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Forget Today: Let's Look Back to Yesterday ... With TWO On Frozen Polls

Beezer2 Well, we're in the second period on Wednesday and the Panthers aren't looking so good.

At least Buffalo didn't hang up six on the Panthers in that dreadful opening period. Florida has allowed six goals in a single period three times in its history, the last coming in 2007. I'm always up for seeing history made in a game, but not like that.

Anyway, story in tomorrow's Herald revolves around the team getting rid of its Den of Honor. A few of you have emailed me about this, and I first noticed it was gone Friday when I was in the main concourse for the first time this season.

I spoke to Michael Yormark about it today and he said it wasn't taken out to make room for the large computer store kiosk/advertising space as many of us (including me) assume. He said it was already gone before they sold the space. That I believe.

He said the reason it was taken out was because a ''season ticket advisory'' board said to take it out, that it was too small and didn't really represent the franchise's history. That I'm a little skeptical on. One thing Yormark said that stuck out to me was that he has spoken to teams like Carolina and Tampa Bay and that, as he said, aside from a few photos, those teams haven't done much to honor past players. I just don't get why you take out something that was there though. The old Den wasn't hurting anyone, but it was taking up valuable real estate.

But, Yormark says, a new one is on the way. They are scouting for places for it as we speak I'm sure. He says it won't be in the Chairman's Club since that would limit how many people could see it. That's very true. Yormark says the team wants to reach out to its alums and is planning a reunion, perhaps as early as late January/early February. The new and improved Den of Honor could be unveiled then.

We shall see.

''We not talking about something elaborate, but something more elaborate than what was there,'' Yormark said. ''Even though we haven't made the playoffs in a few years, we're very proud of our history in this market. We've had our moments. We think it's important to honor that and we're reaching out.''

Yormark said it may be time for the team to retire a jersey, noting that none of the recent expansion teams have done so (Ottawa's retired jerseys don't count because they are from the early 1900s). He mentioned John Vanbiesbrouck and Brian Skrudland as potential candidates. Vanbiesbrouck, as always, was outspoken about the team's dismantling of the Den. As you recall, his jersey -- as well as one from Skrudland -- were in the trophy case. Word is those jerseys are in storage. The photos that were also there were salvaged by people working in the arena who then put them in their offices.

''Sure, we would like to see our jerseys back on display, but we don't want to stand in the way of progress,'' Vanbiesbrouck said with a chuckle.

''I love that team and think the world of them. I know there's not a lot of connection to the past although I believe there is an intention. It's not just that meaningful to them. It is a building they need to make money in .-.-. they try to sell as much as they can and that's understandable.

''But you would like something to tie the history to the present.''


So, should the Panthers retire a jersey after only 16-something seasons in the league? And who do you honor? The team's first captain (Skrudland) who played here for four seasons? How about Beezer? He played here for five? Pavel Bure? Scott Mellanby? Paul Laus? Billy Lindsay?

Go ahead and vote away.

PS: It's still 5-1.


Comments

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George, something needs to give this team a spark. Last year Belak was traded and it seemed to wake the team up. I'm not saying a trade is the only answer, but right now this team looks sluggish and lost. 5 goals in the first period after having 5 days off???

Kudos to Horton for getting thrown out trying to fight there at the end. At least someone is showing some anger out there on the ice.

Skrudland, Mellanby, or Vanbeisbrouck all should have their jersey's retired at some point just to give this damn team some credibility and connection with the past. That is an era that should represent this team's identity. It's a team that this squad should look to for inspiration. No major scoring stars, just a bunch of hard workers overcoming any talent deficits.

Man, I miss those days so much...

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