The Florida Panthers still taste the first-round exit to the now NHL Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning.
Panthers would like a better taste, so they have been improving with crucial ingredients.
Panthers General Manager Bill Zito announced that the Florida Panthers had signed forward Sam Reinhart to a three-year contract.
Reinhart, 25, appeared in 54 games for the Sabres in 2020-21, leading Buffalo with 25 goals and 40 points (25-15-40). He paced the Sabres with ten power-play goals, tied for the fifth-most among NHL skaters.
“It is exciting; it has that extra level of motivation, knowing the group of guys they have, knowing the talent level that is there, what their goals are,” Reinhart said. “It is a great feeling and refreshing coming into that mindset; I can not wait to do my part and fit into what they are already rebuilding.”
The deal with panthers is three years, 19.5 million (6.5 million average annual value).
The 6-foot-2, 193-pound native of West Vancouver, British Columbia, has amassed 295 career points (134-161-295) over 454 regular seasons games with Buffalo from 2014-15 to 2020-21. He has scored at least 20 goals in five of his six full NHL seasons and at least 40 points in all six seasons.
“Sam is a gifted and versatile talent that will play a key role for our team in the coming seasons,” said Zito. “One of several players to commit to our organization with a multi-year contract this offseason, we are excited to see how these players come together and continue to build a foundation for success in South Florida.”
In the first round (second overall) of the 2014 NHL Draft, Reinhart was acquired from the Sabres in exchange for Florida’s first-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft and goaltender Devon Levi (drafted by FLA in 2020) on July 24.
“It is exciting and motivating all at the same time,” Reinhart said. “Who knows at this point how this is all going to fit together. I feel I am someone you can slot in anywhere; I will do my best to make it work. You look at the possibilities; it is nothing short of excitement. ”
Reinhart’s production in Florida could explode. At the time of the 2014 draft, he was projected to be a star but has not got there. Although, the last three seasons in Buffalo, he was putting up star numbers. This could be a match made in heaven for both sides, moreover with an excellent taste of victory.