The Florida Panthers are bringing back another familiar face next season, as the club announced Friday that they have finally come to terms with forward Shawn Matthias.

 

Matthias, 23, finished up the season scoring 6 goals and 10 assists in 51 games with the Panthers. He missed 27-games towards the end of the season with a broken right ankle.

 

In four-NHL seasons, the Mississauga, Ontario native has scored 15 goals and 21 assists in 126 games.

 

The signing was a relief for both sides (Panthers and Matthias) as the club has been trying to work out the right deal since June 27th when they offered up their first contract offer to the Restricted Free Agent.  Essentially, Matthias wanted a contract that would ensure him that he would be sticking around in the NHL next season, rather than be sent to the AHL. Matthias’ contract starts off with him earning $803,000 if he sticks in the NHL or $62,500 in the AHL during the first season. But, in the second year of his contract, he is to be paid $900,000 confirming that he will have a spot on the Panthers roster.

 

“I was very happy with the deal,” Matthias said after a Friday morning skate, “that I could go into camp with a clear mind, work hard, do the best I can. If I do that good things will happen.”

 

While Matthias says that he has a few good games, he’s yet to have great season, the best is yet to come. “I can’t let up on the gas now," says Matthias, "It’s time for me to play my best hockey and show that I’m worthy of that deal and turn some heads.”

 

 

Adam Reid

adam_mapleleafs@hotmail.com