2012 Hockey Hall Of Fame - Legends Game

Fanspeak: Pavel Bure voted greatest Panther in franchise history


This summer, NBC Sports’ social media team is conducting the #NHLGreatest initiative, designed for fans to choose the best player in each franchise’s history. Balloting was conducted through three platforms — Facebook, Twitter and Instagram — with thousands of votes being cast. The results of this initiative will be released throughout the month of August, in conjunction with PHT’s Team of the Day series.

Florida Panthers

1. Pavel Bure (983)

2. John Vanbiesbrouck (479)

3. Roberto Luongo (134)

4. Scott Mellanby (132)

“The Russian Rocket” won’t get many votes for greatest player in NHL history, but like Wayne Gretzky, he was voted the greatest player in the history of two franchises. (“The Great One” took the voting for the Los Angeles Kings and Edmonton Oilers.)

Many of the Fanspeak winners were long-time favorites of their franchises and plenty of them own a slew of records for those respective teams. In the case of Bure with Florida, it’s more about making a big impact in a short time.

He only played with the Panthers for four seasons. He’s ninth all-time in franchise history in points. Florida didn’t draft him like, say, Ed Jovanovski. He’s not even first all-time in his elite skill of goal-scoring, but Bure scored 152 goals in just 223 games. That’s five fewer than second-place scorer Scott Mellanby, who did so in 552.

When it comes to Bure’s legacy, it’s about quality over quantity, and the Russian star enjoyed his last brilliant years with the Cats. He barely fell short of his career-high of 60 goals during his best days there, managing 58 in 1999-2000 and 59 in 2000-01 … aka the height of the Dead Puck Era.

Sure, some of this revolves around the Panthers being such an irregular playoff team – Roberto Luongo’s the only “modern” choice in the top four, and it’s certainly not because of his abbreviated return last season – but it says a lot about a star shining brightest rather than longest.

Here’s the entry on his Canucks days if you’re interested.

Kassian sent to hospital after being involved in car accident

Scott Darling, Zack Kassian

Montreal Canadiens winger Zack Kassian was involved in a car accident early Sunday morning.

According to the Montreal Gazette, Kassian was a passenger in the vehicle that crashed into a tree.

The SUV was being driven by a 20-year-old female at the time of the accident.

Montreal police confirmed that speed didn’t play a factor in the collision, but alcohol may have.

The Canadiens have since confirmed the incident took place and have also mentioned that Kassian was taken to hospital.

A club official described his injuries as being “minor”.

“(Kassian) was all bloodied up and stuff. He was in a daze,” said Steve Petrenko, a resident of the street on which the accident took place. “He had a hard time walking, and he almost took a fall.”

This story will be updated when more information is made available.

Habs and Fleischmann agree on one-year deal

Tomas Fleischmann,
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The Montreal Canadiens announced that they have signed Tomas Fleischmann to a one-year contract.

According to TVA Sports, the deal is worth $750,000.

The 31-year-old was invited to camp on a professional tryout, but his preseason performance showed that he could still contribute at the NHL level.

Fleischmann found instant chemistry with new linemates David Desharnais and Dale Weise, and it looks like the trio will open the regular season as Montreal’s third line.

The veteran winger started  last season with Florida, but was traded to Anaheim on Feb. 28. He had a hard time cracking the Duck’s lineup and was a healthy scratch in most of their playoff games last spring.

Fleischmann scored eight goals and 27 points in 66 games last season.