Florida Panthers sign 6 players on Day One of 2014 NHL Free Agency Period

Bruce Bennett

Long first day wrapped up with a few new felines in the sawgrass.

The day started a bit slow but the Florida Panthers would eventually ramp up the drama, finishing with six new players who will don the stick-and-palm-tree on their padded shoulders come September.

General Manager Dale Tallon signed Jussi Jokinen first; yet another Finn to join the Cats' ranks alongside Sean Bergenheim and Aleksander Barkov.

The biggest signing came next in the form of Dave Bolland who will now be centering for the Panthers for a very long time.

Those in Pantherland that were concerned with Dan Ellis' lackluster play in 2013-14 will be relieved to know that Al Montoya was picked up and likely given the edge in the competition to serve as Roberto Luongo's backup.

Former Boston Bruins enforcer Shawn Thornton decided to take his talents to West Broward for a couple of years. It looks like Krys Barch's time in Florida is over.

Another center was signed in Derek MacKenzie. It looks like players such as Vincent Trocheck and Brandon Pirri will have to prove their worth with San Antonio - short of an outstanding training camp -  as forward roster spots are no longer a lock in Sunrise.

The news trickled in and came to a stop as the Cats ended with two-time Stanley Cup Champion Willie Mitchell.

Tallon summed up the day's activity and even questions on deposed captain Ed Jovanovski:

And that's it for Day One. The Cats still have RFAs to lock up and future signings and trades are all but certain. The team has stocked up on prospects and picks for years and could look to use them as movable assets. For now the club has added toughness, created depth, and offered opportunities for the youth to simmer a bit longer in the AHL.

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