Nearly every NHL team has some trinket it hands out to the “player of the game” in postgame meetings. There are firemen hats and Broadway hats. There have been ugly jackets. A few teams have WWE-style championship belts – most recently the Carolina Hurricanes, who have no idea what the hell it means, considering they already hand out a fireman’s hat.
But the Florida Panthers have a new postgame tradition that is, by far, the weirdest and most inexplicable thing we’ve seen handed out to the player of the game:
The Kevin Spacey-in-space sweatshirt.
Available here on Red Bubble, it’s a faded image of the Oscar-winning actor’s noggin floating through the cosmos. (While we assume this is original art, it could actually be the rejected DVD cover for K-PAX.)
Now, you might be wondering … “why?”
So was George Richards of the Miami Herald, who reports that the appearance of the Spacey shirt is a fairly new occurrence in the Panthers’ locker room. )Sorry, make that “first-place Panthers’ locker room.” Sorry, we’re still getting used to it, too.)
When he asked defenseman Erik Gudbranson:
So the mystery continues ... and not even Kevin Spacey himself is spilling the beans.
And with that, we offer the Top 10 explanations for the Florida Panthers’ Kevin Spacey shirt:
10. Al Montoya? AMERICAN BEAUTY.
9. Dmitry Kulikov has decided to change his number to SE7EN.
8. Dale Tallon secretly refers to himself as “THE NEGOTIATOR” and makes finger guns when he says it.
7. Brian Campbell was briefly SWIMMING WITH SHARKS in 2008.
6. The Panthers have seen their share of HORRIBLE BOSSES. (*cough*Keenan*cough*)
5. Roberto Luongo was once a captain, but now he’s BEYOND THE C.
4. Their favorite Pixar film is “A BJUG’S LIFE.”
3. "Jaromir Jagr" was the alias Keyser Soze invented while staring at a sign that read "MARIO JUNIOR."
2. Aaron Ekblad was born four years after GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS was released. (That really has nothing to do with the shirt. We just wanted to make you all feel terribly old for a moment.)
1. The franchise’s stability is basically a HOUSE OF CARDS. Goodnight and try the veal!
But seriously, when the Florida Panthers succeed, we get plastic rats thrown on the ice and Kevin Spacey shirts in the locker room.
Let’s Go Panthers!
Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at email@example.com or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.
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