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Countdown 22: October 23 vs NY Islanders

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
The Panthers 2010-11 season is quickly approaching and with that, is taking a look at the top ten questions, players to watch and games of the season on a countdown to the home opener on October 16th against Tampa Bay. We'll unveil one of the top ten on a rotating basis each day to help fans get ready for what hopes to be an exciting season.

In today's topic, we take a closer look at the game against the New York Islanders on October 23rd in the Top 10 Games this season.

It's just the third home game of the season, sixth overall, but the October 23rd game against the NY Islanders will be a special one, especially for one of the Panthers greats.

With the franchise since the team's inception, the Panthers will honor original team President and current Alternate Governor and Hockey Hall of Famer Bill Torrey with  a special pre-game banner-raising ceremony, South Florida Hockey Den of Honor case dedication, in-game tribute while the Panthers take on his former team.

Involved in pro hockey since the mid 1960s, Mr. Torrey was a huge reason that the Panthers had the best record ever as an expansion franchise (33-34-17, 83 pts). Torrey along with GM Bobby Clarke and coach Roger Nielson drafted players such as John Vanbiesbrouck, Brian Skrudland and Scott Mellanby in the Expansion Draft before taking Rob Niedermayer and Jesse Belanger in the Entry Draft and the Panthers missed out on the playoffs by just a single point (to the NY Islanders). Florida really hit pay dirt two seasons later when they made it to the Stanley Cup final against Colorado.

Known as "Bow-Tie" Bill throughout the league, Torrey was with NY Islanders from 1972 until 1992. He was the mastermind behind the Islanders dynasty that won four consecutive Stanley Cups (80-83) as he drafted the likes of Denis Potvin, Clark Gillies, Bryan Trottier and Mike Bossy.

It will truly be a night to remember for Mr. Torrey and all of the fans in attendance as the Cats honor one of the game's best.
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