The Florida Panthers will be bringing Troy Brouwer back to camp this season, but it won’t be with a contract. The team has signed Brouwer to a professional tryout instead, giving him a chance to earn his spot on the team or at least showcase his abilities around the league. Brouwer played last season for the Panthers on a one-year, $850K contract after being bought out by the Calgary Flames. He’ll still earn $1.5MM in each of the next three seasons thanks to the buyout.
Brouwer, 34, played in 75 games for the Panthers last season and recorded 12 goals and 21 points, but that wasn’t enough to earn him a new contract just yet. The team has added even more depth to their already dangerous forward group with names like Brett Connolly and Noel Acciari coming in through free agency and have several other prospects pushing for NHL playing time. The capability of those prospects may be exactly what Brouwer is battling against, as if someone like Owen Tippett plays himself onto the opening day roster there might not be room for the veteran.
Still, Brouwer provides a nice bit of insurance for the club in training camp. If they suffer injuries or someone doesn’t live up to expectations, the Panthers could likely just come to a one-year agreement with the power forward to give them another option in the bottom-six. A Stanley Cup champion from 2010 with the Chicago Blackhawks, Brouwer’s presence and experience can only help the young forwards in Panthers camp trying to make their way in the NHL.
If he doesn’t land a deal with the Panthers, Brouwer could very well end up somewhere else just before the season begins. We’ve seen players on tryouts in the past end up signing elsewhere after proving they still have what it takes to play in the NHL.