When goaltenders Roberto Luongo and Al Montoya both suffered injuries on March 3rd against the Toronto Maple Leafs someone inside the Florida Panthers organization came up with an interesting contest titled goal of a lifetime. The contest, which at first was supposed to be for Florida residents, was to give one lucky winner the chance to be the Panthers backup goalie for a day. Little did the organization know that this humorous idea would turn into something nationally covered.
As word began spreading about the contest major news sources even reported it, including ESPN and Good Morning America. With all of the added interest Florida decided to accept entries from other states. This led to ESPN’s own Linda Cohn, who played goalie on her high school’s hockey team, to try out. The Cats were even able to bring former players on board to help choose the two finalist out of the thousands that entered, such as Bryan McCabe, Radek Dvorak, and Marco Sturm.
After open tryouts were completed Monday afternoon the Panthers had their two finalist; Dustin Smith and Bill Ruggiero. These two goaltenders competed on Tuesday night during the first intermission of Montreal vs Florida in an awkward shootout that only had Marco Sturm and Radek Dvorak as shooters. The end result to a contest that received so much nation attention? A tie. This means that both Dustin and Bill will participate in a practice with the Florida Panthers.
While the overall concept for goal of a lifetime was a good idea the end result left many fans scratching their heads. When the shootout began fans inside the BB&T Center did not even know what was going on. Bill Murphy, public address announcer for the Panthers, tried his best to call the play-by-play, but it was just hard to follow. Most people had no idea that Radek Dvorak and Marco Sturm were the shooters until half way through the contest. Fans on Twitter expressed their disappointment as well, and some even questioned if the contest was rigged.
With that said, Sunshine State Hockey would like to extend congratulations to both men who won the contest. Hopefully the Florida Panthers organization will take the end result seriously next time they host an event that received so much publicity.
Welcome to Sunshine State Hockey’s live coverage of the 2012 National Hockey League trade deadline. There are so many big questions to be answered today. Will the Columbus Blue Jackets trade Rick Nash? Will Toronto get their goaltender? How will Florida react to being buyers for the first time in years? All of these questions and more will be answered by 3:00 PM EST, so keep checking back.
10:30 AM – Good morning everyone. It is time to get our live coverage of the 2012 NHL trade deadline started. There hasn’t been any moves yet but we are sure the action will pick up soon.
10:35 AM – Rumors right now have Andrei Kostitsyn being dealt to Nashville, stay tuned.
10:45 AM – Who are some players that could find a new home today? Rick Nash – CBJ, Jonathan Bernier – LAK, Josh Harding – MIN, Jaroslav Spacek – CAR, Paul Gaustad – BUF.
10:45 AM – The first trade of the day: Nashville trades a 2nd round pick and a conditional 5th round pick in 2013 to Montreal for Andrei Kostitsyn.
10:50 AM – Some bad news for the Capitals as Nicklas Backstrom has been placed on long-term IR.
10:52 AM – Here’s a picture of the Panthers trade “war room” tweeted earlier by Florida’s official Twitter account. http://ow.ly/i/tPNJ
11:02 AM – The word out of Florida right now is that a lot of teams are interested in Jason Garrison. Tallon will not move him though unless he get’s a very good return.
11:25 AM – Here are some good twitter accounts to follow for all of your trade deadline day needs: @SSH_Marc, @OnFrozenPond, @DarrenDreger, @Real_ESPNLeBrun, @TSNBobMcKenzie
11:30 AM – Very slow start to the day. We all can only hope for more deals soon or else this is going to be a long day.
11:50 AM – Here is TSN’s list of trade bait for today’s deadline: Trade Bait.
12:00 PM – It is now noon which means that there are only three hours left before the deadline. There has still been only one trade made today, so let’s hope that changes.
12:05 PM – The Jets have claimed Grant Clitsome off of waivers from Columbus.
12:45 PM – Everyone still awake?
12:46 PM – We have our second trade of the day. The Red Wings trade Mike Commodore to Tampa for a conditional 7th round pick.
1:00 PM – Oilers trade Tom Gilbert to the Wild for Nick Schultz.
