'Rat-isfaction Guaranteed was actually a Miami Herald headline during the 1996 playoffs. Only reason I remember it was because my friend Noell Barnidge (then working with me on the desk) suggested it and the editors loved it.
Never has a region fallen in love with rats like South Florida did that year. The reason, of course, was thanks to Scott Mellanby. Read all about it here: FOLLOW DA LINK
Mellanby, who spent seven seasons with the Panthers, retired today at the age of 40. Mellanby spent 21 seasons in the NHL and had quite the career. He didn't win the Stanley Cup, sure, but his was a career that was full. Mellanby says he wants to stay in the game in some capacity, and I'm sure there's no shortage of people willing to give him that shot.
-- Ironic? On the day Mellanby hung up his skates, I laced mine on for the first time. Trying to learn how to ice skate this summer, and today was Day 1. As Olli Jokinen might say, it's harder than it looks. Got a good run going and did well at times. But then I fell hard on my left knee, and well, I called it a day. Going to give it another shot on Thursday.
So, you ask, how is it I never learned to skate? Well, I grew up in Miami and ice just wasn't available. I roller skated, sure, but that is quite a different deal. As I found out today.
-- The Panthers only have two players competing in the upcoming World Championships with Ville Peltonen (Finland) and Rostislav Olesz (Czech) off to Russia. Also, hearing a Ville signing is imminent.