The Florida Panthers have announced the signing of Troy Brouwer to a one-year one-way contract, bringing in the veteran forward after he was bought out by the Calgary Flames. Brouwer will earn $1.5MM from the Flames in each of the next four seasons, and now add another $850K from the Panthers in 20181-19. Florida GM Dale Tallon had this to say about his new forward:
Troy is a skilled veteran forward with championship experience. He adds depth to our forward group and his leadership will help our developing young core take the next step this season.
Brouwer, 33, comes to the Panthers fresh off the worst offensive season of his career, in which he recorded just six goals and 22 points in 76 games with the Flames. That was the first time he didn’t hit at least double digits in goals, and a substantial drop off from his career-high of 25 just a few years ago with the Washington Capitals. Brouwer doesn’t appear to have a ton of upside left, but could easily find himself a regular on the Florida fourth line this season. He’ll have to fight for that spot though, as the Panthers already have 12 other forwards on one-way deals and other players like Henrik Borgstrom, Owen Tippett, Denis Malgin and Maxim Mamin who could compete for a spot in the NHL.
The contract also leaves the Panthers with just under $2MM in cap space for the upcoming season, though that will increase when they decide to send down some of their excess forwards. They also currently have three goaltenders earning at least $1.3MM this season after signing Michael Hutchinson, and unless they are planning on carry all three when healthy his assignment to the minor leagues will free up some space. Given those pending transactions, signing a veteran option like Brouwer came with little risk for the Panthers and could provide some invaluable leadership as the group tries to make it back to the playoffs. Led by some underrated stars in Aleksander Barkov, Vincent Trocheck and Aaron Ekblad, the Panthers could surprise other teams in the Atlantic Division this season and put themselves in a position to compete for the Stanley Cup. Brouwer will be able to share some knowledge with the younger players, given that he won a championship in 2010 with the Chicago Blackhawks and has played in more than 100 postseason contests.