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A Salute to Eddie O'Belfour

Lep2Tonight, a tip of the hat to our good friend, one Mr. Eddie O'Belfour, the most Irish of goalies in the entire National Hockey League!*

(*) -- Cannot validate claims that Panthers goalie Ed Belfour is of Irish decent, nor that the picture to the left is of Mr. Belfour. In fact, it probably is not. But those eyes! Uncanny resemblance is all I'm a'sayin.

Mr. O'Belfour will set the Panthers franchise record for consecutive starts by a goalie, a record that has stood the test of time. Wasn't it only a year ago (to the day, in fact) that another Irish goalie (RobertO'Luongo) set the record at 22? Actually, O'Luongo would have started No.23 on March 17 -- against these same Emerald Islanders.

Asked Eddie for a comment, he promised to get back to me later. And he also promised me a pot o' gold! Fired up about both.

-- JM says he has plenty of confidence in backup Craig Anderson, but until the Panthers are out, Eddie's the guy in net. And why not? He's played pretty well -- better than many expected this year, for sure. Eddie signed for $750,000 with incentives that could double that. JM says he doesn't remember what the incentives were, but expected Eddie to hit them all. So, with Florida shelling out $1.5 mill and the Leafs giving him $1.5 to walk away gives him a -- add it up -- $3 million payout for this season.

Eddie had been scheduled to make $4.5 with the Leafs this season, so he didn't do as well as he could have. But no state income tax in Florida, so good for him.

The real Eddie: Belfour