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Sam Reinhart says he wants to stay long-term with Florida Panthers

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Florida Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky and Buffalo Sabres Victor Olofsson (68) and Sam Reinhart (23) watch the puck slide out of danger during a game at KeyBank Center on October 11, 2019. Reinhart joined Bobrovsky and the Panthers last month, signing a three-year contract on Wednesday. // Photo by John Crouch/Icon Sportswire

It may have taken the Florida Panthers a few weeks to officially sign Sam Reinhart to a new contract, but there was no drama and “no issues.’’

The Panthers acquired Reinhart in a draft-day deal with the Buffalo Sabres late last month and on Wednesday announced that the two sides had agreed on a three-year deal worth an average of $6.5 million per season.

The two sides started talking once the trade was complete but other business — free agency for one — got in the way of an immediate deal being worked out.

But there was no worry from either side that something was going to get done.

“It feels great,” Reinhart said from his offseason home in Vancouver on Thursday morning. “Just to have it behind us and focus on camp now.

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“As far as being a Panther, it has been a couple weeks now and there were no issues with that in trying to sign a deal. Nothing new there. I’m just excited about the new chapter and the opportunity ahead.”

In the end, the Panthers are happy to have Reinhart locked in for the next three seasons.

Reinhart, who played last season on a one-year deal, is happy to have something done and be able to set up shop in South Florida.

And, in two years, the two sides can go back to the table and start working out a new pact.

But that is really getting ahead of things.

For right now, Reinhart is ready to dive in with a playoff-ready team after a couple frustrating years with a Buffalo organization that appeared lost at sea.

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