The Florida Panthers have signed forward Reilly Smith to a five-year contract extension, the team announced Sunday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but reports indicate that the contract carries a $5 million AAV.
“Reilly was a key player for our team last season,” said general manager Tom Rowe. “He is a valuable contributor to our offense and special teams, and is an important part of our talented group of forwards.”
Smith was acquired by the Panthers last summer in a deal that also brought in Marc Savard’s contract and sent out big forward Jimmy Hayes. The 25-year-old had a great season with Florida, posting a career-high 25 goals and 50 points (one shy of his career-high of 51) while playing on a line with Vincent Trocheck and veteran Jussi Jokinen.
Smith hit another level last year and figures to be a key piece of this team’s future. The deal is a nice one for both Smith and a club that has done a nice job of securing their future this summer. They’ve now put Smith, Trocheck and Aaron Ekblad on long-term extensions, as well as putting new acquisitions James Reimer, Jason Demers and Keith Yandle on the books for a while (even if the latter of those deals may prove a touch high and a touch long).
Smith led the Panthers in goals (4), assists (4) and points (8) during the playoffs, as the team found themselves eliminated in the opening round of the postseason despite claiming the Atlantic Division title.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.