The Florida Panthers attempted to add a little more scoring punch to their lineup in free agency on Saturday afternoon by signing veteran forward Radim Vrbata to a one-year contract that will pay him a $2.5 million base salary with another $1.5 million in potential bonuses, according to Pierre LeBrun.
The 36-year-old winger is coming off of a very strong season with the Arizona Coyotes that saw him score 20 goals and add another 35 assists in 81 games.
Given that it is only a one-year deal and does not carry a significant financial commitment this seems to be a pretty solid addition for the Panthers. Vrbata has been an underrated scorer for a long time and even though he is closer to the end of his career than his prime years he has shown that he can still be a solid second-line scorer and maybe even a borderline top-line scorer. He has topped 20 goals and 50 points in three of the past four seasons.
The Panthers made another on Saturday to add tough-guy Michael Haley to the roster on a two-year contract.
New Panthers coach Bob Boughner is very familiar with Haley due to their time together in San Jose the past couple of years.
General manager Dale Tallon was excited to add his physicality to the lineup.
“I’m excited to welcome Micheal to the Panthers organization,” said Tallon. “He fills a need for our club and will help us get back to playing with the sort of passion and grit that will help us win.”