Florida Panthers sign trio of players for AHL Pirates

Cats add organizational depth as they bolster Portland's 2015-16 lineup.

The Florida Panthers signed goaltender Mike McKenna, defenseman Sena Acolatse and forward Shane Harper today. McKenna inked a two-year, two-way deal, while Acolatse and Harper each signed one-year, two-way contracts. All three are expected to play for the Cats' new AHL affiliate, the Portland Pirates, this coming season.

While a member of the Arizona Coyotes organization, McKenna played for the Pirates last season, posting a 27-18-6 record with a stingy 2.24 GAA and seven shutouts. The 32-year-old has played 332 career AHL games and has made 22 appearances in the NHL. Portland will be in good hands with McKenna and prospect Sam Brittain tending goal.

Acolatse is a 24-year-old undrafted blueliner who tallied 6 goals and 13 assists last season in 38 games with the Adirondack Flames. Prior to that, he played three seasons with the Worcester Sharks after finishing his junior career with the Prince George Cougars. Acolatse has yet to make an NHL appearance.

Harper scored a career-high 32 goals, third best in the AHL last season, and added 18 assists for the Chicago Wolves. The 26-year-old right wing posted 4 assists in 5 playoff games. Like Acolatse, he has never played in the NHL. Harper will be need to duplicate those numbers to offset the expected loss of Bobby Butler.