The Florida Panthers are re-tooling their blue line and that goes beyond simply adding Anton Stralman. The team also needs more talent among their depth options and have accomplished that by adding a pair of capable AHL defenders. The Panthers announced that Tommy Cross and Ethan Prow have both agreed to two-year, two-way contracts. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Cross, 29, was a Boston College standout and long-time Boston Bruins prospect before signing a one-year deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets last summer. Cross plays a sound defensive game, which allowed him to be a capable emergency option for Boston on a few occasions, but has mostly made his name on being a very offensively productive minor league defenseman for many years.
Prow, 26, enjoyed a breakout season at the right time, as he entered a contract year having yet to establish himself as a pro. In 74 AHL games last season with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, he recorded 50 points and showed that he can be an effective puck-mover at the pro level. He’s turned that into a nice opportunity to fight for NHL appearances with Florida.