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2010 NHL Free Agency: Panthers sign Chris Higgins to one-year, $1.6M deal

Chris Drury, Christopher Higgins

New York Rangers’ Chris Drury, right, celebrates his first period goal with teammate Christopher Higgins (21) in a NHL hockey game in Pittsburgh Friday, Oct. 2, 2009. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)


New GM Dale Tallon continues to show that the Florida Panthers are looking to be an aggressive team in free agency, trades and the draft. While Chris Higgins is far from a big impact player, the three-time 20-plus goal scorer could come cheap. Kevin Allen of USA Today reports that the speedy, two-way winger will sign a one-year, $1.6 million deal to join the intriguing new Panthers.

The Panthers are building a frugal, interesting group of offensive players (even if they’re far from elite.) The highest paid forward on the team is the promising - yet concussion riddled - power forward David Booth at a reasonable annual rate of $4.25 million.

Higgins won’t set the hockey world on fire, but a cheap one-year deal looks like a wise choice. The Panthers now have 13 forwards, five defensemen and two goalies on their roster if you include Higgins. It’s doubtful the team would want to spend to the cap, but they still have $13.7 million left.

Could they be a feasible location for a team needing to make a salary dump? It’s unlikely many player with no-trade clauses would want to be a part of the rebuilding process in Sunrise, but guys without such luxuries might make sense.

It’s very early to judge Tallon’s work, but so far, it’s looking like he’s making some strong moves.