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2024 Stanley Cup Final

Florida Panthers Can Complete South Florida Championship Circle



Florida panthers

The Florida Panthers will join an exclusive club with one more win in the Stanley Cup Final: The South Florida Ring of Champions.

The Panthers, as of this morning, are the final major professional team in South Florida without a championship and would join the Dolphins, Heat, and Marlins by winning the Stanley Cup.

There are 12 metropolitan areas in the United States with all four major professional sports.

South Florida joined that group when the Florida Panthers started play in 1993.

Of the 12 markets with teams in the Big 4, only four have not won a championship in all of them.

The Panthers would make that three by winning the Stanley Cup.

The cities which have not won titles in all four sports are: Miami/Fort Lauderdale, Minneapolis, San Francisco/San Jose, and Denver.

Here is a look at South Florida’s championship teams:

Miami Dolphins (est. 1966): Super Bowl wins in 1972, 1973

The Dolphins were one of the worst teams in football after being an expansion team in the American Football League until luring coach Don Shula away from the Baltimore Colts in 1970.

Miami went to Super Bowl VI in Shula’s second season, losing to the Dallas Cowboys; the following year, Miami went 17-0 and remain the only undefeated team in NFL history. The Dolphins went 15-2 the next season and won its second Super Bowl with a 24-7 win over the Vikings.

The Dolphins went back to the Super Bowl under Shula in the 1982 and 1984 seasons, but lost to Washington and San Francisco, respectively. Miami came closest to a return to the Super Bowl in 1993 when it lost to the Bills in the AFC Championship game.

Miami Heat (est. 1988): NBA Finals champions 2006, 2012, 2013

The Heat started off 0-17 in its first season and struggled in its first few seasons before making the playoffs in its fourth season. Miami took off as a basketball destination when Pat Riley left the New York Knicks and started building the Heat into a power.

After losing to the Pistons in the 2005 Eastern Conference final, the Heat made it to the NBA Finals in 2006 and led by Dwyane Wade, Shaquille O’Neal, and Udonis Haslem, beat Dallas for its first of three championships. LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined Wade here in 2010 for the Big 3 Era, one in which the Heat won back-to-back championships in 2012-13.

The Heat have been to the championship round more than any other South Florida team, making the NBA Finals seven times.

Florida/Miami Marlins (est. 1993): World Series champions 1997, 2003

Things have been rough for much of the Marlins’ existence. But when they make the playoffs, they usually win it all.

The Florida Marlins put together a championship team in their fifth season, beating the Cleveland Indians in 1997 for Miami’s first non-Dolphins World Championship. Five years later, the Marlins beat the Yankees for their second title.

The Marlins have only made the playoffs two other times in their history — in 2020 and last year.

The Panthers and Marlins are distant cousins, having both been brought into the world by H. Wayne Huizenga.

In the early years, both teams shared personnel and executives.

For More FHN Coverage of the Florida Panthers:

Panthers Lead Best of 7 Series 3-0
  • When: Saturday, 8 p.m.
  • Where: Rogers Place; Edmonton, Alberta
  • National TV: ABC
  • Streaming: ESPN+/Hulu
  • Radio: WQAM 560-AM; WPOW 96.5-FM2; WBZT 1230-AM (West Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); WCZR 101.7-FM (Treasure Coast); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932, NHL app
  • Series Schedule, All Games 8 p.m. on ABC — Game 1: @Florida 3, Edmonton 0; Game 2: @Florida 4, Edmonton 1; Game 3: Florida 4, @Edmonton 3; Game 4: Florida at Edmonton, Saturday; Game 5*: Edmonton at Florida, Tuesday; Game 6*: Florida at Edmonton, Friday June 21; Game 7*:Edmonton at Florida, Monday June 24. (*) – If Necessary
  • How They Got Here — Florida: d. Tampa Bay 4-1, Boston 4-2, New York Rangers 4-2; Edmonton: d. Los Angeles 4-1, Vancouver 4-3, Dallas 4-2.
  • This Season (Florida Won 2-0) — At Florida: Panthers 5, Oilers 3 (Nov. 20). At Edmonton: Panthers 5, Oilers 2 (Dec. 17).
  • Last Season: Edmonton Won 2-0
  • All-time Regular Season Series: Oilers lead 23-16-0, 3 ties
  • Postseason History: First Meeting

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