The NHL’s strangest new tradition reached new heights Saturday night in Sunrise, Fla.
The Florida Panthers earlier this season started the trend of awarding a “Spacey in Space” sweatshirt to MVP of each victory.
What is a “Spacey in Space” sweatshirt, you might ask? Well, it’s exactly what it sounds like: a blue hoodie with a screen-printed image of actor Kevin Spacey’s head floating through the stars.
Yeah, we don’t really get it, either. But the Panthers’ fanbase has been so consumed by Spacey-mania to the point that Saturday’s game against the Detroit Red Wings was declared “Spacey in Space Night” at the BB&T Center.
And the best part? Spacey himself seems to love it. The “House of Cards” star attended the game — wearing a shirt with his own face on it — and went bonkers when the team officially introduced him on the Jumbotron.
Weird? You bet. But weird is working for these Panthers, who are in the midst of one of their best seasons since the franchise’s inception in 1993. Florida entered Saturday with a three-point lead atop the Atlantic Division standings and is all but guaranteed of securing a Stanley Cup playoff berth for just the second time in 15 seasons.
UPDATE (10:20 p.m. ET): The Panthers couldn’t pull out a win for their guest of honor, falling to the Red Wings 5-3. They showed Spacey one heck of a time, though, and he stopped by the dressing room after the game to express his appreciation.