The Florida Panthers have only had one captain of an NHL All-Star team since the league went to the divisional split a few years back.
That captain was one Jaromir Jagr in 2016 — and he did not even want the gig.
But, upon being threatened with being suspended for a game if he did not go, Jagr reluctantly went to Nashville with the rest of the Panthers (Aaron Ekblad, Roberto Luongo and Gerard Gallant) voted onto the team to represent the Atlantic Division.
By all accounts, Jags had a blast.
The captain of the four All-Star teams are voted on by fans and that usually puts Florida players behind the old 8-ball.
Unless your name is Jaromir Jagr, of course.
Not only do Florida players have to compete with a host of Canadian-based players — yeah, there are a lot more fans of Canadian teams who would take the time to vote on these kind of things — not to mention the likes of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Boston Bruins.
So, good luck to Sasha Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau, Ekblad and Sergei Bobrovsky — the four Panthers players on this year’s All-Star ballot.
You can vote HERE. Votes can be submitted through 11:59 p.m. ET on Jan. 8. The players with the most votes in each division become the captain of their respective team.
Per the league,NHL Hockey Operations will fill out the remaining rosters. Each team in each division will be represented by at least one player.
On Monday, the first round of voting was released and none of Florida’s players are even close to winning this race.
Per NHL.com, Toronto’s Auston Matthews leads the Atlantic race by a wide margin.
Matthews has 17 percent of the vote with Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos at 9.6.
Rounding out the top six: Boston’s Patrice Bergeron (6.9), Toronto goalie Jack Campbell (6.3), Detroit’s Dylan Larkin (4.7) and Ottawa’s Brady Tkachuk (4.5).
The Panthers will most likely get one representative for the All-Star event which will be held in Las Vegas from Feb. 4-6.
The Panthers are expected to be granted the 2023 All-Star Weekend — Florida was supposed to have it last season but it was cancelled — during the Vegas event.
If the Vegas event is held, of course.
With the way things are looking, it certainly is in doubt although the NHL will try and hold it after all the turmoil which has gone down since St. Louis had it last in 2020.
The Panthers should have plenty of representation during the 2023 All-Star event in Sunrise, don’t you worry.