Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Happy Birthday John Vanbiesbrouck
Happy 44th birthday to former Florida Panthers goaltender John Vanbiesbrouck. Known affectionately as "The Beezer", Vanbiesbrouck played 20 seasons in the NHL from 1983 to 2001. But his most memorable season may have come as a member of the Florida Panthers in 1996 when he helped lead the Panthers to the Eastern Conference championship and a birth in the Stanley Cup Finals.
Born in Detroit, Vanbiesbrouck is the winningest U.S. born goaltender in NHL history with 374 career victories. The Beezer is one of only 15 goaltenders in NHL history to win over 300 games and only the 2nd American to accomplish this feat. During his Florida Panthers career, he still holds team records for most games played by a goalie (268) and most victories (106)
He was an original member of the 1993 Panthers when the team was an expansion franchise. In just three short years, he carried the team to playoff victories over Philadelphia, Boston and Pittsburgh before losing to Colorado in the Stanley Cup Finals. Vanbiesbrouck was a 4 time NHL All Star and a member of the U.S. Olympic hockey squad in 1998. His career record was 374 wins, 356 losses and 119 ties.