NHL Rumors: Florida Panthers Want to Keep Sam Reinhart Long-Term

TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger was on TSN Radio in Toronto. When asked about what the Florida Panthers will do with Sam Reinhart in the off-season, Dreger believes Florida GM Bill Zito will do everything he can to keep Reinhart.

** NHLRumors.com transcription

NHL Rumors: Kaapo Kakko Could Be on the Odd Man Out in New York

Bryan Hayes: “We’re with Darren Dreger, TSN Hockey Insider. In the East, the Panthers ended up winning last night (Tuesday) and overtime. Now that’s the best two out of three. But it’s Sam Reinhart who gets the winner. Guy’s had a magical season. It’s continued into the playoffs. He is a UFA after this season, what is your read on the Reinhart situation in terms of contractual status in terms of staying in Florida or hitting the market? How do you see this one playing out?”

Darren Dreger: “Well, I can tell you Billy Zito, the General Manager of the Panthers, is going to give it his all to try and keep Reinhart with the Panthers. You know, he’s earned the right to free agency and if he went to open market, he’d make a big number because he deserves to make that number based on how good a fit he’s been, the numbers that he posted with the Florida Panthers.

NHL Rumors: Sam Reinhart Continues To Raise His Value

But look, I do think that there is a strong will from both sides to get something done. Reinhart knows that he’s a good fit with the Florida Panthers. He likes playing with for Paul Maurice. He likes the dynamic of what they’ve got in that dressing room. The salary cap is going up, but there are other question marks around that organization and Billy Zito is going to have to address as well. He might leave a little bit of money on the table comparatively speaking, so I’m hesitant to throw out the numbers and what that number looks like.

Because he talks about a top-level player here, what does the number look like to stay in Florida? Well, it would be less considerably, perhaps, than what he’d get on the open market, but it just feels like he’s got a deep appreciation for the lifestyle he has with the Florida Panthers, and I know that they want to try hard to keep him long term.”