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Florida Panthers Free Agency Thread: Who’s Coming & Going

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Panthers free agency

With Twitter heading toward its ultimate demise, we will be keeping track of what the Florida Panthers are up to on the opening day of NHL Free Agency right here.

This page will be updated throughout the day.

Did not plan on having to do this page, but, thems the breaks.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 5

The Panthers signed former Buffalo and Nashville forward Rasmus Asplund on a one-year, two-way contract to help add to their forward depth. 

The 25-year-old played in 46 games with the Sabres and Preds last season, scoring two goals with eight points. He has played in 183 career NHL games (18-31, 49) after being a second-round pick by Buffalo in 2016.

SUNDAY, JULY 2

Florida signed Evan Rodrigues to a four-year deal worth $12 million on Sunday morning.

Rodrigues, 29, scored 16 goals and 39 points in 69 games in his lone season with the Colorado Avalanche.

He signed a one-year deal with them last July after having a breakout 19-goal campaign with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2021-22.

Rodrigues gives Florida some flexibility throughout the lineup and he is expected to slide into the top-6.

Grading the Moves by the Florida Panthers from Duclair to Ekman-Larsson

— The Panthers will keep forward Gerry Mayhew in the organization after signing him to a one-year, two-way contract. 

Mayhew, 30, skated in 69 games with the Charlotte Checkers and tied for the team lead with 24 goals — including eight on the power play. 

SATURDAY, JULY 1

The Panthers were rumored to be shopping Anthony Duclair and Saturday night, following Bill Zito’s press conference, they pulled off a deal.

Florida clears up almost $2 million in cap space by sending ‘The Duke’ to San Jose for fourth-line checker Steven Lorentz.

Dmitry Kulikov is returning to the Panthers after being traded to Buffalo for Mark Pysyk at the 2016 NHL Draft.

Kulikov, 32, was Florida’s first-round pick (14th overall) in 2009 and has now played 14 NHL seasons — including for Paul Maurice in Winnipeg.

He spent last season with Minnesota and Pittsburgh.

Kulikov gets a one-year deal worth $1 million. He is the fifth defenseman signed by the Panthers on Saturday (more below).

Post Panthers, Dmitry Kulikov gets back on track with Wild

— The Panthers have extended forward Grigori Denisenko with a two-year, one-way deal according to his agent.

He told FHN after the Stanley Cup Final that he wanted to return to the Panthers even though it was pretty apparent the KHL was going to come calling in trying to keep him home.

Denisenko told me he was going to vacation in Italy and then return to South Florida to start working — which was a good sign for the Panthers. He is now going to be part of this moving forward.

Lucas Carlsson is also coming back to the Panthers, the team announcing a one-year, two-way deal.

— The Panthers have lost Radko Gudas to a big payday in Anaheim but have added Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Niko Mikkola and Mike Reilly — not to mention Kulikov and Carlsson.

Mikkola, a defensive-defenseman, is getting a three-year deal averaging $2.5 million per.

Ekman-Larsson and Reilly are getting one-year deals.

“Niko’s tough, physical presence and skating ability make him a great complement to our blueline,” Bill Zito said in the team’s official release. “We are looking forward to welcoming him to South Florida.”  

Mikkola, 27, played 50 games with St. Louis before being traded to the Rangers where he skated in 31 regular season games. He had two points (0-2-2) in seven postseason games.  

— Florida has also added goalie Anthony Stolarz from Anaheim to replace Alex Lyon as the No. 3 behind Sergei Bobrovsky and Spencer Knight.

Stolarz is getting a one-year, one-way deal worth $1.1 million per PuckPedia which appears to be an insurance deal due to Knight leaving the team in February.

Regardless of whether he plays with the Panthers or Charlotte Knights, he’s getting $1.1 million.

Stolarz has more NHL experience than Lyon, playing in 81 games; he and Lyon were together with the Philadelphia Flyers back in the day.

Lyon is going to Detroit as the No. 3 with James Reimer signing as the backup.

— It looks like the Panthers are moving on from Eric Staal as Kevin Stenlund signs a one-year deal with Florida. It is assumed he is the new fourth-line center.

Givani Smith is off to the San Jose Sharks, signing a two-year deal.

— The Panthers also signed forward William Lockwood to a two-year, two-way deal per Puckpedia. The 25-year-old comes to Florida from the Vancouver organization.

— Remember Alex True? The guy who scored 18 goals for the Charlotte Checkers when the Panthers shared the affiliate with Seattle in 2021-22?

Well, he’s now part of the Panthers. He may be headed back to Charlotte but who knows the way things are going…

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