Florida Panthers sign Barkov to 6 year steal of a contract

Earlier today, the Florida Panthers re-signed pending Restricted Free Agent, and 2013 NHL Draft second overall selection, Sasha “Aleksander” Barkov to a 6 year, $35.4 million contract. The AAV breaks down to $5.9 million per year until the contract ends in 2022.

This is a fantastic signing and comes at great value too, since Barkov has improved remarkably in each of his previous two seasons of play in the National Hockey League.

The year-by-year salary, according to Panthers beat writer, George Richards (@GeorgeRichards), increases from $4.25 million next season to $7.75 million in 2022. Despite the salary difference, the cap hit of $5.9 million remains the same throughout the duration of the contract.

The deal covers the last four years of Barkov’s eligibility as a restricted free agent and also covers the first two years that he is eligible for unrestricted free agency.

Between Barkov, and last year’s big contract given to centre Nick Bjustad, general manager Dale Tallon is building up the middle and putting the Panthers on a path to long-term success.

Barkov turns 21 years old in September, and with the recent signings around the league of franchise centers, this deal is going to be looked at in the future as an absolute steal. Barkov is currently sitting at 30 points (12G 18A) in 38 games and a remarkable 1.9 points per 60 minutes of even-strength play.

The Panthers are using Barkov in an “all-around” type role – mostly having neutral zone face-offs, and he plays a very similar style of play to Los Angeles Kings center, Anze Kopitar.

With guys like Barkov, Nick Bjugstad, Lawson Crouse, JAaron Ekblad, Ian McCoshen, and others who are either on the team or in the system, the Panthers are amassing a very impressive group of players that possess an excellent combination of skill and size. The future is bright for the Panthers, and the signing of Aleksander Barkov takes the organization one step closer to becoming a contender for Lord Stanley’s Cup.


Main Photo via Getty Images Sport.