Sam Bennett re-signed with the Florida Panthers on Monday, inking a four-year contract worth $17.7 million with the team that has been a good fit for him since joining at the trade deadline.
Bennett put up six goals and nine assists for 15 points in 10 regular-season games with the Panthers after they acquired him from Calgary. The 25-year-old was a point-a-game player during Florida’s playoff series, too, with a goal and four assists.
“Sam’s impact on our club this past season was seen immediately, injecting physicality, skill and energy into our lineup,” general manager Bill Zito said in a statement. “We are thrilled to have him in our Panthers lineup and look forward to what he can bring to our offense in the upcoming 2021-22 season.”
Bennett will count $4.425 million against the salary cap annually through the 2024-25 season.
“That’s all going to get announced and worked on in due time,” Reinhart said of signing with Florida. “I just feel comfortable we’re both excited about the future. I don’t see any issues moving forward.”
Given the price the Panthers paid — goalie prospect Devon Levi and a 2022 first-round pick — and Reinhart’s production, it could be a deal more lucrative than Bennett’s. Reinhart is a five-time 20-goal scorer on a team that never made the playoffs, so the opportunity to be part of a stronger lineup could pay dividends.
In other moves around the NHL, New Jersey acquired defenseman Christian Jaros from San Jose for forward Nick Merkley, Philadelphia re-signed big defenseman Sam Morin, St. Louis re-upped Aussie Nathan Walker and Jake Virtanen cleared unconditional waivers, putting him one step closer to being bought out by Vancouver.
The Devils signed Jaros to a two-way contract worth $800,000 in the NHL and $275,000 in the American Hockey League next season. Merkley is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights.
Morin, 26, got a $750,000, one-year contract from the Flyers. The 2013 first-round pick has been dogged by injuries throughout his career but is valuable depth on defense for Philadelphia.
Walker signed a two-year, two-way deal worth $750,000 annually when he’s in the NHL. Virtanen becomes a free agent just shy of his 25th birthday looking for a fresh start after recording just five points in 38 games last season.
A report from Daily Faceoff surfaced that Vegas was close to re-signing defenseman Alec Martinez, who played through a broken foot in the playoffs, to a three-year deal worth $15 million or more. Martinez, who turned 34 on Monday, is a two-time Stanley Cup winner with Los Angeles and scored the overtime goal to clinch the Kings’ second championship in 2014.
Follow AP Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SWhyno
More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Source: Yahoo Sports