SUNRISE — Over the years, players on the Florida Panthers have had numerous postgame rituals and trinkets handed out to the best players following a win.
They have had blue hooded sweatshirts with the image of a now unnamed-actor floating in space on it, goofy hats and even a plastic Infinity Gauntlet bought at Disneyland.
During the playoffs, Florida’s players have awarded a practice puck with that game’s date on it to place in a special holder which travels with them and is mounted on the wall by Sergei Bobrovsky’s locker stall when the team returns to Sunrise.
Then comes the dog bone.
The newest ritual the team has come up with is handing out a rawhide dog chew to the player who put forth the grittiest performance in a playoff win.
There is a bit of ceremony to it as seen on the new ESPN docuseries Quest for the Cup as Marc Staal got the bone from Bobrovsky in the third episode which is now available on ESPN+.
If you got some dog in you, you are probably getting the bone.
“It goes to the hardest working guy of the game,” Ryan Lomberg said. “It rewards an individual for doing something a little extra. You want that. Anytime you can put the puck on the plaque or chew on that bone for a little while, it is a good feeling and it is rewarding.”
Lomberg and Eric Staal say they don’t know who started bringing the rawhide chew into the dressing room — or just will not say — but it seems to be a prized possession.
It is not a tasty one, however.
”It does not have much flavor. I think the training guys soak it in peroxide,” Eric Staal said.
“It is for the unsung guy. In the playoffs, every single player is important but this singles out one guy and it is cool. In the excitement of the win, it is one more thing celebrate. It has been a treat so far.”
FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK
THE 2023 STANLEY CUP FINAL
FLORIDA PANTHERS AT VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS
- When: Saturday, 8 p.m.
- Where: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas
- TV: TNT
- Radio: WQAM 560-AM, WPOW 96.5 FM2, WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
- Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932
- Series Schedule — Game 1: Saturday at Vegas, 8 (TNT); Game 2: Monday June 5 at Vegas, 8 (TNT); Game 3: Thursday June 8 at Florida, 8 (TNT); Game 4: Saturday June 10 at Florida, 8 (TNT); Game 5*: Tuesday June 13 at Vegas, 8 (TNT); Game 6*: Friday June 16 at Florida, 8 (TNT); Game 7*: Monday June 19 at Vegas, 8 (TNT). * – If Necessary
- 2022-23 Regular Season Series Vs. Vegas (Even 1-1): @Vegas 4, Florida 2 (Jan. 12); @Florida 2, Vegas 1 (March 7)
- All-time Regular Season Series: vs. Vegas Golden Knights lead 6-3-1
- Postseason History: First meeting
- How They Got Here — Vegas: d. Winnipeg in 5, Edmonton in 6, Dallas in 6; Florida: d. Boston in 7, Toronto in 5, Carolina in 4.