The Florida Panthers need forwards, and it looks like they’ll bring in another veteran on a one-year deal. Craig Morgan of AZ Sports is reporting that Radim Vrbata will sign with the team for one season and $2.5MM. The deal also includes $1.25MM in potential performance bonuses. The bonuses are as follows:
- $250K for 10th goal
- $250K for 15th goal
- $250K for 20th goal
- $250K for 45th point
- $250K for playoff berth
Vrbata, 36, is coming off a 20 goal and 35 assist season with the Coyotes last year where he had signed a similar one-year deal at this point last year. He made $1MM on a base deal of that contract. This contract is similar, but he must reach those incentives, although most of them he accomplished easily a year ago.
In Florida, Vrbata should give the Panthers solid depth at the wing position and a quality price and should essentially replace another departed veteran Thomas Vanek on the team’s power play. It’s a major loss for Arizona as the team finished among the bottom in goal scoring and 20-goal scorers don’t come around that often. Vrbata was one of only a handful of quality, goal-scoring right wings in this weak free agent market and was going to be heavily in demand. A change from a rebuilding team to a contending team only makes sense for the veteran.