Before their home opener for the 1995-96 season, Florida Panthers forward Scott Mellanby saw a rat inside the team locker room and flung it against a wall, killing it immediately. That night, with the same stick he used to kill the rat, Mellany scored twice as the Panthers beat the Calgary Flames 4-3. The pair of goals and dead rodent became what is now known as "The Rat Trick".
From there, the legend of the rat took off through the Panthers' run to the Stanley Cup Final against the Colorado Avalanche. Fans picked up on the story and began throwing plastic rats onto the Miami Arena ice.
Here's Ray Sheppard helping to give you a visual reminder:
After the 1995-96 season, the NHL determined that a penalty could be given to the home team if anything was tossed onto the ice.
With the Panthers revitalization this season, the return of the rats is upon us.
On Tuesday, the Panthers' team store began selling the plastic rats again as they start a four-game homestand ...