With a new owner in place, Florida Panthers general manager Dale Tallon made a trio of deals to bolster the roster ahead of Thursday's season opener.
The Panthers reacquired right wing Krys Barch in a trade with the New Jersey Devils, and signed center Brad Boyes and defenseman Tom Gilbert to one-year contracts.
"We're trying to do the best we can in a short period of time before the season starts," Tallon told the Miami Herald Sunday. "We're trying to peck away at this thing, get better every day."
The Panthers acquired Barch and a seventh-round pick in the 2015 NHL draft in exchange for center Scott Timmins and a sixth-round pick in the 2014 draft. Barch was a member of the 2011-2012 Panthers team that won the first division title in franchise history. The seven-year veteran will likely play on the Panthers' fourth line.
"He's a hard-nosed guy who is cut from the mold of being all about the team," Tallon said. "He can skate, is an aggressive guy on the forecheck and knows his role as a teammate. I’m excited to get him back.”
Boyes and Gilbert had been with the Panthers on tryout deals, and their signings came as no surprises. Tallon said Boyes will be a nice complement to Kris Versteeg and Aleksander Barkov. "We need guys who can put the puck in the net and make plays," he said. "He's one of those guys who can do that."
Boyes had 35 points (10 goals and 25 assists) last season for the New York Islanders, and has 407 points (168 goals and 239 assists) over his 9-year career. The Panthers will be his sixth NHL team.
Gilbert has played in 447 NHL games with Minnesota and Edmonton. The moves came days after signing veteran goalie Tim Thomas, and leave the Panthers with 28 players on the roster. Florida which will need to be cut to 23 on Monday.
The Panthers open the regular season in Dallas on Thursday.