The Florida Panthers will be bringing back the team's leading scorer Jaromir Jagr for the 2016-17 season.
Jagr agreed to a new one-year deal on Thursday and will look to lead Florida to a second straight playoff run. Jagr compiled 66 points in 79 games this season and also was a leader on and off the ice.
The veteran will turn 45 next season, but showed no signs of slowing down in the 2015-16 campaign. Not only did Jagr have the aforementioned top points total on Florida, but he helped those around him. Most notably Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleskander Barkov showed improvements in their game playing alongside Jagr.
This season was Jagr's first full one with the Panthers after coming over in a trade during the 2014-15 run. While the Panthers missed the playoffs that season, they made a strong run to the end thanks in part to Jagr's contributions.
“Jaromir has had a tremendous influence on our younger players and has been a key offensive contributor on our team,” Panthers Head Coach Gerard Gallant said. “We are happy to have him back as we look to build off this year’s playoff appearance.”
“Jaromir is a Hall of Fame player and had an excellent season playing alongside Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau,” Florida's Executive Vice President and General Manager Dale Tallon said. “His track record speaks for itself, ranking third all-time in points and goals. He has been a great fit with our organization and we are excited to have him back for next season.”
The Panthers are expected to try and find some missing pieces this off-season after a first-round exit in the playoffs. Florida made great strides this season, but has room to improve.