Everybody knew the Florida Panthers had to spend this offseason, and they didn’t waste any time.
Panthers general manager Dale Tallon has been busy over the last couple hours, getting Dave Bolland back into his fold with a five-year, $27.5 million contract, a salary cap hit of $5.5 million per season.
In an interview with TSN, Bolland said it was down to Toronto or Florida as the last two teams, but the Maple Leafs just weren’t close enough on money for his liking.
Injuries limited the 28-year-old Bolland to 23 games in Toronto last season, where he had eight goals and four assists.
Tallon wasn’t done adding sandpaper to his lineup, signing former Boston Bruins grinder Shawn Thornton to a two-year deal worth $2.4 million.
Thornton is the kind of player everyone loves to have as a teammate, but hate having to play against because of his tenacious, physical style of play. Along with Daniel Paille and Gregory Campbell, Thornton was part of perhaps the most effective fourth line in the NHL, so it will be interesting to see where he slots in with the Panthers.
Florida certainly wasn’t done there, as they also signed former Pittsburgh Penguin Jussi Jokinen to a four-year, $16 million contract.
Best known for his skills in a shootout, Jokinen is a former 30-goal scorer (not to be confused with former Florida Panthers captain, Olli Jokinen), but he shouldn’t be counted on as a front-line point production player for the Panthers.
For the Florida Panthers, they get playoff pedigree and players who are hard to play against in Bolland and Thornton, who have three Stanley Cups between them. They also get a skilled player in Jussi Jokinen, who can provide a bit of insurance on the depth chart behind players like Jonathan Huberdeau, Vincent Trocheck, and Aleksander Barkov, with others like Drew Shore and Quinton Howden on the way.
Stay tuned, though, as the Panthers likely need to make a move on the blue line, as they only have one defenceman signed beyond next season.