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Vanbiesbrouck Keeps Hockey A Part Of His Life

Saturday, 07.21.2007 / 12:18 PM / News
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Vanbiesbrouck Keeps Hockey A Part Of His Life
By Dave Joseph for floridapanthers.com

If you happened to watch any of the 2007 NHL Playoffs, you might have seen exactly where former Panthers goaltender John Vanbiesbrouck is right now. The “Beezer”, as everyone in South Florida knows him, is staying close to hockey by broadcasting games on television for VERSUS and HDNet as well as some games on NHL Radio.

At the beginning of the 1995-96 season, the Beezer was the only well-known name on the Panthers. Maybe the most beloved Panther ever, Vanbiesbrouck remembers as that year went on and the 1996 Cats made it to the Stanley Cup Finals, how the popularity of the team quickly began to outweigh the popularity of one player.

“I think that we bonded as a group and became more known as a team rather than individuals,” Vanbiesbrouck said. “That is probably the best credit you could give to everybody who participated on that team.”

On July 28, the Beezer will once again take the net for the Panthers as the 1996 Panthers reunite for a game at the BankAtlantic Center. Until then, Vanbiesbrouck is busy back at home, just 40 miles outside of Detroit. He is running a local hockey school for Hockey Ministries International. The camp is over the summer and can be either a sleep-a-way camp for kids or just a daytime camp.

Besides the camp, Vanbiesbrouck’s four sons are also athletes. His oldest son Ian plays for NCAA Division-III Bethel University. His second son Ben is an avid golfer playing in tournaments and for his high school team. His 15-year old, Nick, is an up and coming hockey player for some local teams in Michigan. Finally, as Vanbiesbrouck said, his youngest son, six years old, “is just loving life right now”. The Beezer loves his family life at home.

“My family and I do a bit of camping, we spend a lot of time playing golf,” Vanbiesbrouck said. We also do some fishing over the summer. It’s just about having some family fun.”

 As the 1996 Panthers reunion approaches, Vanbiesbrouck is digging up those old memories and thinking back to his days in Florida.

“I don’t think we really did realize what was in the making because you never know that you succeed until you do, and I think the success was genuine,” Vanbiesbrouck said. We were breaking down new barriers in South Florida and we had no idea how far we were going to go.”

The Beezer still holds the Panthers record for games played by a goaltender with 268. He is second on the team’s list with 106 wins as a Cat and he still holds the Panthers record for lowest goals-against-average at 2.58.

“I went on to play for another couple teams, but I probably would have liked to finish off my career as a Florida Panther.”

SCHEDULE

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 61 40 16 5 167 135 85
2 NYI 63 41 20 2 202 174 84
3 NYR 60 38 16 6 190 148 82
4 TBL 63 38 19 6 207 167 82
5 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
6 PIT 61 35 17 9 176 152 79
7 WSH 63 33 20 10 184 159 76
8 BOS 61 30 22 9 161 160 69
9 FLA 62 27 22 13 150 175 67
10 PHI 62 26 25 11 164 181 63
11 OTT 59 26 23 10 167 161 62
12 NJD 62 25 27 10 139 164 60
13 CBJ 60 26 30 4 157 189 56
14 TOR 61 25 31 5 170 185 55
15 CAR 60 23 30 7 137 159 53
16 BUF 63 19 39 5 123 212 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
N. Bjugstad 62 22 15 -8 37
J. Huberdeau 59 9 24 2 33
A. Ekblad 62 9 23 8 32
J. Jokinen 61 6 28 -1 34
B. Boyes 60 10 21 8 31
J. Hayes 53 17 10 -5 27
A. Barkov 51 9 12 -6 21
T. Fleischmann 52 7 14 12 21
B. Campbell 62 3 19 3 22
D. Bolland 37 3 13 2 16
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 23 16 11 .920 2.40
A. Montoya 4 6 2 .893 2.98
 
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