2011 NHL Draft
 
  • PRINT
  • RSS

Family Memories Of '96 Final Vivid For Lowry, Murphy

Wednesday, 06.15.2011 / 3:46 PM ET / 2011 NHL Draft
NHL.com
X
Share with your Friends


Family Memories Of \'96 Final Vivid For Lowry, Murphy
In order to view this page you need JavaScript and Flash Player 9+ support!
Author: Adam Kimelman | NHL.com Staff Writer

During the 1995-96 hockey season, South Florida was over-run by rats.

Rather than scurry in fear and call an exterminator, however, the fans got louder and louder with every rat sighting.

That season was the high-water mark in Florida Panthers history, and the Year of the Rat marked the team's only journey to the Stanley Cup Final. The season featured the birth of the "rat trick," when Scott Mellanby killed a rat in the team's locker room at Miami Arena prior to the home opener and then scored 2 goals in the game.

Fans would litter the ice with plastic rats every time the Panthers scored, and they rode their rats all the way to the League's championship series.

Fifteen years later, two of those rat-tossing fans are ready to start their journey toward helping a team reach the Stanley Cup Final.

Adam Lowry and Connor Murphy were 3 years old when their fathers, Dave Lowry and Gord Murphy, were playing major roles for the Panthers on their Final run. Left wing Dave Lowry was the surprise team-leader in scoring with 10 goals and 17 points, while Gord Murphy, a defenseman, played just five games but had 5 assists.

While Adam and Connor were a bit young to come to every game, they did watch on TV.

"They had a pretty good grasp of what was going on," Dave Lowry told NHL.com. "Whenever they couldn't come to the games, they'd be throwing (rats) at the TV."

Adam Lowry told NHL.com he can vividly remember tossing plastic rats around his living room on game nights.

"I remember my mom used to not want to take us to the games and we'd have the games on TV," he said, "and when they were on the road we'd have a pile of rats my dad brought home from the rink so every time they scored we'd throw them at the TV."

Lowry and Murphy both said they were inundated with rats.

"We had bags of them," said Lowry. "They were all over the place. Then you had people that were painting rats up in Panther colors and sending them to you. It was pretty crazy. Before you knew you had a nice large connection."

2011 NHL ENTRY DRAFT
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins

Nugent-Hopkins Exceeds Expectations

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer
Red Deer Rebels center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins wasn't going to take any of the general managers, scouts and coaches in attendance by surprise in August during the 2010 NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp fueled by G Series.
READ MORE ›

FINAL RANKINGS:
NORTH AMERICAN: Skaters | Goalies
INTERNATIONAL: Skaters | Goalies

FEATURED STORIES:
2011 NHL Draft Profile: Mark Scheifele
Draft Memories: David Booth
Jenner Understand Hard Work On And Off The Ice

DRAFT CENTRAL:
PANTHERS DRAFT CENTRAL
NHL DRAFT CENTRAL
Adam Lowry told NHL.com he's sure there still are a few rats hiding around his home.

"I think we still have a few rats kicking around in our toy box somewhere," he said. "I'm sure I could still find them if I look."

Murphy said he finally drew the line and tossed all the rats, allowing each of his three kids to keep one as a memento.

"I actually have one in my room," Connor Murphy told NHL.com, "sitting up on my memorabilia shelf."

At the rate Connor and Adam are going, they both might have some more treasures to find shelf space for.

Murphy, a 6-foot-3, 185-pound defenseman, played just 14 games for the U.S. National Team Development Program due to a back injury that sidelined him for most of the season. However, he was healthy for the World Under-18 Championship, and scored a pair of goals in the gold-medal game, including the overtime winner that allowed the U.S. to win its third straight gold medal. He's No. 25 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters for the 2011 Entry Draft.

"The most impressive thing for me about Connor Murphy was no matter if he played on an Olympic-size rink or the smaller (North American) ice surface, he had so much poise, patience and confidence," NHL Central Scouting's Jack Barzee told NHL.com. "He was able to take control of high-pressure situations without any lack of any one of those three ingredients. I'm thinking to myself, 'This kid has missed so much hockey, but he's still as good a player as I've seen all around this season.'"

Lowry, a 6-4, 186-pound left wing, had 18 goals and 27 assists in 66 games with the Swift Current Broncos of the Western Hockey League. He's No. 58 on Central Scouting's list.

"Lowry improved and was more effective in the latter part of the season due to the fact that he had mono and maybe returned to play too soon," Central Scouting's B.J. MacDonald told NHL.com. "He does play a physical style and is strong on the puck in the corners. He can be effective on the forecheck. He's a big winger and sets up well in front of opposition net. He's a lot like his father in the fact that he establishes position in front of goal and looks for deflections. … I think you will see a much better player next year when he is healthy."

Now that they're old enough to appreciate that magical run, Connor Murphy and Adam Lowry say they enjoy watching the highlights. Rather than throw rats, though, it's good-natured insults that are tossed around.

"I see Mario Lemieux dangling a Panther (in the conference finals)," said Connor, "and I ask (Gord) if that's him, and he says no, never him."

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 79 27 39 23 66
J. Jokinen 81 18 42 25 60
A. Barkov 66 28 31 18 59
J. Huberdeau 76 20 39 17 59
V. Trocheck 76 25 28 15 53
R. Smith 82 25 25 19 50
A. Ekblad 78 15 21 18 36
N. Bjugstad 67 15 19 -8 34
B. Campbell 82 6 25 31 31
B. Pirri 52 11 13 -4 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 35 19 6 .922 2.35
A. Montoya 12 7 3 .919 2.18

 
FloridaPanthers.com is the official Web site of the Florida Panthers. Florida Panthers and floridapanthers.com are trademarks of the Florida Panthers Hockey Club, Ltd. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks and NHL Draft name and logo are trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2016 Florida Panthers Hockey Club, Ltd and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.