All-Time Florida Panthers Roster Countdown: 274-270

NEW YORK - FILE: Alexander Karpovtsev #7 of the Florida Panthers waits on the ice during the game against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on October 17, 2005 in New York, New York. According to reports September 7, 2011, Alexander Karpovtsev, a former NHL player, died when a plane carrying the KHL's Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team crashed after taking off near the city of Yaraslavl in Russia. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Today, we recap five more Panthers, Craig Fisher, Greg Jacina, Craig Ferguson, Alexander Karpovtsev, and Wade Belak.


274. Craig Fisher

Fisher, a 6'3" center, was originally drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in the third round of the 1988 NHL Entry Draft with the 56th overall pick. After selection, he played two seasons in the CCHA with the Miami University Redskins, scoring 59 goals and 49 assists in 76 games. He made his NHL debut with the Flyers late in the 1989-90 season without ever appearing with a minor league affiliate, playing two games. His only impact on the scoresheet was in the team leading five shots on goal he fired in a 3-3 tie with the Detroit Red Wings on April 1st.

In 1990-91, Fisher spent most of the season with the AHL Hershey Bears, scoring 79 points in 77 games. He did appear in two more games for the Flyers, again failing to crack the scoresheet. Along with Scott Mellanby and Craig Berube, he was traded to the Edmonton Oilers following the season for Dave Brown, Corey Foster and Jari Kurri.

He never played an NHL game for Edmonton, Spending two and a half seasons with the AHL Cape Breton Oilers. Fisher was traded midway through the 1993-94 season to the Winnipeg Jets for cash, spending most of the year with the Moncton Hawks. He did earn a March call-up to the Jets, and played four games with the club, earning a minus-1 rating and two penalty minutes.

He spent the next two seasons with the Chicago IHL affiliates Indianapolis Ice in 1994-95, and the Orlando Solar Bears in 1995-96. Eventually, Fisher signed a free agent contract with the New York Islanders in the 1996 offseason, playing 15 games with the IHL Utah Grizzlies before the Isles traded him to the Panthers for cash in December.

Hay played 42 games with the AHL Carolina Monarchs in 1996-97, earning a four game call up to play with the Panthers in February and March. In four games, he earned a minus-2 rating. Later, Hay appeared in the German league with Kolner Haie, and later played parts of two seasons with the Rochester Americans before retiring due to concussion symptoms.

All-time statline: One season, four games, zero points, zero assists, zero points, minus-3 rating, two PIM, -0.2 APS

273. Greg Jacina

Jacina was a 6' left winger who scored 19 goals and 47 assists over 56 games for the Mississauga IceDogs in 2002-03. He signed a free agent contract with the Panthers during the 2003 offseason. He spent his first professional season, 2003-04, between the ECHL Augusta Lynx and the AHL San Antonio Rampage, scoring 15 goals and 27 assists in a combined 71 games for the two clubs.

With the 2004-05 NHL season cancelled, Jacina played the entire year with the Rampage, scoring 11 goals and 20 assists in 78 games. He started the 2005-06 season with the Rampage, earning a five game call-up to the Panthers in November. In 46 shifts he took five shots on goal, making no other impact to the scoresheet. He earned his second callup in January, tabbing his first (and only) NHL point, an assist to Nathan Horton in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. He closed the season with 11 NHL games, scoring one point and a minus-1 rating with four penalty minutes.

He was again recalled to the Panthers near the start of the 2006-07 campaign, appearing in three games, a minus-1 rating and two penalty minutes. He played most of the season with the Rochester Americans, scoring 35 points in 61 games. Jacina has since played pro hockey in the Finnish league.

Here's a video of Jacina whooping Jan Platil as a member of the Americans in 2006.

06-01-06 Jan Platil vs Greg Jacina (via DtM2222)


All-Time Statline: Two seasons, 14 games, zero points, one assist, one point, minus-2, six PIM, -0.2 APS

272. Craig Ferguson

Ferguson was a 5'11" center with the Yale University Bulldogs, where he scored 37 goals and 45 assists in 108 games over four seasons. He was selected in the seventh round of the 1989 NHL Entry Draft by the Montreal Canadiens with the 146th overall pick, after his freshman season.

After graduating in 1992, Ferguson started his professional career with the ECHL Wheeling Thunderbirds, earning a promotion after scoring 11 points in his first nine games to the AHL Fredericton Canadiens, where he spent most of the season.

In 1993-94, Ferguson played most of the season with the Fredericton Canadiens, scoring 61 points in 57 games. His performance earned him a look by Montreal, with whom he made his NHL debut in December. He scored his first career assist in his second game, an 8-1 victory over the Boston Bruins, returning to Fredericton for the rest of the season.

