Tall Tales Of Ex-Panther Coach & GM Mike Keenan By Jeremy Roenick

If you didn’t already know, Jeremy Roenick has a new book out that based on the excerpt that I’ve included later on in this post from Deadspin, promises to be a smash hit.  Roenick who we all know is colorful, outspoken, and never one to shy away from the microphone, can tell some great stories.  After a long and successful NHL career you can bet that he has a lot to say.

As you know from reading our new site, and our former site, I am a huge fan of both Jeremy Roenick as well as Mike Keenan.  Go ahead, shoot me, but I have my reasons, and can back up any response that you have, including accusing me of being crazy.  For those of you that thought Keenan was a loose cannon here in Florida, wait till you read some of what Roenick has to say in the excerpt that appeared in Deadspin.  It’s loaded with a number of wacky and sordid tales of late night tomfoolery as told by Roenick, who was very fortunate in a couple situations to come out alive. 

Roenick credits Keenan for molding him into the hockey player that he became, and for me it was a pleasure to watch that unfold in person while I lived in Chicago.  Roenick also admitted the same thing when he accounced his retirement a couple of years ago.

If you’re wondering what to get me for Christmas, JR’s book and some Molson Canadian will be just fine!

Thanks for reading.  We welcome your comments and opinions.

Follow the Rat Pack on Twitter: me @TheRatTrick , David Lasseter @davidlasseter , Josh Luecht@joshluecht, Patrick McLaughlin @PatrickRattrick, Scott Mullin @GreatScottsman, David Rodriguez @davidbub_2, Paige Lewis @RatTrickLewiz Gabby Kiger @gabbykiger, Adam Reid@AdamReid Chrissy Parente @chrissaay44, Justen Rosenberg @justenrosenberg, Kris Eberwein @RatTrickKris, Lori Carpenter @lmcangel13, and Amanda Land @HockeyGirl2530.  Also, please join our FaceBook Fan Page and hit the like button, send us photos, and tell us what’s on your mind.

He Coulda Been A Florida Panther. Looking Back At Round One Of The 1995 NHL Draft

With the announcement that the Winter Classic has officially been cancelled, thinking of material to hold your interest can get difficult.  However it’s also a time where I can sit back and write about some things that I normally wouldn’t have time for.  This will be a series called “He Coulda Been A Florida Panther”  that will examine the Florida Panthers first round draft picks, and who they “could’ve” drafted instead.  It’s easy to look back and analyze, especially with what is known after the fact, but we need some fun.   Although I think in a few cases, we’ll shed some tears.

Today we take a look back at the 1995 NHL Draft, and with that look comes an uneasy feeling.  The Florida Panthers were able to choose Radek Dvorak with their 10th selection, and while that ultimately turned out to be a fine selection, it’s once again the players, and specifically one player that they didn’t take that one would find intriguing.  Dvorak is second all time in games played for the Panthers with 613, which he accumulated in two separate stints in South Florida.  Dvorak who made the jump from the draft right into NHL action in his first season, was part of the 1995-1996 team that went to the Stanley Cup final against the Colorado Avalanche.  Dvorak played in 77 games in his rookie season, scoring 13 goals and adding 14 assists for 27 points.  In 16 playoff games he had one goal and three assists.

Dvorak became very well known for his defensive play, and his penalty killing skills.  Quick on his feet, a good puck handler with sharp passing skills, Dvorak has had a very respectable NHL career playing for the Panthers, New York Rangers, Edmonton Oilers, St. Louis Blues, Atlanta Thrashers and the Dallas Stars.  Dvorak is seventh all time on the Panthers scoring list with 268 points in his 613 games.  He is 6th all time in goals with 113.  Dvorak could typically be counted on for 15 goals, and 30 points per season, however one year in New York he scored 31 goals and had 36 assists, which has turned out to be his best season ever in the NHL.  Likeable, respected, and a good teammate, Dvorak has been a solid citizen everywhere he’s played.

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