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Stanley Cup Final

Bergenheim signs four-year deal with Panthers

Friday, 07.01.2011 / 9:30 PM / NHL Free Agency 2011

NHL.com

Florida's shopping spree continued into Friday evening when the Panthers came to terms with forward Sean Bergenheim to a four-year contract. TSN says the deal is worth $11 million -- a $2.75 million cap hit.

It's a big salary jump for Bergenheim, who signed with Tampa Bay last summer for $700,000 after spending his first five NHL seasons with the New York Islanders, who had taken him in the first round of the 2002 Entry Draft.

The 27-year-old Finn scored 14 goals and a career-best 29 points in 80 regular-season games for the Lightning, then added 9 goals and 11 points to help Tampa Bay reach Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals against Boston.

In 326 regular-season games, he has 54 goals and 109 points. His single-season high for goals is 15 with the Islanders in 2008-09.

Bergenheim is the sixth unrestricted free agent signed by the Panthers on the opening day of free agency, joining goaltender Jose Theodore, defenseman Ed Jovanovski and forwards Tomas Fleischmann, Scottie Upshall and Marcel Goc.

Playing for my favorite team growing up, I've probably scored that goal a million times in my driveway. It feels good to actually do it in real life.

— Dale Weise, who grew up a Canadiens fan, on scoring the overtime winner in Montreal's 5-4 victory against Tampa Bay in Game 1