1:01 PM – This deadline is so slow that TSN’s live trade tracker has died.
1:10 PM – Minnesota Star Tribune writer Michael Russo just tweeted that “Nick Schultz wasn’t even told by #mnwild that he was traded before #oilers tweeted it. Pretty ticked off organization here”. Yikes.
1:15 PM – Time to make some lunch. Our live coverage will be back at 1:30 PM unless a trade breaks in the next 15 minutes.
1:35 PM – We are back and haven’t missed anything.
1:37 PM – Toronto has dealt Keith Aulie to the Lightning for Carter Ashton.
1:57 PM – The Avalanche trade Daniel Winnik, TJ Galiardi, and a 7th round pick to San Jose for Jamie McGinn, Mike Connolly, and Michael Sgarbossa.
2:00 PM – Ottawa trades Brian Lee to the Lightning for Matt Gilroy.
2:04 PM – The Blue Jackets trade Sami Pahlsson to the Vancouver Canucks for two 4th round picks (years TBA).
2:08 PM – Johnny Oduya has been traded by the Jets to Chicago for a 2nd and 3rd round pick in 2013.
2:10 PM – Things are starting to heat up with 50 minutes left before the 3:00 PM deadline, including talks about Rick Nash.
2:30 PM – 30 minutes left before the deadline.
2:50 PM – 10 minutes remaining…
2:58 PM – Brian Rolston and Mike Motteau have been traded from the Islanders to Boston for Yannick Riendeau and Marc Cantin.
3:00 PM – The deadline has passed.
3:01 PM – Paul Gaustad and a 4th round pick sent to Nashville from Buffalo for a 1st round pick.
3:10 PM – Panthers GM Dale Tallon says that he made a lot of phone calls but didn’t do anything. Dale is satisfied with the team he has.
3:11 PM – Bruins acquire Greg Zanon from Minnesota for Steve Kampfer.
3:17 PM – Confirmed: Rangers get John Scott from the Hawks for a 5th round pick.
3:24 PM – Toronto makes a minor league deal by trading Dale Mitchell to Anaheim for Mark Fraser.
3:30 PM – Brian Burke does not like phones going off during his press conference.
3:35 PM – Buffalo acquires Cody Hodgson and Alexander Sulzer from Vancouver for Zack Kassian and MA Gragnani. There still might be more.
4:00 PM – Canucks get Andrew Gordon from the Ducks for Sebastian Erixon.
4:20 PM – Well folks we are going to cut our coverage of the 2012 NHL trade deadline ten minutes short. Today was something, that’s for sure. Check back with Sunshine State Hockey over the next couple of days for more coverage of this seasons trade deadline.
We have some fantastic news to confirm this afternoon. As everyone can tell from the list to the right of this post the Sunshine State Hockey League has officially filled up. That means we will have a full league of thirty teams when the inaugural season of the SSHL kicks off in October. More importantly, it also means that the prize for the overall winner has been improved. Read below for some new information about the SSHL, including the final prize.
– The final prize for the winner of the Sunshine State Hockey League will include a $50 gift card to shop.nhl.com, a Sunshine State Hockey T-Shirt, a puck signed by a random (current) Florida Panthers player, and a $50 donation in the winners name to the hockey charity of their choosing.
– The league will be created as soon as Yahoo! opens up registration for the 2011-2012 season. At that time all members of the SSHL will receive a message on Twitter or an E-mail with the password for the league. If you do not follow us on Twitter please do so by following @SSH_Marc and @SSH_BreGFX. If we don’t follow you please send us a tweet and we will be sure to right away.
– The SSHL will feature a live fantasy draft. We will do our best to select a date that should allow most to attend. A Saturday or Sunday in early September is what we’re looking at right now.
– Throughout the season we will feature different members of the league on our site to discuss their strategy. It could be the owner of the best team or even the worse.
That’s all of the new information we have for now. Once Yahoo! opens up registration there will be a lot more to discuss. Until that day be sure to keep checking Sunshine State Hockey for all of the latest news on the Florida Panthers, the NHL, the SSHL, and more.