Panthers sign Bolland, Jokinen on busy afternoon

 

The Sports Network

The Florida Panthers were very active at the start of the NHL free agency period on Tuesday, signing a host of players including forwards Dave Bolland and Jussi Jokinen.

In addition to signing Bolland and Jokinen, Florida also agreed to terms Tuesday with free agents Shawn Thornton and Al Montoya. The Bolland contract is reportedly worth $27.5 million over five seasons, while Jokinen inked a four-year, $16 million deal.

Thornton was signed for two years at a total of $2.4 million and Montoya agreed to a two-year, $2.1 million deal.

Bolland is coming off a frustrating one-year stint in Toronto, where he posted eight goals and four assists in 23 games following an offseason trade from Chicago. The 28-year-old Canadian centerman won a pair of Stanley Cup titles with the Blackhawks and scored the Cup-clinching goal for Chicago in Game 6 against Boston in 2013.

Over 355 career games with the Blackhawks and Leafs, Bolland has recorded 78 goals and 102 assists.

Jokinen registered 21 goals and 57 points in 81 games for Pittsburgh in 2013-14 and also added seven goals and three assists in 13 playoff games for the Penguins. The 31-year-old Finnish winger has 149 goals and 265 assists in 660 career NHL contests.

With the signing of Thornton, Florida adds a bit of toughness and a two-time Cup winner (Anaheim, 2007; Boston, 2011) to its lineup. The 36-year-old forward is known as an enforcer and had five goals, three assists and 74 penalty minutes for Boston in 2013-14. Thornton, who had been with the Bruins since 2007-08, has 88 points (38G, 50A) and 906 PIM in 559 career NHL games with Anaheim, Boston and Chicago.

Montoya is a veteran backup goalie who went 13-8-3 with a 2.30 goals-against average and .920 save percentage in 28 games with the Winnipeg Jets in 2013-14. He expects to challenge Dan Ellis in Florida for the right to serve as Roberto Luongo's backup.

The 29-year-old Chicago native is 37-26-13 with a 2.63 GAA over 91 career games for Phoenix, the Islanders and Jets.

Derek MacKenzie, who spent the past seven seasons with the Blue Jackets, also agreed to terms with the Panthers. The 33-year-old grinder has compiled 31 goals and 71 points in 307 games for the Thrashers (2001-07) and Columbus.

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