The Florida Panthers have re-signed one of their depth defenders, inking Kevin Connauton to a one-year, two-way contract. PuckPedia reports that the deal will carry an $825K cap hit in the NHL with a $300K AHL salary and a total guarantee of $350K. Panthers GM Bill Zito released a short statement on the deal:
Kevin is a veteran defenseman who provided our club with invaluable stability and leadership both on and off the ice. We’re pleased to have him return to our defensive corps for the 2021-22 season.
Connauton, 31, was signed by the Panthers on the first day of this season, after spending last year almost entirely in the minor leagues. Though he played just four games during the regular season with the Colorado Avalanche in 2019-20, he ended up suiting up four times for them in the postseason. This year for Florida was much of the same, though he didn’t even get to play in the AHL, instead spending most of the year as a taxi squad extra. The veteran defender played just seven games, recording a single point.
Still, bringing back a defenseman that can do a little bit of everything and has over 300 games of NHL experience is never a bad thing, as long as the price is right. In Connauton’s case, the two-way deal certainly indicates a positive cost-value equation for the Panthers. Even if he doesn’t see much action in 2021-22, he’s a nice piece to have in case of injury.