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What's in a Name? Number?

WelchNoah Welch not only made his Florida debut on Friday, but got his first goal in a Panther uniform. Heck, it may have been his first goal in the state of Florida for all I know. Could I look it up? Sure. Am I? Probably won't.

Anyway, Welch is wearing No. 6, a number that has been pretty popular with the Panthers over the years.

Welch becomes the eighth player to don numero seis in Panthers history. The lineup: Greg Smyth, Peter Andersson, Jason Woolley, Jeff Norton, Peter Ratchuk, current Lightning d-man Dan Boyle, and of course Peter Worrell (actually, Andreas Lilja wore No. 6 but I thought it was Worrell). So, if Welch has a great career and has his number retired, Peter Andersson can bring his family to Sunrise, point to the rafters and say "hey, there's my number!''

Of course, Welch could always change it. I hear No. 44 is available. No. 1 too.

-- Fans in Tampa booing their beloved Bolts. Of course it is 4-0. ThunderBug on the ice right now. Thought you should know.

-- From the useless, menial trivia department: According to the stat wizard known as FSN producer Mitch Rubenstein, Welch became the first player to score in his Panther debut since Todd Bertuzzi. Nice. Mitch adds that 29 percent of Nathan Horton's goals (nine of 31) this year have come against the Lightning.

-- Tonight's game may not be on TV, but the press box at the Ice Palace reminds one of the FSN television booth. Not only is Mitch here, but Denis Potvin is too. Dave Strader would have made the game, but went to Raleigh instead. He just loves that country cookin!

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