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Panthers’ signing spree continues with Reilly Smith contract extension

The Florida Panthers’ recent free agency wheeling and dealing continued Sunday afternoon with the club announcing it has signed winger Reilly Smith to a five-year contract extension.

The deal is worth $25 million for an average annual value of $5 million, according to TSN’s Gary Lawless.

To recap Florida’s movement with roster players in the past week and a bit, they have:

– Traded for the rights to veteran defenseman Keith Yandle, then signed him to a seven-year contract

– Traded for defenseman Mark Pysyk, shipping out defenseman Dmitri Kulikov as part of the deal

– Signed franchise blueliner Aaron Ekblad to an eight-year contract extension

– Inked goaltender James Reimer to a five-year deal

– Came to terms with depth forwards Jonathan Marchessault and Colton Sceviour on two-year contracts

– Signed veteran defenseman Jason Demers to a five-year pact

– Inked restricted free agent center Vincent Trocheck to a six-year deal

– Extended winger Reilly Smith for five years

That’s a lot of action in a brief window. And that’s excluding a minor trade that sent prospect center Rocco Grimaldi to Colorado for depth goaltender Reto Berra. Also, earlier in the off-season, the Panthers sent defenseman Erik Gudbranson to Vancouver for center Jared McCann.

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In Smith, Florida retains a young top-six forward coming off a career year. The 25-year-old scored a career-high 25 goals and notched 50 points in 82 games last season for the Panthers. In the playoffs, he led the club in goals (four), assists (four) and points (eight) in a first-round loss to the New York Islanders. Smith has one year left on his current deal with a cap hit of $3.425 million, so the extension will take effect in 2017-18, according to capfriendly.com.

In 285 career NHL regular season games with the Panthers, Boston Bruins and Dallas Stars, the Toronto, Ont. native has recorded 150 points (61 goals, 89 assists) and 75 penalty minutes. Originally selected by the Stars in the third round (69th overall) in the 2009 NHL draft, the Panthers acquired Smith along with injured center Marc Savard from the Boston Bruins in exchange for winger Jimmy Hayes on July 1, 2015.