Best Panthers Player (2009)
Goalie Tomas Vokoun
It's Saturday night, the league-leading Boston Bruins are skating in Sunrise, and as shot after shot after wicked shot ricochets off the Panthers goalie, the BankAtlantic Center shakes louder and louder each time the distorted chords from Blur's "Song 2" cue up:
Blur: When I feel heavy metal!
Blur: When I'm on pins and needles!
Blur has been making a big comeback this year in South Florida thanks to Tomas Vokoun, the acrobatic Czech net-minder who has anchored a suddenly stingy Panthers D.
As the Cats have clawed their way up from a decade in the cellar, no one has carried the team further than its second-year goaltender. Vokoun leads the NHL in shutouts and is second in save percentage, stopping 92.6 percent of the pucks fired his way. And he's only been getting better down the stretch, as the Panthers swim the unfamiliar waters of playoff contention.
Cue up that Blur again, would ya? Woo-hooooo, indeed.
More People & Places Awards
Best GadflyBASIC (Bicycle Activists for a Safe, Integrated City)
Best Local PoliticianMichelle Spence-Jones
Best CitizenLeonard Abess
Best Power CouplePhillip and Patricia Frost