NHL Free Agents | Sam Reinhart: File closed; Jake Guentzel to Tampa, it’s done

Sam Reinhart missed the Florida Panthers’ Stanley Cup parade, but he won’t miss their attempt to defend the title next season.


Published at 9:15 a.m.

Updated at 10:33 a.m.



Reinhart — who scored the game-winning goal in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final — and the Panthers have agreed to an eight-year, $69 million contract, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press Monday morning. That will give the star an annual salary of $8.625 million.

The deal was completed Sunday night, which was critical because it allowed Reinhart to avoid having to test the free-agent market and allowed the Panthers to offer him an eight-year contract. It also means the Panthers have forwards Aleksander Barkov, Matthew Tkachuk and Reinhart under contract together for the next six years.

Reinhart — who scored a Panthers-record 67 goals last season, including 10 in the playoffs — missed Sunday’s Stanley Cup parade and rally because he was attending his best friend’s wedding. He sent a video instead, telling fans he wished he could have been there for the events.

“What a week we’ve had,” Reinhart said. “The best week of my life.”

Indeed, it was a week like no other.

Reinhart scored Florida’s first goal of the season and, eight months later, he scored its final goal of the season. His late second-period goal gave the Panthers the lead for good in their 2–1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers in Game 7 of the final.

Then he spent a few days celebrating with his teammates, then he celebrated his friend’s wedding.

Guentzel in Tampa: It’s done

PHOTO KARL B DEBLAKER, ARCHIVES ASSOCIATED PRESS

Jake Guentzel

In Tampa, the Jake Guentzel file was finalized Monday morning. The Lightning had acquired his rights Sunday, and announced that they had reached an agreement with the productive winger.

The deal is a seven-year, $63 million deal with an average annual cap hit of $9 million. The deal makes Guentzel the Lightning’s fourth-highest earner, behind Brayden Point, Nikita Kucherov and Andrei Vasilevskiy, all at $9.5 million.

Guentzel, 29, had 30 goals and 47 assists for 77 points in 77 games last season with the Penguins and Hurricanes, marking his third straight season with 70 points.

With this deal, the Lightning now have $7.5 million in cap space (source: CapFriendly), but with only 10 forwards and 5 defensemen under NHL contracts.

Unless he changes his mind and accepts a substantial pay cut, Steven Stamkos will continue his career in another uniform and the Lightning will have to name another captain. In Guentzel, however, Tampa gets its hands on a forward who is four years younger.

Tanev in Toronto

PHOTO RICK SCUTERI, ARCHIVES ASSOCIATED PRESS

Chris Tanev

Chris Tanev is a right-shot defenseman with a defensive nature who has been worth his weight in gold for the Dallas Stars in the playoffs. The Toronto Maple Leafs went to get his negotiating rights on Sunday, and consequently, they announced Monday before the opening of the free agent market a six-year, $27 million contract with the 34-year-old defenseman.

That’s about the same dollar as he was paid last season, $4.5 million per season.

Tanev scored 2 goals and 17 assists in 75 games last season, a modest output, but his contribution is much more in defensive prowess and leadership. Two qualities that can only serve the Leafs’ cause.

Guillaume Lefrançois, The Press

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