It’s hard to believe, but just about a year ago, Mason Marchment was not a key player with the Florida Panthers but sort of a role guy making the most of his opportunity.
It was March 4, 2021, when Marchment got his first NHL goal in his fifth game with the Panthers after spending a lot of time either as a healthy scratch or on the taxi squad.
What a year it has been for Marchment.
He ended last season with two goals in 33 games — a number he matched in six postseason games against the Lightning.
Marchment came into this season with a lot more confidence not only in his own game, but in how the Panthers looked at him.
It has paid off handsomely for both.
Marchment, 26, has played his way into a counted on member of a very productive third line. With 15 goals and 40 points in 48 games, Marchment may have priced himself out of Florida when he becomes a free agent following this season.
As much as the Panthers would love to keep him around, salary cap concerns moving forward — and the kind of contract Marchment is likely to get — probably will prevent his return.