The Florida Panthers signed center Sam Bennett to a four-year, $17.6 million contract extension on Monday. That contract carries a $4.4 million salary cap hit each year; he would have been eligible for restricted free agency starting on Wednesday. Panthers general manager Bill Zito said in a statement: “Sam’s impact on our club this past season was seen immediately, injecting physicality, skill and energy into our lineup. 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.”
Florida acquired Bennett from the Calgary Flames just before the trade deadline for a prospect and a second-round pick. Bennett finished the regular season with 15 points (six goals, nine assists) in 10 games before recording five points (one goal, four assists) in five playoff games.