Getty Images (Ed. Observe: Welcome to the Puck Daddy 2013 summer season undertaking, the Nationwide Hockey League of Nations. We’ve recruited 30 writers/blogs to determine the best participant in their favorite staff’s historical past for each major nationality that creates the fabric of our beloved NHL: Canada, USA, Russia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Sweden, Finland and The Rest of The World. It’s their criteria, as long as they’ll justify it. Learn, debate and enjoy! If you want to accomplish that on Twitter, it is #NHLoN.)
Canada: Joe Nieuwendyk
One of probably the most adorned gamers to ever suit up for the Florida Panthers, Corridor of Famer Joe Nieuwendyk brought his three Stanley Cup rings, Olympic Gold Medal, Conn Smyth Trophy and 1,126 career factors to the Sunshine State in 2005. Though the Panthers obtained the oldest version of a skater identified affectionately “Nieuwe”, the getting older legend nonetheless managed to score sixty four points in eighty games for the Cats earlier than retiring in 2007. Nieuwendyk’s time in Florida was loads like courting an aging Playboy mannequin: Certain you didn’t get her in her prime, but you may always look back at her glory days and suppose to yourself, “Yeah, I got that.”
Finland: Olli Jokinen
Sitting on the high of the all-time leading points checklist together with fellow Finnish players corresponding to Selanne, Kurri, Sandstrom, and Koivu, Olli Jokinen has made a big mark throughout his professional years which he spent in each the Finnish Elite League and the NHL.
Before taking his talents to North America in 1998, Olli Jokinen was making a reputation for himself in his hometown league, the SM-Liiga. Kicking off his professional profession at simply 17-years-old, Jokinen found himself breaking a document for essentially the most points recorded for a player below 18 years previous (recently damaged by Aleksander Barkov), earning himself the Jarmo Wasama memorial trophy which is given to the rookie of the year. Following the success he present in Finland, Olli determined to take his abilities to the NHL where he was drafted 3rd total by the Los Angeles Kings, later being traded to the Islanders and ultimately making his approach to Florida. Although the Panthers failed to make the playoffs throughout Jokinen’s 7 seasons with the struggling franchise, he managed to seek out his personal success during his years with Florida, recording a career excessive of 85-plus points in back-to-again seasons. Jokinen presently holds the all-time points and goals report for the Panthers.
USA: John Vanbiesbrouck
One of the driving forces behind the Panthers’ miracle run to the Stanley Cup in 1996, John “Beezer” Vanbiesbrouck is one of the most decorated American goaltenders of all-time. A 3-time All-Star and Vezina Trophy winner in 1986, Beezer nonetheless holds the document for all-time victories amongst American born goaltenders with 374. In 5 seasons with the Panthers, Beezer compiled 106 regular season victories and 13 postseason victories. At age 49, Beezer might nonetheless have an opportunity of creating an impact on the Cat’s questionable goaltending duo, however for now fans will have to cling to recollections of 1996.
Sweden: Kristian Huselius
Selected by the Panthers within the 2nd spherical (forty seventh overall) of the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, forward Kristian Huselius spent 4 seasons wearing Panther red. Though he didn’t make his debut with the Panthers until 2001, Huselius’ velocity and playmaking had been on full show when he lastly took the ice. In four seasons for the Cats, Huselius scored 127 points earlier than he was traded to Calgary in 2005. Though followers hope that sometime goaltender Jacob Markstrom will be seemed back on because the Cat’s prime Swede, for now the distinction belongs to Huselius.
Russia: Pavel Bure
Although his jersey is about to be raised to the rafters in Vancouver, Russian forward Pavel Bure spent 4 years raising both eyebrows and expectations when he suited up for the Florida Panthers from 1998-2002. During Bure’s four-year stint in the Sunshine State, he was able to tally 152 targets en route to winning back-to-back Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophies.
Bure was able to rating 779 career factors whereas showing in seven All-Star video games and earning an induction into the Hockey Corridor of Fame in 2012.
To put it bluntly, Bure brought probably the most Russian-related hysteria to South Florida because the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Slovakia: Jozef Stumpel
While Slovakian natives resembling previous-timer Robert Svehla and current player Tomas Kopecky could also be Florida Panther fan favorites, it’s onerous not to give the “greatest Slovakian” nod to Jozef Stumpel who appeared in 957 NHL video games, recording 677 points. Stumpel saw productive years with the Florida Panthers tallying 111 factors in 199 video games until he retired in 2008.
But it was earlier in his career when Stumpel made a name for himself, notching seventy five-plus factors in back to again seasons with each the Boston Bruins and the Los Angeles Kings.
While Stumpel may not be draped in medals and NHL awards, he presently sits seventh all-time in points for Slovakian born skaters averaging a formidable zero.71 points per sport.
Czech Republic: Martin Straka
Although he solely appeared in 67 games with the Florida Panthers, Martin Straka made his mark within the NHL tallying 717 factors (257g-460a-717p) in 954 profession video games with teams such because the Pittsburgh Penguins and the New York Rangers. Straka is finest identified for his dominance between the late ninety’s/early 2000’s the place he performed with the Penguins for the second time in his profession notching 346 factors in 403 games. Nestled nicely between Petr Sykora and Milan Hejduk, Martin Straka has put up the 4th highest points per game complete amongst Czech born NHL gamers (0.seventy five).
Adding to those accomplishments, Straka skated with the Czech Republic males’s ice hockey group in the course of the 1998 Olympic games in Nagano Japan, incomes their nations first and only gold medal in ice hockey.
REST OF THE WORLD CATEGORY
Latvia: Sandis Ozolinsh
A veteran of several NHL teams, 7-time All-Star defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh soaked up the sunshine with the Panthers from 2001-2003. An astoundingly gifted offensive-defenseman, Ozolinsh averaged64 factors a sport for his profession and continues to be at the moment the all-time Latvian factors chief in each the NHL and for his dwelling country. In 1996 he was in a position to hoist the Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche and nonetheless holds eight individual Avalanche information. In his two seasons with the Panthers, Ozolinish earned fifty five points in 88 video games performed.
Although Latvia may be identified for producing famous folks songs, Ozolinish was able to use his stick as an instrument of offensive destruction in the NHL for a few years.
Belarus: Ruslan Salei
While he may no longer be on this Earth, former NHL defenseman Ruslan Salei’s mark left on Belarusian hockey will echo for a while. Arriving in Florida in 2006, Salei spent 2 seasons with the Panthers, recording 55 factors in 147 games played.
Sadly, Salei misplaced his life within the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl airplane crash in 2011. On the time of his demise, Salei was the NHL’s all-time leading point scorer from Belarus with 204 points in 917 video games. Though Andrei Kosititsyn has since surpassed that whole, Salei’s legacy within the NHL will reside on.