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Reilly Smith signs five-year extension with Panthers

Forward would have been restricted free agent after this season

NHL.com @NHL

Forward Reilly Smith signed a five-year contract extension with the Florida Panthers on Sunday. Financial terms were not released, but TSN reported an average annual value of $5 million.

Smith, 25, could have become a restricted free agent after this season; the extension runs through the 2021-22 season. He scored an NHL career-high 25 goals last season and led the Panthers with four goals and eight points in their six-game loss to the New York Islanders in the Eastern Conference First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"Reilly was a key player for our team last season," general manager Tom Rowe said. "He is a valuable contributor to our offense and special teams and is an important part of our talented group of forwards."

Smith was traded to the Panthers with forward Marc Savard by the Boston Bruins for forward Jimmy Hayes on July 1, 2015. Smith has 61 goals and 150 points in 285 regular-season games with the Dallas Stars, Bruins and Panthers.

"I think our fans know now what a smart player he is," Rowe said about Smith. "I think he's a guy that goes under the radar, doesn't get a ton of exposure, doesn't get a lot of the headlines, he just shows up to the rink every day and practices the same way and plays the same consistent game, game in and game out."

Florida also signed forward Vincent Trocheck to a six-year contract Sunday, and Rowe also said he is working to extend the contracts of forwards Jonathan Huberdeau and Derek MacKenzie. Huberdeau, 23, was a first-round pick (No. 3) of the Panthers at the 2011 NHL Draft and won the Calder Trophy as the League's top rookie in 2013. He has 58 goals and 172 points in 272 NHL games and can become a restricted free agent July 1, 2017

"We're definitely talking to [Huberdeau's] representative and working on that, but there's nothing imminent as far as that one goes," Rowe said. "We know that he's an important piece just as the other guys, but the main goal here was to extend the young kids who were coming up for extensions and get it done sooner rather than later."

MacKenzie, a fifth-round pick (No. 128) of the Atlanta Thrashers at the 1999 draft, has spent the past two seasons in Florida. He has 95 points in 453 games with the Thrashers, Panthers and Columbus Blue Jackets, and can become an unrestricted free agent after this season.

"We're working just on a couple of minor details here and there," Rowe said of MacKenzie's contract. "It's somebody we want to keep around for a couple more years and help continue to grow what we started six years ago. He's definitely going to be with us and be with us long term for sure."

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