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Florida Panthers Reward Winger Carter Verhaeghe with Extension

Florida Panthers reach an extension with future RFA forward Carter Verhaeghe after enjoying a breakout 2020-21 season.

The Florida Panthers and forward Carter Verhaeghe have come to terms on a three-year extension worth $12.5 million. The deal means that the 25-year-old who was set to become an RFA at the end of the 2021-22 season will be part of the team’s plan moving forward. The $4,166,667 AAV can be seen as an overpayment considering his minimal time in the NHL but there is some room for this to turn into a very team-friendly deal if Verhaeghe can take another step forward this season.

The former Tampa Bay Lightning forward grinded his way to get to the NHL and proving himself in the AHL with back-to-back strong seasons. His 82 points in 76 games for the Syracuse Crunch back in the 2018-19 season is what earned him his first NHL shot.

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The Panthers took a chance on him after he posted 13 points in 52 games for the Lightning the following season and are now reaping the rewards. The Panthers signed him to a two-year $2 million deal and he enjoyed a breakout year last season scoring 36 points in 44 games in a top-six role. He played most of last season on the team’s top-line alongside Aleksander Barkov and helped the line become very successful.

“Carter emerged as one of the best possession forwards in hockey last season, elevating his game to fill an important role on our team,”

Florida Panthers GM Bill Zito
Carter Verhaeghe Panthers extension
Carter Verhaeghe Panthers extension

While there is risk involved in this deal considering Verhaeghe has not proven he can continue to perform at such a high level he can bring other elements to the team and after seeing what some free agents are going for on the open market could have found themselves in a bidding war and having to pay more than what they’re willing. If the winger can build off a successful first season and find better chemistry and familiarity in terms of his role and the style of his linemates there is a good chance that in an 82 game season this deal could work out great for both sides.

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