Panthers add toughness, sign former Capitals bruiser Matt Bradley to two-year contract
After all the spending Panthers GM Dale Tallon did on Friday locking up six players and helping the team get that much closer to reaching the NHL salary floor, day two of free agency proved to be a bit quieter all around. While there weren’t nearly as many signings on day two, the Panthers couldn’t stay completely silent as they inked former Capitals tough guy and crowd favorite Matt Bradley to a two-year contract to keep the peace in Sunrise as George Richards of On Frozen Pond reports. Financial details were not immediately available.
Bradley spent the last six seasons with the Capitals and provided a lot of toughness and guts on a team that sometimes lacked it. He was never an offensive player, but his tenacious forechecking and ability to fight kept him getting steady work in Washington. Last season, Bradley had four goals and seven assists in 61 games and accumulated 68 penalty minutes. Bradley averaged 10:34 of playing time per game last season meaning he’s good for solid fourth line time. He’ll be taking Darcy Hordichuk’s position as team enforcer after Hordichuk departed to Edmonton in free agency on Friday.
Whether it all pans out or not for the Panthers in their spend-crazy fit over the last two days remains to be seen, but there’s a major change going on in Florida and it’s fascinating to see it play out. With the way some of the contracts were handed out and how they’ll affect the free agent market in the future will be tough to watch in some cases. Either way, the Panthers are doing things for themselves and if coach Kevin Dineen can play the master chemist and put this all together to win it’ll provide a truly unbelievable method for how to put together a winning team.