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Winning A Trip To Vegas

Monday, 06.18.2012 / 12:00 PM ET / 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 x - NYR 76 48 21 7 231 179 103
2 x - MTL 77 47 22 8 203 174 102
3 x - TBL 78 47 24 7 250 204 101
4 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
5 PIT 77 42 24 11 211 194 95
6 WSH 77 42 25 10 227 190 94
7 DET 76 40 23 13 221 208 93
8 BOS 77 39 25 13 204 198 91
9 OTT 76 38 26 12 220 204 88
10 FLA 77 35 27 15 192 210 85
11 PHI 77 31 29 17 202 220 79
12 CBJ 76 37 35 4 210 234 78
13 NJD 77 31 33 13 170 197 75
14 CAR 76 28 37 11 176 208 67
15 TOR 78 29 43 6 204 249 64
16 BUF 77 22 47 8 152 258 52

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Huberdeau 74 13 36 9 49
N. Bjugstad 72 24 19 -7 43
J. Jokinen 76 8 33 -4 41
B. Boyes 74 13 23 10 36
A. Ekblad 76 11 24 10 35
J. Hayes 67 18 14 -6 32
A. Barkov 66 14 17 -3 31
B. Campbell 77 3 23 2 26
B. Pirri 44 21 2 6 23
D. Bolland 48 5 16 1 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 26 18 12 .921 2.35
A. Montoya 5 7 2 .888 3.08
 
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