The Florida Panthers lost one of their biggest success stories on Wednesday as Mason Marchment left as a free agent to sign with the Dallas Stars after it was first reported a deal with Carolina was close to being done.
Marchment, 27, had a breakthrough few seasons with Florida and parlayed that into his first big NHL contract with a four-year deal.
Elliotte Friedman reports Marchment will get $4.5 million per season from the Stars.
In 2020, the Panthers traded Denis Malgin to Toronto for Marchment — a player who went undrafted and had spent most of his pro career with the AHL Toronto Marlies.
Marchment started the 2021 season on the taxi squad — meaning he passed through waivers and could have been claimed by any other team — and found playing time sparse. But when he finally got in, he made an impact and quickly became a favorite of the coaching staff.
He ended his first full season with the Panthers up on the top line with Sasha Barkov, scoring two goals with 10 points in 33 games.
In the playoff series against the Lightning, he scored two goals in six games.
Last season was Marchment’s best as he really broke out as a legitimate NHL forward.
Although he battled some injuries and Covid, Marchment was a big part of a third line with Anton Lundell and Sam Reinhart, scoring 18 goals with 47 points in 54 games.
Marchment missed the end of the postseason with what was thought to be a concussion.
“When the staff believes in you and put you in a spot where they think you can succeed … I came into this year trying to be that same player,” said Marchment, who was honored by the NHL as one of its Three Stars of the Week after he tied a franchise record with six points in Florida’s win at Columbus on Jan. 31.
“I tried to get back on the top line, kept pushing and playing hard. Having confidence in yourself is definitely huge.”
This is a breaking story and will be updated throughout the day.