SUNRISE, Fla. – In a special pre-game ceremony on Sunday afternoon, Panthers G Ed Belfour
was honored as the team’s BankAtlantic MVP, as voted on by the fans. In addition, C Olli Jokinen
took home the Sziro Jewelry Three Star Award, while D Jay Bouwmeester
was presented with the ADT Defensive Player of the Year Award.
to view a photo gallery of yesterday's festivities.
This year, Belfour earned his 15th 20-win season of his 18-year NHL playing career. He set the Panthers franchise record for consecutive starts in goal with 27, a span that began on Jan. 20 and ended on Mar. 27.
Over the course of that period, Belfour posting a 15-8-4 mark, guiding the Panthers back into the Eastern Conference playoff race.
Jokinen is on pace for a career year for goals scored, assists and points, currently his 86 points ranks three shy of his career best for points in one season. The Cats captain has 13 goals and 13 assists over his last 17 games. This year he also set the Panthers franchise mark for points in a game with six in the Panthers 8-5 win over the NY Islanders on Mar. 17.
Bouwmeester has doubled his goal output from last season, scoring a career high 10 goals, while averaging a team-high 26 minutes of ice time per game. He was selected to play for the Eastern Conference at this past year’s All-Star Game in Dallas and he places among the NHL’s top defensive leaders in scoring with 39 points (10-29-39).