1994-95 would see him score 62 points in 80 games for Fredericton. He also played one game with Montreal, a 3-2 loss to the Quebec Nordiques in April. He registered no points, taking three shots on goal. Ferguson joined Montreal for 10 games near the start of the 1995-96 season. He scored his only career NHL goal in a 4-3 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on October 21st. He was traded with Yves Sarault to the Calgary Flames for an eighth round draft pick on November 26th. After eight games with the Flames, he was sent to their AHL affiliate, the St. John Flames. After 18 games, he was traded to the Los Angeles Kings organization for Pat Conacher, and would finish the season with their IHL affiliate, the Phoenix Roadrunners.

Before the 1996-97 season, he signed as a free agent with the Panthers. Most of the next four seasons were spent with Florida's AHL affiliates, the Carolina Monarchs, the Beast of New Haven, and the Louisville Panthers. In 260 total games he scored 100 goals and 123 assists for the three teams. He earned his first call-up to Florida in February, 1997, posting a minus-1 rating and taking five shots on goal over three games. His second call-up occured three seasons later, and would see Ferguson post a minus-2 rating and take two shots on goal over three games.

After the 1999-00 season, Ferguson jumped the pond to join HC Fribourg-Gotteron of the Swiss League for three seasons. He later played three more years with the German League ERC Ingolstadt.

All-Time Statline: Two seasons, six games, zero goals, zero assists, zero points, minus-3, zero PIM, -0.2 APS

271. Alexander Karpovtsev

Karpovtsev was a 6'3" defenseman for Dynamo Moscow. He was selected originally by the Quebec Nordiques in the eighth round of the 1990 NHL Entry Draft with the 158th overall pick. He never played a game for Quebec, getting traded to the New York Rangers for Mike Hurlbut in the 1993 offseason. In 280 games over six seasons with the Rangers, he scored 22 goals while assisting on 75 others, posting a plus-21 rating and 211 penalty minutes.

Starting in the middle of the 1998-99 season, Karpovtsev played 125 games over two seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs, scoring five goals and 39 assists with a plus-47 rating and 106 penalty minutes.

Over the next four seasons beginning in 2000-01, Karpovtsev played 182 games with the Chicago Blackhawks, scoring seven goals and 39 assists with a minus-19 rating and 105 penalty minutes. He finished the 2003-04 season playing three games with the New York Islanders. Florida signed him to a free agent contract on July 14th, 2004. With the season cancelled, Karpovtsev joined the Russian league for the year.

Karpovtsev played six games with the Panthers near the start of the 2005-06 season, failing to score a point and logging a minus-3 rating while racking up four penalty minutes. He soon after joined Sibir Novosibirsk in Russia, playing 57 games over the next two seasons.

Karpovtsev was an assistant coach with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl when the team charter plane crashed on September 7, 2011. Nearly everyone on board perished in the incident.

Tribute to KHL Lokomotiv Yaroslavl (via thekingof8)


All-Time Statline: One season, six games, zero goals, zero assists, zero points, minus-3, four PIM, -0.2 APS.

270. Wade Belak

Belak was a 6'5" right winger playing with the WHL Saskatoon Blades when selected in the first round of the 1994 NHL Entry Draft by the Quebec Nordiques, 12th overall. In the four total seasons with the Blades (two before being drafted and two after), Belak played in 211 games, scoring 11 goals and 42 assists while earning 746 penalty minutes. After the conclusion of the 1995-96 season, he joined the Nordiques AHL affiliate, the Cornwall Aces for five games.

Belak spent most of the 1996-97 and 1997-98 seasons with the AHL Hershey Bears, joining the relocated Nordiques franchise (now the Colorado Avalanche) for 35 games over three seasons. He scored one NHL goal and one assist with a minus-6 rating and 109 penalty minutes while a member of the franchise.

Colorado traded Belak to the Calgary Flames in February, 1999, along with Rene Corbet, Robyn Regehr and a second round draft choice for Theoren Fleury and Chris Dingman. Over parts of three seasons with Calgary, Belak played 72 games, scoring two assists, a minus-3 rating and 224 penalty minutes. Calgary put him on waivers in February, 2001, where the Toronto Maple Leafs picked him up.

Belak played the bulk of his NHL career in Toronto, playing 318 games over parts of seven seasons. He racked up a total of 763 penalty minutes along with a minus-27 rating, seven goals and 17 assists. Toronto traded him to the Panthers for a fifth round draft pick in February, 2008.

Belak played the end of 2007-08 and the beginning of 2008-09 with Florida. He totalled 32 games without scoring, registering an even rating, and earning 37 penalty minutes. The Panthers traded him to the Nashville Predators in November, 2008 for Nick Tarnasky.

Wade Belak Fight Tribute!! (via zexasuna)


Belak played 92 games for the Predators, earning four assists, a minus-2 rating, and 120 penalty minutes. He officially retired from playing on March 8, 2011, staying with the Predators organization. Belak was found dead at a hotel in Toronto on August 31, 2011, a suspected but unconfirmed suicide. He had previously admitted to being depressed. Belak's family believes the death was accidental.

All-Time Statline: Two seasons, 32 games, zero points, zero assists, zero points, even rating, 37 PIM, -0.2 APS.

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