Panthers sign Bennett to 4-year deal with reported $4.4M AAV
Bennett's new deal carries an average annual value of $4.4 million, reports TSN's Pierre LeBrun.
Florida acquired Bennett last season from the Calgary Flames for a second-round pick and forward prospect Emil Heineman. Bennett took off with the Panthers, registering 15 points in 10 regular-season games after posting only 12 across 38 contests with the Flames.
"Sam's impact on our club this past season was seen immediately, injecting physicality, skill, and energy into our lineup," said Florida general manager Bill Zito. "We are thrilled to have him in our Panthers lineup and look forward to what he can bring to our offense in the upcoming 2021-22 season."
The Panthers have approximately $7 million in cap space after signing Bennett, according to CapFriendly. Florida also needs to sign newly acquired restricted free-agent forward Sam Reinhart before the season begins.
Bennett's previous pact paid him $2.55 million per season. He signed a pair of bridge deals with the Flames after his entry-level contract, struggling to carve out a role with the franchise that drafted him fourth overall in 2014.
The 25-year-old has 155 points in 412 NHL games.