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The Florida Panthers season is over and during Tuesday's exit interviews we learned the fate of the team’s popular player of the game award.
The “Spacey in Space” sweatshirt, which began earlier in the season and became so big that the actual Kevin Spacey got involved and even attended a game in March, will be retired, according to Shawn Thornton.
“It took on a life of its own. I thought it was hilarious," Thornton said via Harvey Fialkov. "The fact that Spacey himself jumped on board with it and dove right in.’’
The "Spacey in Space" sweatshirt was one of many memorable things about the 2015-16 Panthers season. They had their most successful regular season in franchise history; brought back the rats; won their division for the second time ever; and got a good glimpse of their future following solid seasons from the likes of Aaron Ekblad, Aleksander Barkov and Vince Trocheck, among others. Oh, and they were led in scoring by a hockey legend, Jaromir Jagr, who was seemingly recording a new milestone for his Hall of Fame resume on a weekly basis.
Barkov was actually the first Panthers player to wear the sweatshirt after a December game and Spacey got involved shortly after with this Tweet:
Barkov even thanked Spacey in a Tweet following his contract extension in January.
“My first reaction was to call Shawn Thornton,” Cifu said. “He told me and he made me promise I wouldn’t tell anybody. He’s a lot bigger and stronger than me so he told me he’d beat me up if I told anybody. I was like, ‘you know what? That’s pretty cool.’ And the guys absolutely loved it.”
The Panthers put the sweatshirts up for sale in January and they quickly became a hot seller. Over 2,000 have been sold since with proceeds benefiting the Florida Panthers Foundation and Kevin Spacey Foundation.
How do the Panthers top this for next season?
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