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Tuesday Caterwaul: Florida Panthers Open Forum

The first overall pick in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft has signed on the line which is dotted.

Connor Bedard inked his entry-level contract with the Chicago Blackhawks, making his 18th birthday on Monday a very happy one. The three-year contract includes an average annual value of $950,000. Bedard can make another $10.5 million in performance bonus money if he hits all markers.

Skating for the Regina Pats, Bedard terrorized the Western Hockey League, producing 71 goals and 143 points in just 57 games, then added 20 points in seven playoff games. He also helped Canada win a gold medal at the 2023 World Junior Championship, amassing 23 points in seven games.

In divisional news, the Boston Bruins signed a trio of players to one-year, two-ways deals. Defensemen Alec Regula and Reilly Walsh and goaltender Michael DiPietro will all make $775K at the NHL level.

Regula, 22, scored five goals and added 16 assists in 51 games with the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs in 2022-23. He also made four scoreless appearances with the parent Blackhawks.

The 24-year-old Walsh was previously a member of the New Jersey Devils organization. He produced nine goals and 41 points in 71 AHL games with the Utica Comets last season.

DiPietro, 24, is a former 2017 third round selection of the Vancouver Canucks, who was traded to Boston on October 27, 2022. He went 19-9 with 2.61 GAA while making 29 ECHL appearances for the Maine Mariners. He started one AHL game for the Providence Bruins and posted a win, allowing just two goals.

Restricted free agent forward Linus Weissbach signed a one-year, two-way contract to remain with the Buffalo Sabres that pays $775K at the NHL level. Weissbach spent last season with the Rochester Americans (AHL), where he scored 20 goals and added 27 helpers.

The Arizona Coyotes inked forward Matias Maccelli to a three-year pact worth $10.275 million. Last season, Maccelli provided consistent offense and started to get Calder Trophy buzz up until he got hurt and missed time. He came back and finished the season strong with 11 goals and 49 points in 64 games.

Former Bolt Ross Colton signed a four-year, $16 million contract with the Colorado Avalanche to avoid a scheduled arbitration hearing. Colton potted 16 goals and registered 32 points with Tampa Bay in 2022-23. He was acquired for a secound round pick (37th overall) in the 2023 NHL Draft last month.

Restricted free agent Oliver Wahlstrom signed his qualifying offer and will return to the New York Islanders. His new deal is for one year and pays $874,125K. Wahlstrom was limited to just  35 games last season. He scored seven goals and added nine assists.

The Winnipeg Jets and forward Morgan Barron avoided arbitration by agreeing to terms on a two-year contract worth $2.7 million. In his first full season with the Jets, Barron appeared in 70 games and finished with eight goals and 21 points.