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FHN Today: Bill Zito makes decisions on Florida Panthers RFAs



Zito panthers florida
The Florida Panthers could announce a new contract with RFA Sam Bennett on Monday. // Photo by Roger Topalian, 21st Century Photography (561) 488-0000

Florida Panthers general manager Bill Zito has until this afternoon to offer qualifying offers to the team’s restricted free agents (RFA) or they can become unrestricted free agents.

Last year, the Panthers took advantage of a couple players becoming free agents when their teams chose not to qualify them in Carter Verhaeghe and Anthony Duclair.

Don’t be surprised if the Panthers hop on a couple other players who may suddenly become free agents before the market opens Wednesday afternoon.

The Panthers are also going to be paying attention to the final buyout casualties — that’s how they got Alex Wennberg last season.

The Panthers have already qualified a number of players including goalie Sam Montembeault.

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On Monday morning, the team announced that it had signed defensemen Noah Juulsen and Lucas Carlsson to a one-year, two-way contract.

So, those are two RFAs who are taken care of.

Florida has two big-name RFAs who may end up with contracts before the day is done.

The Panthers are expected to announce the signing of either Sam Bennett or Sam Reinhart today; it would not be surprising if they get both done today.

We will more on which players were qualified — and will have much more on the ones who were not — later this afternoon.


Joel Quenneville certainly had to have trouble sleeping Friday night as his mind was jumbled with all the different lineup options he will have after the team picked up Reinhart. How could the Panthers line up when the season starts? (FHN)

— I was back on 7 SportsXtra last night talking about the new moves. Here is one clip:

— Here is another: (WSVN)

— Speaking of Reinhart, he seems pretty happy to be leaving a tire fire in Buffalo and joining a contender in the Sunshine State. (FHN)

— Free agency opens on Wednesday. As it stands right now, Zito probably won’t have much money to play with. Could there be some trades coming? Here are some players the Panthers could be targeting. (FHN)

— I will be on with Zaslow to talk about the Panthers on 790-The Ticket today at 12:30.


The Boston Bruins could have a big week when the free agency market opens. Does Keith Yandle head home after being bought out by the Panthers? (BHN) 

— The newest member of the National Hockey Now family: Hello, Vancouver! (VHN)

— Looking at everything the Penguins did (and didn’t do) and what’s next in Pittsburgh.(PHN)

— Have things gone south in Colorado between the team and Gabriel Landeskog and Philip Grubauer? (CHN) 

— Meet the newest members of the the San Jose Sharks. (SJHN) 

— Will the Caps trade Evgeny Kuznetsov? (WHN) 

— Cam Atkinson rocked a Gritty t-shirt and it looks like the Flyers aren’t going to be a lot of fun to play against this season.(PHN)

— Lou Lamoriello is working hard to keep the band together on Long Island.(NYIHN)


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