Panthers re-sign Pysyk, who helped them ‘win’ the Kulikov trade

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While Dmitri Kulikov’s hefty extension with Winnipeg – and thus, Kulikov, his agent, accountant, etc. – would indicate that Kulikov was the “real winner” of last summer’s trade, the Florida Panthers could argue that they got the best of the Buffalo Sabres in landing Mark Pysyk.

They celebrated such a thought on Thursday by re-signing the 25-year-old defenseman to a three-year deal.

The Panthers’ official release doesn’t disclose Pysyk’s salary, but it does provide his shorthanded blocked shots (23), so it’s a wash. Cap Friendly places his cap hit at $2.733 million, with a total reported value of $8.2 million.

This indicates that the Panthers see room for growth from the blueliner, and GM Dale Tallon’s statement lends credence to that thought.

“Mark is a young, intelligent defenseman who has become an important part of our future,” Tallon said. “He was one of our most consistent players last season and was a solid presence on our penalty kill. We look forward to Mark being a steadying force on our blue line for years to come.”

Pysyk peaked with 55 games played in a single season in Buffalo, yet he played all 82 regular-season games for the Panthers in 2016-17. He set career-highs in goals (four), assists (13), and naturally points with 17. He also averaged a healthy 18:34 TOI, ranking eighth among Florida skaters.

Actually, on the subject of winners, this tweet probably takes the cake:

In case you’re wondering, the Panthers selected Adam Mascherin and Linus Nassen with the picks they also received in that trade, while Buffalo landed Rasmus Asplund (thanks to Hockey Reference for those details).