Wednesday: Both contracts have been made official.
Tuesday: The Florida Panthers have completed the complete restructuring of their depth chart in net, as TVA’s Renaud Lavoie reports that Philippe Desrosiers has been signed to a one-year, two-way deal with a minimum $700K cap hit. The Dallas Stars product will likely compete to be third-string behind free agent addition Sergei Bobrovsky and rookie Samuel Montembeault, who has been confirmed as the backup. The trio represent a brand new lineup in goal, as the Panthers began last season with Roberto Luongo (retired), James Reimer (traded), and Michael Hutchinson (traded) in the top three spots.
Desrosiers, 23, was a second-round pick in 2013 after establishing himself as a young workhorse with the QMJHL’s Rimouski Oceanic. However, he has not lived up to that reputation in the pros, spending most of his time in the ECHL over the past four years. However, things began to change this season as Desrosiers finally played more games in the AHL than ECHL and posted a solid .910 save percentage and 2.54 GAA in 26 contests. Despite hinting at his remaining upside, Desrosiers did not earn a qualifying offer from the Stars, allowing him to test the market for a better opportunity.
Desrosier’s competition to be the next man up in AHL Springfield next year is veteran Chris Driedger and rookie Ryan Bednard. Driedger, 25, has made three NHL appearances in his career but, like Desrosiers, has also spent considerable time in the ECHL. While he may have the edge in experience and an existing familiarity with the organization entering his second year with the team, Driedger lacks some of the potential of his competitors and it may cost him in appearances. Bednard, 22, has yet to make his pro debut after signing late in the season with Florida following a postseason run with Bowling Green State University to wrap up his college career. After a stellar senior year, Bednard is likely the favorite to emerge as the No. 3 keeper for the Panthers, but his lack of pro experience may keep him from claiming the title right away.
CapFriendly reports that the Panthers have also signed AHL forward Joel Lowry to a minimum one-year, two-way contract. Lowry logged 30 points in 55 games for Springfield last season, earning himself an NHL deal for the first time in four years.