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1995-96 Stanley Cup Florida Panthers to Play Exhibition Game


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Panthers' cup team will hit the ice again

By Steve Gorten

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

SUNRISE -- While images of the 1995-96 Panthers are forever etched into the minds of many fans, those who've forgotten the franchise's glory days or didn't witness them will get a chance to once again see the team skate in late July.

John Vanbiesbrouck, the famed goalie of that Stanley Cup finals team, confirmed Wednesday that the 1995-96 Panthers will play an exhibition at BankAtlantic Center. It's uncertain whether it'll be an intra-squad game or feature current Panthers players, though it's expected to be held in conjunction with a golf tournament.

Full details of the showcase will be released Tuesday, when the organization will make an official announcement at its free barbecue for fans at the arena. Members of the 1995-96 team are expected to attend the barbecue, as well as current players Nathan Horton and Stephen Weiss.

Vanbiesbrouck said he would play in the late July game. "Beezer," who has broadcast this year's NHL playoffs for Versus, said he last took the ice in January 2004 for a benefit game at Ottawa.

"I was horribly out of shape then, so I think I'm going to be out of shape now," he said.

Still, "It was something that sounded pretty cool when I heard about it. They're hoping to reach out to the people who've been fans for a long time and try to reconnect with some of the alum that laid the groundwork a long time ago."

The 1995-'96 team was the first in franchise history to reach the postseason.

The Panthers haven't made the playoffs the past six seasons, tied for the league's longest current hiatus.


The Panthers will be among the teams competing for Anaheim goalie Jean Sebastien-Giguere in free agency, but they wouldn't mind him playing horrible against Detroit in the Western Conference finals.

The draft pick the Panthers acquired from the Red Wings in the February trade of forward Todd Bertuzzi already has upgraded from a conditional third-rounder to a second-rounder because the Red Wings have advanced to the conference finals and Bertuzzi has played in at least two-thirds of the games -- with one goal, three assists in 10 playoff games.

If the Red Wings reach the Stanley Cup finals, regardless of whether they win the title, the pick would become a first-rounder, according to Panthers' Assistant General Manager Randy Sexton.

Steve Gorten can be reached at sgorten@sun-sentinel.com.




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i remember that run like it was yesterday. I remember florida playing the flyers and i was like,ok, flyers will deal with them. then the panthers took out the flyers. Then the panthers took on the penguins and i knew for sure the pens would destroy them with their all star team. instead the panthers disposed of them too and made it to the SCF. Avs buried them in 4.

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That picture reminds me just how much better the Panthers' red jerseys are than the navy ones, and even better without the stick across them.

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