The Florida Panthers have a few free agent situations to deal with before they can begin addressing the real issues on a roster that isn’t too far off from returning to the playoffs. The thing about the free agents that they do have is that for the most part, they are young and they are cheap. Meaning many of them will be back.
One of those restricted free agents is forward Shawn Matthias. He’s one of those locks to be back. There’s simply no reason to not bring him back. He’s coming off of a very good 2013 campaign, and likely isn’t going to cost very much. He’s a guy worth giving a contract to.
In his sixth year with the organization, Matthias had the best year of his career. He didn’t set a new career high for points, but likely would have pretty easily if he had been playing in a full season. He was a rare source of consistency, offensively, but especially health-wise for this Panthers club.
Matthias’ 2013 season included 14 goals, a new career mark, and 21 points overall. Three of his points came on the power play, in addition to a shorthanded goal. His faceoff percentage wasn’t great when he played in the middle, at 44 percent, but given his history, there’s no reason to think he can’t be better than that figure.
He’ll turn 26 next season, so he’s still a young player and a nice source of depth up front for the Panthers. Which is why it’s a no brainer to re-sign him. In addition to his youth, he isn’t going to cost much. He made barely over $850k last year, and probably won’t see too much of a raise from that. Perhaps just over $1 million.
Expect the Panthers to bring him back on a deal that should be relatively easy to hammer out.