The Florida Panthers came to terms with three more restricted free agents today. Re-signed were defenseman Alex Petrovic and minor-league forwards Quinton Howden and John McFarland.
Petrovic, who inked a two-year deal, started the season off with the San Antonio Rampage before making the jump to the big club, where he appeared in 33 games. The 23-year-old defender recorded three assists, 76 hits and 34 PIM with the Cats. Petrovic was rewarded for his 41-game stint with the Rampage with an appearance in the AHL All-Star Game. He will battle Steven Kampfer for regular duty on Florida blue line.
Howden, who signed a one-year, two-way deal, suited up for just 33 games during an injury-plagued campaign for the Rampage. He scored three goals and fifteen assists and finished the season with a strong +14 rating. Howden picked up one assist in San Antonio's three-game playoff loss to the Oklahoma City Barons. With a couple spots open on the Panthers' bottom-six, the 2010 first-rounder is expected to challenge for a roster spot during training camp.
McFarland, who also signed a one-year, two-way deal, recorded his second-straight ten-goal season for the Rampage. However his point production slipped from 24 to 19. So far, the second-rounder (33rd overall) from the 2010 draft has been a bit of a disappointment. he will be looking for better numbers and a bigger role in Portland.