The Florida Panthers have locked up another piece of their young core. The team announced today that they have signed defenceman Michael Matheson to an eight-year contract extension. The deal begins next year. Matheson was scheduled to be a restricted free agent on July 1st. Instead he now has a new $39 million deal. The contract carries an AAV or cap hit of $4.875 million per season.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman was first with the news, just before Bob McKenzie of TSN got the exact details.
Hearing FLA working on an 8-year extension with Michael Matheson. AAV just under $5M
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) October 7, 2017
AAV of $4.875M on an eight-year, $39M contract. Done deal: https://t.co/5Wcla98y7K
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) October 7, 2017
Florida Panthers Sign Michael Matheson to Long-Term Extension
Last season Matheson put up seven goals and 17 points in 81 games as an NHL rookie. He also added 36 penalty minutes. The strong year came after Matheson got his feet wet with three NHL games in 2015-16. He has also played for Team Canada at the IIHF World Championships the last two years, coming home with a gold medal in 2016 and a silver in 2017.
Matheson was in the third and final year of his entry-level deal. The 23-year-old was drafted by the Panthers in the first round, 23rd overall, of the 2012 NHL Draft. He played three years of college hockey at Boston College, and spent a year with the Portland Pirates of the AHL before breaking through on the Panthers last season. The Pointe-Claire, Quebec native opted to go the college route despite being a highly sought after prospect for the QMJHL.
Main Photo: OTTAWA, ON – DECEMBER 03: Florida Panthers Defenceman Mike Matheson (19) before a face off during a game between the Florida Panthers and Ottawa Senators on December 3, 2016, at Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, On. (Photo by Jason Kopinski/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)