The Florida Panthers filled some holes on the big league roster and added organizational depth with an eye towards making the Springfield Thunderbirds a more competitive outfit than it was in 2016-17.
Let’s take stock of what happened over the weekend.
The Panthers signed veterans Radim Vrbata and Micheal Haley on Saturday. Look for Vrbata to slot in on the second line and Haley to take on the retired Shawn Thornton’s role.
On Sunday, 2017 sixth-round pick Sebastian Repo was signed to an entry-level contract. The 21-year-old Repo should contend for a roster spot in Sunrise.
The Cats waived Jussi Jokinen on Friday and bought out the final year of his contract a day later.
Sadly, Florida could not come to terms with Jaromir Jagr on a new deal, so the 45-year-old will have to find a new home if he wants to continue his long, illustrious career.
The Cats also said goodbye to prospects Kyle Rau, Paul Thompson, Graham Black, Colin Stevens, Steven Hodges, Adam Wilcox and Sam Brittain. Rau signed with the Minnesota Wild, Wilcox joined the Buffalo Sabres, and Thompson signed on with the new Vegas Golden Knights.
Former Panther prospect Evgeny Dadonov was signed on Saturday after a successful five-year run in the KHL with Donbass Donetsk and SKA Saint Petersburg. Look for Dadonov to take Jagr’s old spot on the first line with Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau.
RFA defenseman Alex Petrovic signed on for another year with the Cats.
After a year with the Carolina Hurricanes organization, UFA Connor Brickley returned to the fold. Brickley will probably have to work his way up from Springfield.
In addition to Brickley and possibly Repo, the Panthers signed a collection of players to build depth in Springfield.
After not receiving qualifying offers last week, RFAs Reece Scarlett and Chase Balisy inked new one-year deals a day before they hit the open market.
Forward Curtis Valk parlayed a successful season with the Utica Comets into a one-year, entry-level contract with the Cats.
27-year-old KHL goaltender Harri Sateri was signed to a one-year, two-way deal to mentor Samuel Montembeault and serve as the number three to Roberto Luongo and James Reimer.
The Cats added a second Comet by inking 25-year-old forward Alexandre Grenier to a one-year, two-way deal. Grenier is a former third-round pick (2011) of the Vancouver Canucks.
Who was your favorite Panthers addition this weekend?
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