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Sam Reinhart signs new contract with the Florida Panthers

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Sam reinhart signs panthers
Buffalo Sabres center Sam Reinhart looks on during the first period in a game against the host Pittsburgh Penguins on May 6, 2021. // Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire

The Florida Panthers took care of another big piece of offseason business Wednesday as forward Sam Reinhart signs on for three years.

Reinhart, a restricted free agent, came to the Panthers on draft day in a trade with the Buffalo Sabres.

Florida gave up a protected first-round pick in 2022 and goalie prospect Devon Levi for a center/winger who has averaged 22 goals in his six full-time seasons with the Sabres.

Reinhart, 25, appeared in 54 games for the Sabres in 2020-21, leading Buffalo with 25 goals and 40 points. He also had 10 goals and 16 points on the power play this past season.

In 454 career games, Reinhart has scored 134 goals with 295 points.

Reinhart will be speaking with the South Florida media on Thursday morning.

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“It’s very exciting to say the least,” Reinhart said when the trade was finalized last month.

“I have been fortunate to play with a number of guys already on the roster. I have been in contact with a bunch of guys already. … I am absolutely thrilled and motivated to come to a group that is hungry and ready to take the next step.

“They have, in my mind, the most motivated player coming in … I want to win some meaningful games.”

His contract will average out to $6.5 million per season giving the Panthers about $2.8 million in cap space per PuckPedia.com.

“Sam is a gifted and versatile talent that will play a key role for our team in the coming seasons,” Florida GM Bill Zito said in a statement.

“One of several players to commit to our organization with a multi-year contract this offseason, we are excited to see how these players come together and continue to build a foundation for success in South Florida.”  

Reinhart is the latest player to sign on with the Panthers this offseason as Zito extended Sam Bennett, Anthony Duclair, Gus Forsling and Brandon Montour.

Florida now has three of the top four picks of the 2014 NHL Draft under contract: Aaron Ekblad (first overall), Reinhart (second) and Bennett (fourth).

The only big pressing piece of business the Panthers have remaining this offseason is to finalize a long-term extension for captain Sasha Barkov.

That deal is expected to come together once Barkov returns to South Florida from his offseason trip home to Finland.

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lucarel

Don’t like the three years George. Wanted either shorter or longer. Now they have to try to extend Reinhart right after likely saying goodbye to Huberdeau and Reinhart being one year away from free agency. A rock and a hard place. Good luck with that Mr. Zito.

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