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News

Winning A Trip To Vegas

Monday, 06.18.2012 / 12:00 PM / News
By Joseph Beguiristain  - FloridaPanthers.com
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Winning A Trip To Vegas

When 24-year-old Panthers fan Kathryn Simmons received an e-mail saying she had won a sweepstakes for a trip for two to the NHL Awards in Las Vegas she couldn’t believe it…literally.

“I actually thought it was a spam thing [and] I didn’t think it was real at first,” explained Simmons, who was one of 30 winners (one representing each team) to receive such honors. “They sent me an e-mail, I returned the e-mail back and then I received a call from a lady in Ontario (from the league confirming I won).”

Simmons, from Weston, noticed the sweepstakes on the Florida Panthers website and wanted to enter not because of the allure of Vegas, but because of the annual NHL awards given out to the best of the best in various categories including the Hart Memorial Trophy (MVP), Norris Trophy (Best Defenseman) and Vezina Trophy (Best Goaltender).

“This is the first time [I’m going to Vegas],” she said. “[I’m looking forward to] seeing all the players and the award ceremony.”

Accompanying Simmons will be her husband, Jarrod, who will be making special arrangements to attend.

Like most Panther fans, Simmons is pleased with the job Dale Tallon has done at the helm of the Florida Panthers thus far. The Panthers GM turned around a franchise with several trades and signings that allowed the team to capture their first division championship in franchise history. Also, one of Simmons’ favorite players is Brian Campbell so of course she couldn’t pass up the opportunity to attend the ceremony. Both Tallon and Campbell are finalists for awards at the ceremony.

Tallon is a finalist for the Executive of the Year award and Campbell is a finalist for the Lady Byng Trophy, which is awarded to the player who shows the most sportsmanship while still playing at a high level.

Simmons likes their chances on June 20th in the Encore Theater at Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas (7pm ET on NBC Sports Network).

“I think they have a really good chance [to win] especially (with the team) making such a huge turnaround,” said Simmons. “…because we went from hardly winning to now in the Playoffs.”

Nine years ago, Simmons and her parents went to a few Panthers games and they enjoyed it. They liked it so much that her parents became season ticket holders. Ever since then, they have been regulars at Florida Panthers home games.

Getting to watch the Panthers at home at the BankAtlantic Center is one thing but seeing a couple of them as well as other NHLers in a different setting is something differently. Simmons will be flying JetBlue (much to her delight) and will arrive in Vegas one day before the awards with her husband.

Speaking of the special arrangements, Simmons’ husband is a Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps and is stationed in North Carolina. He is specifically taking leave from the Marines just so he can go with her to the awards.  

That kind of fanfare is what sports is all about. Jarrod Simmons fights for our country every day so that others can play a game professionally. Hopefully Tallon and Campbell can return the favor for the two dedicated Panthers fans, even if just by a little bit.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 TBL 48 30 14 4 156 127 64
2 NYI 46 31 14 1 151 129 63
3 DET 47 27 11 9 139 119 63
4 MTL 45 29 13 3 123 106 61
5 PIT 46 26 12 8 138 117 60
6 NYR 44 27 13 4 134 106 58
7 WSH 46 24 13 9 137 120 57
8 BOS 48 25 16 7 126 121 57
9 FLA 44 20 14 10 107 122 50
10 OTT 46 19 18 9 126 128 47
11 TOR 48 22 23 3 142 150 47
12 PHI 48 19 22 7 130 146 45
13 CBJ 45 20 22 3 113 142 43
14 NJD 47 17 22 8 107 134 42
15 CAR 46 16 25 5 98 120 37
16 BUF 47 14 30 3 89 167 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
N. Bjugstad 44 15 12 1 27
J. Huberdeau 41 8 17 1 25
A. Ekblad 44 6 19 7 25
J. Jokinen 43 4 20 0 24
J. Hayes 36 13 7 1 20
B. Boyes 42 9 11 1 20
S. Bergenheim 33 7 9 4 16
T. Fleischmann 38 5 8 9 13
V. Trocheck 28 4 9 6 13
D. Kulikov 39 1 12 -2 13
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 17 10 8 .923 2.32
A. Montoya 3 4 2 .887 3.09
 
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