The price for the Florida Panthers to acquire Ben Chiarot was steep and in the end, they were not able to keep him as he left for the Detroit Red Wings as a free agent on Wednesday afternoon.
Per Elliotte Friedman, the contract is a four-year deal with a $4.75 million annual cap hit.
Chiarot was acquired in a deadline deal with the Montreal Canadiens.
The Panthers gave up their 2023 first-round pick, 2020 third-round pick Ty Smilanic and a 2024 fourth-round pick.
Chiarot fit in nicely with the Panthers and played with MacKenzie Weegar to start as Aaron Ekblad was hurt a few days after the trade went down.
During the playoffs, Florida eventually split up Ekblad and Weegar and had Chiarot play with Ekblad on Florida’s top pairing.
“It has been a lot of fun, obviously,” Chiarot said as the regular season came to a close.
“I came to a great team in a beautiful place. There’s not much else you could ask for. … It has been pretty easy, honestly. You’re moving the puck up to such good players, smart players who are always in the right spot. It makes it really easy for a defenseman.
“It has been pretty seamless. Sure, there are some things systems-wise that we do that I have to get used to … but that has come along pretty nicely.’’
So far, the Panthers have lost Claude Giroux, Chiarot, Mason Marchment and Noel Acciari; Florida has signed Colin White and Nick Cousins.
This is a breaking news story and will be updated throughout the day.