When the Florida Panthers told goalie David Shantz that he was not part of their plans at the end of last season who could have imagined he would be the goalie the Amerks would lose to. During the 2008/2009 season Shantz was sent off the ECHL and at that point with his contract expiring he knew it would be the end of the line but he knew he’d find a job somewhere.
“We didnt have anything to lose,” David Shantz said. “The last three games the pressure was off. Down 3-1, the pressure’s not on us, it’s the truth. I think we were a little more looser.”
The Heat were the underdog in the series, a team has never come back from being down 3-1 in a series in the AHL. Shantz said that they were able to go out there and just go for it. There was no pressure on the team that was going on the road for the final two games of the series.
Fun. There you go. Something the Amerks did not seem to have a lot of. It rarely looked like this team was having fun once the month of November ended.
When asked if Shantz had something to prove or if it was nice to do this to his former organization he said, “Whenever they let you go like that it’s always nice to come back and win a series, nothing personal to the players, but to someone watching upstairs.”
Who could have predicted at the start of this season that the Amerks would reach their goal of making the playoffs and end up losing to David Shantz. I doubt anyone would have. David Shantz proved to everyone he could step up and play in big games and make big saves. He’s now leading the Abbotsford Heat into the second round against the Hamilton Bulldogs.
Did the Panthers make a mistake not signing him? Nah, there was no room for him with Salak, Plante and Beckford-Tseu under contract. He’s just another example of a player let go by a team to come back and haunt them.