Panthers Re-Sign Jokinen, Van Ryn
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) _ The Florida Panthers re-signed top scorer Olli Jokinen and defenseman Mike Van Ryn to one-year contracts, and agreed to terms with defenseman Jay Bouwmeester on a one-year deal Monday.
Jokinen signed a one-year, $2.5-million deal, but the Panthers hope to sign their team captain to an extension because he again will be an unrestricted free agent after this season. The Panthers didn’t take Jokinen to salary arbitration this summer for that reason.
However, the deal will get Jokinen into training camp, which opens Wednesday.
The 26-year-old Jokinen has led the Panthers in scoring in each of the last two seasons, registering 26 goals and 32 assists in 2003-04. That was down from 36 goals and 29 assists the previous season.
Bouwmeester hasn’t signed his deal, but he’s also expected to join the team in camp. The 21-year-old defenseman _ the third overall pick by Florida in 2002 _ set career highs with 18 assists and 20 points in 2003-04, his second NHL season.
Van Ryn led Florida defensemen with 37 points in 2003-04 while posting career highs with 79 games played, 13 goals and 24 assists.