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Smiling Along The Way

There's been two constants for the Panthers and Tomas Fleischmann the last two seasons. They hope one changes this upcoming season.

Tuesday, 09.24.2013 / 5:30 PM / News
By Glenn Odebralski  -
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Smiling Along The Way
Panthers forward Tomas Fleischmann celebrates a goal last season

In the two years that Tomas Fleischmann has been a member of the Florida Panthers, there's been pretty-much two guarantees. One, he was leading the way in the scoring department and two, he was doing it with a smile on his face.

The charismatic winger has always been that way and in the doldrums of a long season, he’s a breath of fresh air for his teammates.

"He's just been funny to be around," said Calder Trophy winner Jonathan Huberdeau. "He knows when to be serious but he can be funny as well."

"He's also a guy that brings a strong level of enthusiasm," said head coach Kevin Dineen. "Every day he comes to the rink with an infectious personality and that's always on the positive side."

Fleischmann led the team in goals (27) and points (61) helping the Cats capture their first division title in franchise history in 2011-12. In a lockout-shortened season, the winger led the way in assists (23) and points (35). That success has the third-year Panther forward looking to repeat his past success.

"For me personally, just do whatever I did the first two years," said Fleischmann. "Hope it's going to work right like the first year (for team success)."

After going through a health scare during the 2010-11 season, that ended his season pre-maturely, he signed with Florida in July 2011. Since his signing, Fleischmann has been a model of consistency. He's played in every single Panthers game (130 regular season games).

"There's a durability factor. We're all a little bit sensitive to the health issues after last season," said Dineen. "Flash has been extremely durable and valuable in an offensive role."

Entering his ninth season in the NHL, Fleischmann has been a role model for his younger line mates.

"He's been good. I think he's a great teammate to have on the team. As a young kid last year, he helped me," said Huberdeau. "He just helped me on the ice to where to go. I played (center) for years so he's trying to help me on where to go."

While still early in the pre-season this year, the duo have been skating on a line together, looking to build chemistry, especially coming off a combined five-point performance (2-3-5) in the final game of last season against Tampa Bay. It's something that the duo are looking forward to.

"We played maybe three games last year together. We have got to find a chemistry," said Huberdeau. "He's just helping me to get to know him a little bit on the ice and to find him a little bit easier."

"This is (the) Rookie of the Year. He's one of the best players I've played with," said Fleischmann. "He's probably going to lead our team in points this year so that's probably good for me."

Asked more about not wanting to win the points race for the Panthers a third straight season, the witty Fleischmann was quick to respond. It's definitely something that if he's not leading the way, it's for the best.

"Because I don't have to. Because he's the guy that's going to," said Fleischmann nodding Huberdeau's way following a recent practice at Iceplex. "Just watching him last year, he's way smarter and I would say stronger than last year. I think he's going to be really good for us and when he's going to be really good then the team is going to be playing well."

Fleischmann has certainly embraced his role on the team. While most other teams have their super stars, Fleischmann has led the way in a different way for the team. And even though he's been the Panthers best offensive player in the past, he views the future much differently.

"I think every player who starts playing hockey wants to be like that, like (Washington and former teammate Alex Ovechkin) or those (super star) guys," said Fleischmann. "I know what I can do and every night I'm trying to do that and that's all I can do. The points are there then it's good, if not, it might happen. It's nothing I can do about it.

"Now we have younger guys like Huby or (Aleksander) Barkov and those guys can chip in and make the team better." 

And that's all that Fleischmann really cares about; returning to the playoffs and smiling along the way.




1 MTL 62 41 16 5 171 135 87
2 NYI 64 41 21 2 205 179 84
3 NYR 61 38 17 6 192 152 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 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
9 FLA 62 27 22 13 150 175 67
10 PHI 63 27 25 11 168 183 65
11 OTT 60 27 23 10 171 163 64
12 NJD 63 26 27 10 141 164 62
13 CBJ 61 26 31 4 157 191 56
14 CAR 61 24 30 7 142 162 55
15 TOR 62 25 32 5 170 189 55
16 BUF 63 19 39 5 123 212 43


N. Bjugstad 62 22 15 -8 37
J. Jokinen 61 6 28 -1 34
J. Huberdeau 59 9 24 2 33
A. Ekblad 62 9 23 8 32
B. Boyes 60 10 21 8 31
J. Jagr 58 11 18 -11 29
J. Hayes 53 17 10 -5 27
B. Campbell 62 3 19 3 22
A. Barkov 51 9 12 -6 21
T. Fleischmann 52 7 14 12 21
R. Luongo 23 16 11 .920 2.40
A. Montoya 4 6 2 .893 2.98 is the official Web site of the Florida Panthers. Florida Panthers and 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 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 © 1999-2015 Florida Panthers Hockey Club, Ltd and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.