On December 10th, 1992 the NHL awarded H. Wayne Huizenga an NHL franchise, later named the Panthers. In the inaugural Panthers season the club nearly qualified for the playoffs and amassed 83 points, a then-NHL record for an expansion franchise. The Huizenga family - led by H. Wayne and his wife Marti - were vocal supporters of the club, and Marti even made headlines during the 1996 Stanley Cup Final when the plastic rats she attempted to sneak into a Stanley Cup Final game at McNichols Arena in Denver, Colo. were confiscated by arena security.
On Friday January 19, 2018 at BB&T Center, the Panthers permanently retired the number 37 in honor of Huizenga. The number 37 was selected by the Huizenga family in recognition of Wayne's birth year and lucky number.
On March 23, 2018, Huizenga passed away at the age of 80.
Named the Panthers inaugural President on April 19, 1993, by the upstart franchise's founding owner H. Wayne Huizenga, Mr. Torrey held the position for the club's first nine seasons. Under Mr. Torrey's guidance and direction he helped assemble Florida's first roster for the 1993-94 season, a team that set then-expansion club records for wins (33), and points (83).
In 1995-96, Florida's third season, the Panthers became the fastest post 1967-expansion team in NHL history to reach the Stanley Cup Final. On Oct. 23, 2010, the Panthers honored Mr. Torrey before their game against the New York Islanders by retiring the number 93 to the rafters of BB&T Center.
The number 93 was chosen as it signifies the founding year of the Panthers and Mr. Torrey's lasting legacy on the organization. It marked the first number ever to be retired by the club.
On May 2, 2018, Torrey passed away at the age of 83.