Florida added Brandon Montour back at the trade deadline and it appears they liked what they saw from the defenseman. Former NHLer Shane O’Brien of the Missin Curfew podcast was the first to report (Twitter link) that the Panthers have re-signed the blueliner; Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli adds (Twitter link) that the deal will carry a $3.5MM AAV.
Two years ago, the 27-year-old looked like he was going to be a core NHL defender to the point where Buffalo traded a first-round pick to get him. However, he struggled at times during his tenure with the Sabres who had given consideration to non-tendering him back in the fall. They ultimately did reach a new deal with him (one that actually paid $350K more than this contract) and flipped him to the Panthers for a third-rounder in April.
Between the two teams, Montour managed seven goals and 11 assists in 50 games during the regular season while averaging a little over 20 minutes per game. His role was a little shorter in the playoffs, however, as he logged 17:06 per night while being held off the scoresheet in their six-game opening-round loss to Tampa Bay.
Nevertheless, Montour still lands a nice contract, one that was made possible with yesterday’s trade of Anton Stralman to Arizona for cap relief. He should slot in on Florida’s second pairing behind Aaron Ekblad who will be ready to return next season after missing the end of the year plus the playoffs with a leg injury. Florida now has a little over $10MM in cap space, per CapFriendly, with a big chunk of that slated to be earmarked for Sam Reinhart who was acquired at the draft.