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Panthers and MacKenzie Weegar Avoid Arbitration with New 3-Yr Deal

The Florida Panthers have signed MacKenzie Weegar to a deal that is for three years with an average annual value of $3.25 million.

Perhaps it took a little longer than expected, and there was talk the team might actually entertain a trade, but nothing overwhelmed the organization enough to make a move so the Florida Panthers signed MacKenzie Weegar on Friday. Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reports that the deal is for three years with an average annual value of $3.25 million.

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The full breakdown is as follows:

  • 2020-21: $2.0MM
  • 2021-22: $3.0MM
  • 2022-23: $4.75MM

With the deal, Panthers GM Bill Zito and Weegar avoid arbitration which would have been scheduled for Sunday and the 26-year-old didn’t even need to file his numbers before the team committed to him and confirmed he’d be a big part of the Panthers blue line moving forward.

He’s not a key factor offensively, — Weegar finished with a career-high seven goals and 18 points — but he is consistent on defense, has often been Aaron Ekblad’s playing partner and posted strong possession numbers while getting a lot of time on the penalty kill. His play has steadily improved over the past three seasons.

Aaron Ekblad and MacKenzie Weegar

Weegar was selected in the seventh round of the 2013 NHL Draft. He made his debut with Florida four years later, receiving a late season call up and playing in the final three games of the 2016-17 season.

In short, the Panthers secured an excellent top-pairing defenceman who has been one of the league’s best defensive players in the past two seasons. The Panthers now have six defenseman signed for multiple years: Aaron Ekblad, Keith Yandle, Radko Gudas, Anton Stralman, Markus Nutivaara and MacKenzie Weegar.

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