Florida’s blueline makeover continues with reported signing of Jason Demers


The Florida Panthers added yet another new body to their blueline today. They’ve signed Jason Demers to a five-year, $22.5 million deal, as first reported by Sportsnet.

Demers, 28, comes to Florida from Dallas. He had seven goals and 16 assists in 62 games last season for the Stars. While he’s never put up a ton of points, the statistics show he’s a solid possession player, and we all know the Panthers’ new management group is big on analytics.

A right shot, Demers essentially replaces Erik Gudbranson, who was traded to Vancouver in May. Left-shooting puck-mover Keith Yandle, meanwhile, replaces Brian Campbell, who signed yesterday back in Chicago.

Suffice to say, it is not often that one area of a team’s roster is so dramatically altered in a single offseason. The Panthers also traded Dmitry Kulikov to Buffalo for Mark Pysyk, then yesterday officially announced the signing of 20-year-old Ian McCoshen.

“Ian is a big, physical defenseman who plays a solid two-way game,” said GM Tom Rowe. “After an impressive college career at Boston College we are excited for him to further his development as an important part of our team’s future on the blueline.”

Next year’s top four in Florida could be Aaron Ekblad, Yandle, Demers, and possibly youngster Michael Matheson.