Numbers Game: Look to the Rafters- Florida Panthers

By: Nick Lanciani

My look at what retired numbers around the league may look like in the future continues. While there’s only a finite set of numbers to utilize on the back of a jersey, many teams choose to retire (or honor) some numbers based on extraordinary circumstances, dedication to the organization, or legendary status.

Many thoughts went through my head in each and every consideration. Feel free to agree or disagree- I want to know what you, the fans, consider worthy when evaluating a player, their career, and whether or not their number should be retired by a franchise. I am interested in seeing what you have to say, assuming you are actually a fan of the team and/or player that you argue for or against. Drop us a line in the comments or tweet to @DtFrozenRiver using #DTFRNumbersGame.

For each team, I thought of former and current players that should have their numbers retired now or once they hang up the skates.

Unknown-2Florida Panthers

Current Retired Numbers- 93 Bill Torrey

Recommended Numbers to Retire

13 Olli Jokinen

Plenty of great players have had brief stints with the Florida Panthers, believe it or not. Pavel Bure, John Vanbiesbrouck, and others were once the main attraction in Florida. Those former star players, however, never spent as much time as Jokinen did with the Panthers.

Granted, Olli Jokinen is no longer a part of the Panthers (and unlikely to ever return at this point in his career), his numerous 60+ point seasons- including three consecutive seasons of 70+ points between the 2005-2006 and 2007-2008 seasons- while in Florida have earned him some recognition once he retires. Although he began his career in Los Angeles, Jokinen really stands out as a product of development while in Florida.

Roberto Luongo certainly loves the warm weather of Florida as the occasional beachball has been spotted in his net. I'm only kidding, just wanted to make you laugh. No hard feelings, Lu. (Robert Mayer, USA TODAY Sports)
Roberto Luongo certainly loves the warm weather of Florida as the occasional beachball has been spotted in his net. I’m only kidding, just wanted to make you laugh. No hard feelings, Lu. (Robert Mayer, USA TODAY Sports)

1 Roberto Luongo

By the time Roberto Luongo will begin considering retirement, he will have likely spent ten years of his career with the Panthers (split over two stints). He is the winningest goaltender in franchise history, having surpassed Vanbiesbrouck in 2006. While it’s likely the Vancouver Canucks will find a way to honor Luongo’s career after all is said and done, Luongo’s heart, soul, and greatest fans reside in Florida.

Other Notes

The Florida Panthers are still a young organization. I’m sure we’ll see them retire a number or two within the next ten years or in at least ten years- like Jonathan Huberdeau’s.

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