The Florida Panthers have signed Vinnie Hinostroza to a contract after the young forward was not issued a qualifying offer by the Arizona Coyotes, according to team reporter Jameson Olive. James Mirtle of The Athletic reports the deal is just one-year in length and worth $1MM.
It’s somewhat shocking that Hinostroza could be had for such a low figure, given his history of success in the NHL and relative youth on the open market. The 26-year-old forward has scored 100 points in 246 games across four seasons, including a 16-goal campaign in 2018-19. Though that number dropped dramatically this year, Hinostroza also shot at an unsustainably-low 3.8%. If that number was at his previous career average of 9.1%, he would have had 12 goals in 68 games despite playing just over 13 minutes a night.
Since he still recorded 22 points in those 68 games, it’s hard to even understand why the Coyotes weren’t able to work out a deal. His qualifying offer would have been $1.5MM and he could have potentially secured more than that through arbitration, but seeing him sign in Florida for just $1MM must sting. That’s especially true with the Coyotes having such trouble scoring and when they instead went out and spent $2.5MM on Tyler Pitlick and John Hayden, both players that are arguably less effective than Hinostroza.
For Florida meanwhile, the signing continues a trend of acquiring players after their previous organizations cut them loose. The team also signed Alexander Wennberg and Radko Gudas today and traded for Markus Nutivaara earlier this week. At such low costs, each of these players represents a chance for some excess value this season in Florida. In Hinostroza’s case, it also reunites him with his former head coach Joel Quenneville, whom he played under in Chicago.