Florida Panthers Facebook Florida Panthers Twitter Florida Panthers Google+ Florida Panthers Pintrest Florida Panthers Instagram Florida Panthers
  • RSS

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 ET / News
By Glenn Odebralski  - FloridaPanthers.com
Share with your Friends

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 Saveology.com 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 WSH 51 38 9 4 166 114 80
2 FLA 52 31 15 6 143 115 68
3 NYR 52 29 18 5 148 134 63
4 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 NYI 51 27 18 6 143 127 60
7 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
8 PIT 51 26 18 7 132 130 59
9 NJD 53 26 20 7 119 120 59
10 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
11 MTL 54 26 24 4 143 143 56
12 PHI 51 23 19 9 121 133 55
13 OTT 53 24 23 6 148 165 54
14 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
15 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47


J. Jagr 49 16 21 11 37
J. Huberdeau 52 10 27 10 37
A. Barkov 42 16 19 13 35
J. Jokinen 52 10 25 12 35
V. Trocheck 52 17 16 4 33
R. Smith 52 16 15 11 31
B. Pirri 48 10 13 -4 23
A. Ekblad 48 10 12 21 22
B. Campbell 52 4 16 17 20
N. Bjugstad 37 9 8 -3 17
R. Luongo 23 13 5 .930 2.13
A. Montoya 8 2 1 .931 1.93

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.