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Sam Bennett returns to Florida Panthers with new contract

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Sam Bennett Panthers Florida
Sam Bennett races onto the ice before a Florida Panthers game during the 2021 season. He and the team agreed to a four-year contract on Monday. // Photo by Roger Topalian, 21st Century Photography (561) 488-0000

The Florida Panthers took care of one big piece of pressing business on Monday, signing restricted free agent Sam Bennett to a new contract.

Bennett is getting a four-year deal worth $4.4 million per season.

The Panthers acquired Bennett at the trade deadline, sending a second round pick and 2020 second-round selection Emil Heineman to Calgary.

Bennett got off to a great start with the Panthers, scoring six goals with 15 points in 10 games. He also averaged a point a game in the playoffs.

Those 15 points in 10 games set a franchise record for most points by a Florida player in their first 10 games with the team.

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Bennett, who was the fourth-overall pick of the 2014 NHL Draft by the Flames, has scored 73 goals with 155 points in 412 career NHL games.

In 35 playoff games, Bennett has 12 goals and 24 points.

We should be getting Bennett this afternoon to talk about his new deal.

“Sam’s impact on our club this past season was seen immediately, injecting physicality, skill and energy into our lineup,” GM Bill Zito said in a release.

“We are thrilled to have him in our Panthers lineup and look forward to what he can bring to our offense in the upcoming 2021-22 season.”

Next up: A new contract for the recently acquired Sam Reinhart.

The Panthers are also expected to sign Carter Verhaeghe to a contract extension on Wednesday. Verhaeghe, who is signed for one more season at $1 million, scored 18 goals with 35 points in 43 goals for Florida in the first year of that very team-friendly contract in 2021.

Florida already signed defensemen Noah Juulsen and Lucas Carlsson to one-year, two-way contracts on Monday as the deadline to make qualifying offers to restricted free agents comes later this afternoon.

Check back soon.

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