Florida Panthers Will Celebrate 20 Years In NHL During 2013-14 Season

By Jonathan Katje
Stephen Weiss
Kevin Hoffman – USA TODAY Sports

The Florida Panthers will celebrate 20 seasons of NHL hockey during the 2013-14 season, and recently revealed some of their plans for celebration. A commemorative logo with the Panthers logo flanked by an X on either side will be featured prominently throughout the season, and all plans are expected to be announced on draft day, which marks the official kickoff of the celebration.

The Panthers will no doubt honor some of the great players in franchise history, and fans can expect to see many photos and videos of John Vanbiesbrouck, Scott Mellanby, Pavel Bure and more during the course of the season. The Panthers made a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1996 and ended a 12-year playoff drought by returning to the postseason as the Southeast Division champs in 2013 – two of the high points for the franchise. If center Stephen Weiss returns to the Panthers (he’s an unrestricted free agent), he could end up as the Panthers’ franchise leader in the three main scoring categories during their 20th anniversary celebration. Weiss is the franchise leader in assists with 249, and trails Olli Jokinen for the career points mark by 25. He is also fourth in goals scored (145), trailing Jokinen (188), Bure (157) and Mellanby (152).

As young players Jonathan Huberdeau, Drew Shore, Nick Bjugstad and Quinton Howden help usher in a new era for a Panthers team that desperately wants to put the memory of last season to bed, it will be a great time to look back at some of the big moments and memorable players in franchise history.

Jonathan Katje is an NHL senior writer for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter or add him to your circles on Google Plus.

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