SUNRISE, Fla. – The Florida Panthers signed forward Cory Stillman to a three-year, US$10.6-million deal Tuesday, shortly after the start of NHL free agency Tuesday.
“I think we’ve got a great fit, a player that has the ability to score some goals and a smart player,” general manager Jacques Martin said.
Stillman, 34, scored 24 goals and had 41 assists last season with the Ottawa Senators and Carolina Hurricanes. He will earn $3.6 million next season and $3.5 million each of the following two years.
This off-season, the Panthers have also dealt forward Olli Jokinen – the team’s leading scorer – to the Phoenix Coyotes and hired Peter DeBoer as their new coach.
In his 13-year NHL career, Stillman has played for five teams and won two Stanley Cup titles – one with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2004 and another with Carolina two years later.
“I think he’s an individual who will provide leadership through his actions,” Martin said. “The fact that he’s won two Cups, he could be a mentor to younger players.”
Stillman had just one goal and 11 assists in the final 18 games of the most recent regular season, but Martin said he was not too concerned with the drop in production.
“Sometimes when you’re acquired at the trade deadline, maybe, I don’t know, if it’s difficult to fit in,” Martin said. “I really believe Cory is a tremendous team player.”