europe.
In the 1974 tournament, a young Wayne Gretzky scored 26 goals playing for Brantford. After the year, Bolduc stepped down as the tournament president, having served in that role since 1960. In 1975, Alex Légaré took over as president of the tournament, served in the role until the conclusion of the 1999 event. In 1976, the tournament began an International Cup division. In 1977, Légaré sought more autonomy for the tournament, moved away from a direct partnership with the Quebec Winter Carnival. Légaré inaugurated the American Cup in 1980, the Quebec Cup in 1981, which were combined into the International Cup; the tournament celebrated its 25th anniversary in 1984, for which a plaque was unveiled in the Quebec Coliseum. That year, Manon Rhéaume became the first female goaltender to play for a boy's team in the tournament. Special considerations were made to allow her to play; the rule for age requirements was changed in 1986 to allow 13-year olds, but it was soon reverted due to the greater size differences in the players.
In 1989, teams from both the Soviet Union and Japan participated in the tournament. The final game in 1990 drew nearly 8,000 spectators; the 1990s saw stronger European teams from the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia, which revived the tournament according to Quebec historian Yvon Huard, who had played in the event as a boy. By the 35th anniversary in 1994, the tournament had grown to 115 teams from 12 countries, attracted close to 200,000 spectators. In 1999, a new attendance record was set with 211,178 people spectators during the event; the tournament dates were changed in 2001 to no longer coincide with the Quebec Winter Carnival, with the aim to increase attendance. The 50th anniversary in 2009 was celebrated with a legends game, that featured former participants who had retired from professional hockey. In 2011, the tournament welcomed Australia, its first team from Oceania and its fifth continent to be represented; the 57th annual tournament in 2016 moved into its new home at the Videotron Centre, after playing each previous year at the Quebec Coliseum.
Registrations requests for the tournament increased to 300 teams, an increase of 20% from 2015. The greater amount of team come from the Province of Quebec, due to the number of requests to play 20% of applications were declined. In
The Stanley Cup is the championship trophy awarded annually to the National Hockey League playoff winner. It is the oldest existing trophy to be awarded to a professional sports franchise, the International Ice Hockey Federation considers it to be one of the "most important championships available to the sport"; the trophy was commissioned in 1892 as the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup and is named after Lord Stanley of Preston, the Governor General of Canada who donated it as an award to Canada's top-ranking amateur ice hockey club. The entire Stanley family supported the sport, the sons and daughters all playing and promoting the game; the first Cup was awarded in 1893 to Montreal Hockey Club, winners from 1893 to 1914 were determined by challenge games and league play. Professional teams first became eligible to challenge for the Stanley Cup in 1906. In 1915, professional ice hockey organizations National Hockey Association and the Pacific Coast Hockey Association reached a gentlemen's agreement in which their respective champions would face each other annually for the Stanley Cup.
It was established as the de facto championship trophy of the NHL in 1926 and the de jure NHL championship prize in 1947. There are three Stanley Cups: the original bowl of the "Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup", the authenticated "Presentation Cup", the spelling-corrected "Permanent Cup" on display at the Hockey Hall of Fame; the NHL has maintained its associated trademarks. The NHL has registered trademarks associated with the name and likeness of the Stanley Cup, although there has been dispute as to whether the league has the right to own trademarks associated with a trophy that it does not own; the original bowl is 18.5 centimetres high and 29 centimetres wide. The current Stanley Cup is topped with a copy of the original bowl, made of a silver and nickel alloy, it weighs 15.5 kilograms. A new Stanley Cup is not made each year, unlike the trophies awarded by the other major professional sports leagues of North America; the winners kept it until a new champion was crowned, but winning teams get the Stanley Cup during the summer and a limited number of days during the season.
Every year since 1924, a select portion of the winning players, coaches and club staff names are engraved on its bands, unusual among trophies. However, there is not enough room to include all the players and non-players, so some names must be omitted. Between 1924 and 1940, a new band was added every year that the trophy was awarded, earning the nickname "Stovepipe Cup" due to the unnatural height of all the bands. In 1947, the cup size was reduced. In 1958, the modern one-piece Cup was designed with a five-band barrel which could contain 13 winning teams per band; the oldest band is removed when the bottom band is full and preserved in the Hockey Hall of Fame in order to prevent the Stanley Cup from growing, a new blank band added to the bottom. It has been referred to as The Cup, Lord Stanley's Cup, The Holy Grail, or facetiously as Lord Stanley's Mug; the Stanley Cup is surrounded by numerous legends and traditions, the oldest of, the winning team drinking champagne from it. Since the 1914–15 season, the Cup has been won a combined 101 times by 18 current NHL teams and 5 defunct teams.
It was not awarded in 1919 because of a Spanish flu epidemic or in 2005 because of the 2004–05 NHL lockout. It was held by nine different teams between 1893 and 1914; the Montreal Canadiens have won it a record 24 times and are the most recent Canadian-based team to win it, doing so in 1993. After the Lord Stanley of Preston was appointed by Queen Victoria as Governor General of Canada on June 11, 1888, he and his family became enthusiastic about ice hockey. Stanley was first exposed to the game at Montreal's 1889 Winter Carnival, where he saw the Montreal Victorias play the Montreal Hockey Club; the Montreal Gazette reported that he "expressed his great delight with the game of hockey and the expertise of the players". During that time, organized ice hockey in Canada was still in its infancy and only Montreal and Ottawa had anything resembling leagues. Stanley's entire family became active in ice hockey. Two of his sons and Algernon, formed a new team called the Ottawa Rideau Hall Rebels. Arthur played a key role in the formation of what became known as the Ontario Hockey Association, became the founder of ice hockey in Great Britain.
