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Where Are They Now?

Where Are They Now With Paul Laus

Tuesday, 06.12.2007 / 2:27 PM ET / Panthers Alumni
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Where Are They Now With Paul Laus
By: Dave Joseph for floridapanthers.com

Paul Laus was recently discussing the upcoming ‘Weekend of the Rat’ reunion with a former teammate via e-mail when the ex-Panther was asked how much weight he had put on in recent years.

Laus answered the question by sending an e-mail with his head superimposed over one of a body builder.

“Actually,” Laus recalled laughing. “I’m more worried about skating. I haven’t skated in two, three years except with my kids. So I hope no one hits me and I hope I don’t fall down.”

Laus, the team enforcer and fan favorite during his nine seasons in Florida, is looking forward to returning for the July 28 Reunion game at BankAtlantic Center featuring players from the 1996 team that made it to the Stanley Cup Finals.

For Laus, who has spent the past five years helping to raise his three small children in Grimsby, Ont., the ‘Weekend of the Rat’ is a chance to catch up with former teammates as well as Panther fans.

“The (’96 team) is important part of the organization and its history,” Laus said. “That team and the community had a real special connection and I think it still does. When the reunion weekend was announced I got a flood of e-mails asking if I was going to be coming down. It was great to hear from people and it’s going to be a chance to reconnect for all of us.”

Laus, who grew up just a few miles from where he currently lives, was selected by the Panthers in the ’93 Expansion Draft after playing the previous season in the International Hockey League, where he piled up a record 427 penalty minutes in 76 games for Cleveland.

Laus was a force on defense for the Panthers from the start. During the 1995-96 season, Laus played in 78 games while scoring nine points and racking up 236 penalty minutes. In the playoffs, he contributed two goals and six assists in 21 games.

“Everything happened so fast,” said Laus, referring to the team’s run during the playoffs and its Eastern Conference championship. “It was exciting.”

Laus was a steady contributor on the Panthers’ blue line until 2002 when he shattered his right hand during a fight with Atlanta’s Jeff Cowan.

“Basically, I drove my hand through my wrist,” Laus said. “Maybe it was the perfect punch or it was from the wear-and-tear of all those years (of fighting). I have a steel bar above my second knuckle a quarter of a way down my arm. So I can’t bend my wrist, but it’s not like I’m a piano player or plastic surgeon.

“I just wish I had another chance at the Stanley Cup. It’s every kid’s dream. And to get as close as we did, it’s just something that eluded me.”

Laus spends much of his time with his three children, all under the age of five. But he said he may want to become more involved in coaching after serving as an assistant last season to the Bramalea Bulls, a Tier II, Junior A team in Canada.

“It was fun and something I’m probably going to think about a little more,” he said. “It’s something I couldn’t have done when my children were younger, but we’re a little more settled in now.”

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 74 46 20 8 195 162 100
2 NYR 72 46 19 7 219 167 99
3 TBL 74 46 21 7 242 191 99
4 NYI 74 44 25 5 226 205 93
5 PIT 73 40 22 11 202 181 91
6 DET 72 39 21 12 208 195 90
7 WSH 73 39 24 10 212 180 88
8 OTT 72 37 24 11 212 190 85
9 BOS 73 36 25 12 193 190 84
10 FLA 73 33 26 14 180 201 80
11 PHI 75 30 29 16 196 216 76
12 NJD 73 31 31 11 164 186 73
13 CBJ 73 34 35 4 198 228 72
14 CAR 72 26 36 10 165 199 62
15 TOR 74 27 41 6 193 237 60
16 BUF 73 20 46 7 138 245 47

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Huberdeau 70 12 32 5 44
N. Bjugstad 72 24 19 -7 43
J. Jokinen 72 7 33 -1 40
J. Jagr 68 13 24 -6 37
B. Boyes 71 12 23 9 35
A. Ekblad 72 11 24 8 35
J. Hayes 63 18 13 -4 31
A. Barkov 62 12 15 -4 27
B. Campbell 73 3 20 -1 23
B. Pirri 40 18 2 4 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 25 17 11 .921 2.35
A. Montoya 5 7 2 .888 3.08
 
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