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The latest addition to the Panthers’ injured reserve: Stanley C. Panther?

Dec 27, 2010, 9:10 PM EDT

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It seems like Southeast Division mascots are making almost as many headlines as their surprisingly competitive teams have generated this season.

First, the Atlanta Thrashers attempted to spotlight their successful start to 2010-11 by running a comical “Free Thrash” campaign. Now it seems like the Florida Panthers’ Stanley C. Panther is dealing with some trouble, too, although his costume might be found on the injured reserve rather than a fictional police report.

On Frozen Pond’s George Richards passes along word from the Panthers that their mascot is dealing with “an undisclosed injury while attempting to hurdle a folding chair” on December 17th. Clearly, such a report shows just how secretive the world of sports mascots might be, as the team didn’t even say whether it was an “upper body injury” or a “lower body injury.”

Luckily, area mascots have pledged their support for their fallen (fake) furry comrade, according to Richards.

The team says the mascot is “currently confined to a wheelchair” but will still attend home games as he recovers.

“However, in support of his recovery, local South Florida mascots Billy the Marlin (Marlins), Sebastian the Ibis (Hurricanes), Burnie (Heat) and T.D. (Dolphins) will be at the BankAtlantic Center tonight, when the Cats take on the Bruins, and at various other home games while Stanley is still on the mend.”

Fans can sign a get-well card for the big cat at the games.

No word on whether you can sign a card for players Radek Dvorak, Cory Stillman, Rostislav Olesz and Byron Bitz as they recover from their injuries as well.

It never hurts to have a sense of humor, and when you’re in a non-traditional market like Sunrise, Florida, it might be flat-out wise to do so. Now, if the Panthers could follow in the Thrashers’ foot steps and start making a difference on the ice, they’ll really be onto something.

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