Getty ImagesIn 1999-2000, Pavel Bure of the Florida Panthers led the NHL with 58 goals; he did the same the following season, with 59 goals. For his efforts, he was given the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy as the NHL's top goal-scorer, which was established in the 1998-99 season.
Like the Art Ross, the Richard is a non-voting award, automatically given to a player who leads the NHL in a statistical category.
It's also the only major NHL Award ever captured by a Florida Panthers player, coach or executive since the franchise was founded in 1993.
Of the 30 current NHL teams, they're the only one never to win a postseason award that's voted on by the media, GMs or other panels. And the streak can finally end this week.
The Panthers' expansion era peers have all captured postseason hardware.
The San Jose Sharks have a Hart Trophy winner in Joe Thornton. The Tampa Bay Lightning had award winners like Steven Stamkos and Marty St. Louis. The Ottawa Senators have Daniel Alfredsson's Calder. The Nashville Predators have Steve Sullivan's Masterton. The Colubmus Blue Jackets have Steve Mason's Calder. The Anaheim Ducks have Corey Perry's Hart. The Minnesota Wild had Jacques Lemaire's Jack Adams. The Atlanta Thrashers-turned-Winnipeg Jets have Dany Heatley's Calder; even the Winnipeg Jets-turned-Phoenix Coyotes have Bob Francis's Jack Adams.
Some of these teams have multiple award winners. The Panthers are looking for their first voted-on award winner on Wednesday night.
Dale Tallon is up for General Manager of the Year, voted on by a panel pulled together by the NHL, after the team's spending spree last summer and Southeast Division title. He's facing Doug Armstrong of the St. Louis Blues and David Poile of the Nashville Predators.
Defenseman Brian Campbell, meanwhile, has a chance to make lots of history as a Lady Byng nominee, going up against Jordan Eberle of the Edmonton Oilers and Matt Moulson of the New York Islanders. Along with being the first Panther to ever win a voted-on trophy, he could become the first defenseman to win the Lady Byng since Red Kelly back in 1954.
Either one of these guys could win in Vegas, so we sense the nearly 20-year drought will end.
If not … hey, maybe Luongo still has a Vezina in him.