Arthur and Algernon persuaded their father to donate a trophy to be "an outward and visible sign of the hockey championship". Stanley sent the following message to the victory celebration held on March 18, 1892, at Ottawa's Russell House Hotel for the three-time champion Ottawa Hockey Club: I have for some time been thinking that it would be a good thing if there were a challenge cup which should be held from year to year by the champion hockey team in the Dominion. There does not appear to be any such outward sign of a championship at present, considering the general interest which matches now elicit, the importance of having the game played and under rules recognized, I am willing to give a cup which shall be held from year to year by the winning team. I am not quite certain that the present regulations governing the arrangement of matches give entire satisfaction, it would be worth consid
The Florida Panthers are a professional ice hockey team based in the Miami metropolitan area. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League; the team's local broadcasting rights has been held by Fox Sports Florida since 1996. The team played their home games at Miami Arena, before moving to the BB&T Center in 1998. Located in Sunrise, the Panthers are the southernmost team in the NHL; the Panthers began playing in the 1993–94 NHL season. The team has made one appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals, in 1996, the only season in which the Panthers have won a playoff series losing the Finals to the Colorado Avalanche; the team advanced to the Stanley Cup playoffs for the second time in 12 years in 2012, but were eliminated in seven games in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals by the New Jersey Devils, who won the Eastern Conference championship that season. The club is affiliated with one minor league team, the Springfield Thunderbirds of the American Hockey League.
Blockbuster Video magnate Wayne Huizenga was awarded an NHL franchise for Miami on December 10, 1992, the same day The Walt Disney Company earned the rights to start a team in Anaheim that would become the Mighty Ducks. At the time, Huizenga owned both the newly founded Florida Marlins of Major League Baseball and a share of the National Football League's Miami Dolphins; the entry fee was $50 million, but despite fellow Florida team Tampa Bay Lightning starting play the year before, the NHL did not consider it to be a case of territory infringement. Huizenga announced the team would play at the Miami Arena, sharing the building with the National Basketball Association's Miami Heat, until a new arena was built. Offices for the team were only established in June 1993, while vice president of business operations Dean Jordan conceded that "none of the business people, myself included, knew anything about hockey." On April 20, 1993, a press conference in Ft. Lauderdale announced that the team would be named Florida Panthers, with former New York Islanders general manager Bill Torrey as president and Bobby Clarke as general manager.
The team is named for the Florida panther, an endangered species of large cat endemic to the nearby Everglades region. Once the logos and uniforms were unveiled on June 15, the team announced its financial commitment to the panther preservation cause. Huizenga held the Panthers trademark since 1991, when he purchased it from a group of Tampa investors who sought to create an MLB team in the Tampa Bay area; the new franchise would join the NHL for participation in the 1993–94 season, along with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. The Panthers' and Ducks' roster was filled up in both the expansion draft and the 1993 NHL Entry Draft in June 1993, hosted by Quebec City; the Panthers' first major stars were New York Rangers goaltender castoff John Vanbiesbrouck, rookie Rob Niedermayer and forward Scott Mellanby, who scored 30 goals in Florida's inaugural season. Their first game was a 4–4 tie on the road against the Chicago Blackhawks, while their first win was a 2–0 shutout of the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Thunderdome before a then-NHL record crowd of 27,227.
The Panthers had one of the most successful first seasons of any expansion team, finishing just two points below.500 and narrowly missing out on the final 1994 playoff spot in the East. Their first-year success was attributed to the "trap defense" that first-year coach Roger Neilson implemented; this conservative style was criticized by NHL teams. While the team executives expected the audience to consist of "snowbird" Canadians living in Florida, the Floridians soon embraced the Panthers. Helped by Miami's other teams having middling performances, the club averaged 94% capacity at the 14,500-seat Miami Arena, managed to sell 8,500 season tickets in 100 days. In August 1994, general manager Clarke left to work for the Philadelphia Flyers, while Bryan Murray was brought in from the Detroit Red Wings as his replacement. After another close brush with the playoffs, finishing the lockout-shortened 1994–95 season again in ninth, Neilson was fired following an argument with Murray regarding Ed Jovanovski, whom the Panthers chose as the number one overall pick at the 1994 NHL Entry Draft.
Doug MacLean, the team's player development director, was promoted to coach. The team acquired Ray Sheppard from the San Jose Sharks at the NHL trade deadline and looked toward the playoffs for the first time. A unusual goal celebration developed in Miami during the 1995–96 season. On the night of the Panthers' 1995–96 home opener, a rat scurried across the team's locker room. Scott Mellanby reacted by "one-timing" the rat against the wall; that night, he scored two goals, which Vanbiesbrouck quipped was "a rat trick." Two nights as the story found its way into the world, a few fans threw rubber rats on the ice in celebration of a goal. The rubber rat count went from 16 for the third home game to over 2,000 during the playoffs. In the 1996 playoffs, as the fourth seed in the East, the Panthers faced the Boston Bruins in the first round and won in five games. Bill Lindsay's famous series-clinching goal is still a trademark image for the incredible run the third-year franchise went on; the Panthers went on to upset the top-seeded Philadelphia Flyers in six games followed by the second-seeded Pittsburgh Penguins in seven to reach the Stanley Cup Finals against the Colorado Avalanche, another team making its first Finals appearan