The Florida Panthers have signed Oliver Ekman-Larsson to a one-year deal worth $2.25 million.
Florida also added Mike Reilly from Boston for $1 million after losing Radko Gudas to the Anaheim Ducks.
The Panthers have also signed former St. Louis defenseman Niko Mikkola to a three-year deal worth $7.5 million.
Ekman-Larsson, 31, was bought out by the Vancouver Canucks after scoring two goals and 22 points in 54 games with a plus/minus of minus-24.
The 6-foot-2 defenseman is likely to fill in as Florida’s power play quarterback with Aaron Ekblad and Brandon Montour both expected to miss the beginning of the season with injury.
Florida had just four defensemen under contract and is expected to be a mainstay on the left side once Ekblad and Montour make their returns from injury.
Since his first full NHL season in 2011-12, Ekman-Larsson is 2nd among defensemen in power play goals (58) and 13th in power play points (173).
He registered at least 10 power play points in eight of his last nine seasons before registering four in the 2022-23 campaign.
Ekman-Larsson will be receiving $2.126 million from the Canucks for each of the next eight seasons from the buyout executed on June 16.
The Arizona Coyotes will be paying him $290,000 annually over the same timeline after retaining salary on the trade which sent him to Vancouver in 2021.
Ekman-Larsson served as captain in Arizona from 2018 up until his departure to the Canucks.
He has the second-most points by a defenseman in their franchise history (388) behind longtime Winnipeg Jets mainstay Teppo Nuumminen.
The Panthers are expected to have $8,012,499 in cap space remaining after signing Ekman-Larsson, per Cap Friendly.
This is a developing story that will be updated once more information becomes available.
FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK
- Today: Free agency opens, noon
- July 9-15 (approximately): Development camp, Coral Springs
- Mid-September: Training Camp, South Florida
- Sept. 25: Preseason starts, doubleheader v. Nashville @ Sunrise
- Oct. 7: Preseason ends, vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
- Mid-October: Start of 2023-24 Regular Season