The Florida Panthers are an American professional ice hockey team based in the Miami metropolitan area. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). It was founded in 1993 as an expansion team. They play home games at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida; the Panthers are the southernmost team in the NHL. The team has made one appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals, in 1996; they lost to the Colorado Avalanche in four games.
The team advanced to the Stanley Cup playoffs for the second time in 12 years in 2012, but were eliminated in seven games in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals by the New Jersey Devils, who eventually won the Eastern Conference championship that season.
On April 20, 1993, a press conference in Fort Lauderdale announced that the team would be named Florida Panthers, with former New York Islanders general manager Bill Torrey as president and Bobby Clarke as general manager. The team is named for the Florida panther, an endangered species of large cat endemic to the nearby Everglades region. Once the logos and uniforms were unveiled on June 15, the team also announced its financial commitment to the panther preservation cause. Huizenga held the Panthers trademark since 1991, when he purchased it from a group of Tampa investors who sought to create an MLB team on the Bay area.
The new franchise would join the NHL for participation in the 1993–94 season, along with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. The Panthers' and Ducks' roster was filled up in both the expansion draft and the 1993 NHL Entry Draft in June 1993, hosted by Quebec City; that draft produced ten players who would eventually be a part of the 1996 Eastern Conference-winning team.
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The National Hockey League (NHL; French: Ligue nationale de hockey—LNH) is a professional ice hockey league composed of 30 member clubs: 23 in the United States and 7 in Canada. Headquartered in New … read more »
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