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You Make the Call

Beezer_2 With summer finally coming to a close and training camp just a few weeks away, it's time to honor the top players in Florida Panthers history.

Sure, some of you will say 'George has been watching ESPN again.' And it's true. ESPN is currently running nightly segments picking the top three players in franchise history of major league baseball (for instance, last night was the Philadelphia Phillies. They chose Robin Roberts, Steve Carlton and Mike Schmidt as the top Phils of all time.)

Here at On Frozen Pond, we don't care about the Phillies (OK, sometimes we do.) But we do care about the Florida Panthers, and would like to get your input on who you believe the best Panthers of all time are.

Bure_2 Listed below are 10 players I selected for the honor; you are allowed to vote for three.

We will unveil the final results at the home opener on Oct. 11, so you have plenty of time to vote. Unlike ESPN, this will be strictly a fan vote. If I don't agree with the top three vote getters, I will say so. But the fan's vote will stick.

I'm sure I left out a player or two the fans feel should be honored. Make sure in the comment section to let me know who is missing. In one month, I'll lop off the bottom three vote getters and replace them with three new names and see where we go.

As always, comments are welcome. Let us know who your top three are and why. Carry on.

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Vanbeisbrouck, Mellanby, and Pavel Bure.

Beezer was our franchise player, the stalwart goalie that carried us to the Finals.

Mellanby was always class and talented, a true leader. Hey, he killed the rat in the locker room that started the Year of the Rat, right?

Pavel Bure might be an unpopular choice. But he was a lightning goal scorer, even in his time for us. I chose him in terms of pure talent on a Panthers team.

Bure, Bure, and Bure...that's why this organization hasn't made the playoffs in 8 years, no Russians!

Vanbeisbrouck, Mellanby, and Pavel Bure.
Totally agree.

Vanbeisbrouck & Mellanby, tooks us to the finals. Bure was the most exciting Panthers player ever with his speed and ability we at least made the playoffs.

George,

These fans down here, being kinda clueless, should probably be reminded that only performance as a Panther should be counted.

Yeah, Jovo ended up being a decent d-man, but he didn't have the common sense not to break his hand on Shanny's head!

Furthermore, I am surprised that we didn't include Randy Moller in this list ;)

Vanbiesbrouck, Mellanby, and Bure!

Roberto Luongo all day long. Can someone please tell me why we traded him again? Oh yeah, he WANTED to leave. Right....

Although tough choices, I picked Beezer, Skrudland, and Laus. Beezer for obvious reasons, Skrudland because he was the captain and the person who helped gel the team together to get them to the finals, and Laus because he has gotten no recognition from the franchise for everything he did. Sure, Bure was a great scorer, but the team around him was a pile of s**t, it was only bure, and he was only out for himself.

What about Bill Lindsey? He should be in the top 10 instead of svehla. He did score that great diving goal against Boston. and he is still involved with the team as their radio broadcaster. As for the top three, I picked Beezer, Mellanby, and Bure as well.

Hey George

Two names I think deserve some recognition are Dave Lowry (he was on fire during the Cup run) and Victor Kozlov.

Mellanby absolutely has to be in the top three and I can't believe he isn't so far.

Beezer obviously belongs there too and in third I went with Luongo.

Beezer and Luongo are without question the top two, torn between Mellanby and Robert Svehla for the third.

Svehla was the steedy d-man and when he retired suddenly was the beginning of the end of this franchise.

Mellanby was the quiet leader of the team.

The Bure trade was a desperation trade and probably set this franchise back while he was a great goal scorer he didn't show up alot.

While I love what Paul Laus did for this team, I don't think he belongs on the list of best players fan favorite yes.

season ticket holder,
The poll is for "Greatest" Panther of all time, not "Best". So it's a matter of interpretation on how you define the greatest.

Personally, I define it for what the player gave the team and did for the team. Ultimately I had to vote for two guys that never left the team voluntarily (Mels and Laus) and one guy that did, but out of loyalty to the home club that he came from in Slovakia, Robert Svehla.

Given Svehla was the stalwart of our defensive top pairing for 5 years and always played hurt, often played 30 minutes a game, and never complained, and was usually in the team's top-5 in scoring every year, and never complained, I'm shocked he's running dead last in the poll.

Apparently my editing skills were lacking in that last post :o

I chose Bure, Beezer, and Luongo.

Bure was a great offenseman, who scored during the days of clutching and grabbing. Imagine how well he would do now!

Beezer, who was the face of the franchise- he led us to the big game!

Luongo is a great goaltender. We didn't realize how good Luongo was until we were stuck with Auld and Belfour. I'm glad we have Vokoun and Anderson now.

Gotta be the Beezer. When we say "greatest of all time", we usually mean three things:

1) Most talented/proficient
2) Most successful
3) Most dear to the hearts of the fans

Vanbiesbrouck might not be as talented as Luongo, but he had more success in Miami -- a Finals appearance and a cult following. Furthermore he had a cool nickname and a great mask (don't think the mask design matters? Ask Gerry Cheevers or Mike Richter).

When I think of the "glory days" of the Panthers, Beezer is the first thing that comes to mind. From where I sit, that's the mark of a franchise's greatest player.

bostonblueline.blogspot.com

Laus, Beezer and Skrudland. As far as even suggesting Viktor Kozlov and having Robert Svehla, you people have to be high. At least have the decency to puff puff give over this way.
Beezer, Laus and Skrudland all stood for what got the Cats all the way to the Finals. All were heart and soul players (two of the main things this team has lacked since and why they can't make the playoffs) and that's why the fans fell in love with the team and the sport. They established the definition of what it means to be a true Florida Panther.

Beezer, Mellenby, Skrudland... these were the cornerstones of the franchise when it was a winner and when the guys showed up to play every night. If you were going to retire three numbers, theirs would be three that I'd be proud to see in the rafters. Bure? Luongo? Jokinen? Others? Great talents, but they never got the job (winning/playfoffs) done here in Florida. Not completely their fault, granted, but I can't label them as "best Panthers of all time" for that reason.

NO LOVE FOR LAUS?!?!?

Let's not forget Chris Wells. The kid had great skills, but was missing one essential tool...he couldn't skate! He signified the slide that we've been on since he arrived. Thanks BM.

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