Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida
By Jameson Olive  |  Last updated 7/1/14
With $32,259,625 million in cap space and a commitment to turn things around quickly, the Florida Panthers began Tuesday's free agency frenzy as one of the most talked about team's in the NHL. Already loaded with young talent and a budding prospect pool, the Panthers are looking to add veteran depth at multiple positions to not only help them in the present, but also mentor their future stars. Here is what the Panthers have done so far ... SIGNED F Jussi Jokinen: The Florida Panthers signed former Pittsburgh Penguins forward Jussi Jokinen to a four-year, $16 million deal. Jokinen, 31, had 21 goals and 36 assists in 81 games with the Penguins last season. A former 30-goal scorer in 2009-10 with Carolina, Jokinen should bring an offensive spark to a Panthers team that scored a meager 2.29 goals per-game last season. An NHL journeyman, Jokinen has scored 149 goals and 414 points in 660 games split between the Dallas, Tampa Bay, Carolina and Pittsburgh. A native of Kalajoki, Finland, Jokinen will have the opportunity to play alongside and mentor the Panthers' most valuable asset and fellow Fin, former No. 2 overall draft pick Aleksander Barkov. F Dave Bolland: The Panthers signed former Toronto Maple Leafs center Dave Bolland to a five-year, $27.5 million deal on Tuesday. Bolland, 28, had eight goals and four assists in 23 games with Toronto last season. A second-round pick of Chicago in 2004, Bolland has tallied 78 goals and 102 assists in 355 games split between Chicago and Toronto. A native of Mamico, Ontario, Bolland became a household name when he scored the game-winning goal in the final minute of Game 6 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final to give Chicago their second Stanley Cup in just four years. Plagued by injuries in recent years, Bolland has been limited to just 58 games over the past two seasons and has competed in more than 70 games in just two of the past seven seasons. Nicknamed "The Rat" for his ability to get underneath the skin of opposing players, Bolland should feel right at home with a Panthers organization that already has a strong affinity for rodents. G Al Montoya: The Panthers signed former Winnipeg Jets goaltender Al Montoya to a two-year contract on Tuesday. Montoya, 29, earned a 13-8-3 record with a 2.30 goals-against average and a .920 save percentage as a backup in Winnipeg last season. The No. 6 overall selection in the 2004 NHL Draft, Montoya boasts a career record of 37-26-13 in 91 games split between Winnipeg, Arizona and the New York Islanders. With Roberto Luongo locked in as the Panthers' starting goaltender for next season, Montoya is likely to battle incumbent Dan Ellis for the team’s backup job during training camp. In six games last season, Ellis did little to secure his position as the team’s backup, posting a 4.81 goals-against average with a .836 save percentage. GONE F Jesse Winchester: Former Panther forward Jesse Winchester signed a two-year, $1.8 million deal with the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday. Winchester, 30, had nine goals and nine assists in 52 games last season with Florida. D Tom Gilbert: Former Panther defenseman Tom Gilbert signed a one-year, $2.8 million deal with the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday. Gilbert, 31, had three goals and 25 assists in 73 games while playing on Florida's top defensive pairing last season. You can follow Jameson Olive on Twitter @JamesonCoop or email him at JamesonOlive@gmail.com.
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