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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 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

 
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