The Florida Panthers recently re-signed goalie Spencer Knight to a three-year contract with a $4.5MM AAV. The contract raised some eyebrows due to its cost, as Knight’s extension will be more expensive than the recent Jake Oettinger deal, despite the fact that Oettinger seems to have firmly established himself as a quality starting netminder while Knight had an up-and-down 2021-22. Now that a few days have passed since the signing, though, we have some more context on why the Panthers felt comfortable taking a leap of faith with their extremely talented (but still relatively unproven) young netminder.
As Pierre LeBrun reported on TSN’s Insider Trading, the Panthers were “legitimately worried” about the possibility of another team offer sheeting Knight next summer, when he would have been a restricted free agent. The Panthers, who are paying starting goalie Sergei Bobrovsky $10MM AAV through the 2025-26 season, may not have been in a strong enough cap position to retain Knight at what his offer sheet may have cost. So, rather than risk losing the goalie they seem to firmly believe is their long-term future in net, the Panthers decided to sign Knight to this expensive bridge contract in order to ensure he remains in Sunrise for the foreseeable future.
Now, for some other notes from across the NHL:
- In another piece of information reported on today’s Insider Trading segment, TSN’s Darren Dreger shed some more light on the current situation with Jakob Chychrun and the Arizona Coyotes. Chychrun recently spoke on his desire to be traded to a contending team, and Dreger has reported that leaguewide trade interest in Chychrun is “intensifying.” Dreger specifically names the Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs, Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, St. Louis Blues, and Columbus Blue Jackets as suitors for Chychrun, and notes that the Coyotes are apparently more willing to “take on a contract or contracts” in order to facilitate a deal. Given the issues the above-listed teams are facing with the flat salary cap, it seems that the biggest barrier to a Chychrun deal will be the complicated cap situation of the involved teams rather than the trade compensation package that will need to be agreed upon.
- The Montreal Canadiens have re-shaped the look of their organization under Jeff Gorton and Kent Hughes’ new management, both on and off the ice. With the season about to begin, the Canadiens have made another off-ice move. In an interview on former NHLer Chris Nilan’s Raw Knuckles podcast, Gorton said that the team would be “bringing on” former New York Rangers executive Gordie Clark. Before his contract was not renewed this summer, Clark had been working for the Rangers for two decades and will bring experience and leadership to this still-growing Canadiens front office.