The Florida Panthers are making moves to strengthen their goaltending depth, reportedly agreeing to terms with Anthony Stolarz on a one-year contract. According to The Hockey News’ David Dwork, the deal is expected to be in the $1MM range.
Stolarz’s addition to the Panthers’ roster is an interesting move that could provide valuable insurance in net. While Sergei Bobrovsky remains the team’s undisputed starter, Stolarz is a high-end secondary option in case backup Spencer Knight remains unavailable to the team to start 2023-24. The goaltender is expected to return to the team after spending the last few months of the season in the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program, but it’s not confirmed.
The 27-year-old netminder has had limited opportunities at the NHL level for quite a while but has emerged as a legitimate backup option in the last two seasons with the Anaheim Ducks. Over four seasons in total with the Ducks organization, Stolarz posted a solid .913 save percentage in 56 games (43 starts). He has also spent time with the Philadelphia Flyers and Edmonton Oilers in his career.
Getting a third goalie in the mix is a priority for the Panthers moving forward, as outside of his stunning playoff run in these past playoffs Bobrovsky has been massively inconsistent in Florida. The Panthers needed some heroics from third-string goalie Alex Lyon to even sneak into the postseason, so with this signing, they’ve shored up their goaltending depth in case another situation like that arises.