Free agent D Brandon Montour headed to Seattle on a 7-year deal

2024 Stanley Cup Final - Game Seven

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Brandon Montour lifted the Stanley Cup last week. Now he’s getting ready to lift his belongings into a moving truck. 

The veteran defenseman will be on the move from the Florida Panthers to the Seattle Kraken, signing a seven-year contract worth seven million dollars annually, according to multiple reports just minutes before the opening of NHL free agency on Monday at 9am PT. 

The Kraken made the signing official just several minutes after the opening bell. 

“Brandon is a proven winner, and we are thrilled to have him joining our organization,” Kraken general manager Ron Francis said in a statement.

Defensemen by rule take a little longer to fill out with their game, and Montour, 30, was a prime example. 

The 6-foot, 199-pound blueliner brings a mature, powerful, and well-rounded game on the blueline that is expected to transform the Kraken power play. His lethal shot, high-octane skating, physical play, and deft playmaking abilities delivered a career-high 16-goal season last year, best on the Panthers blueline, then rebounded from an injury-dotted season this year (8 goals in 66 games) with 11 points in 22 playoff games to help the Panthers capture their first Stanley Cup title in franchise history. 

The move checks off a major upgrade on the blueline and presumably spells the end to Justin Schultz’s two-year tenure in Seattle, an unrestricted free agent who filled the same right-shot defenseman role in a top four pairing situation. With Vince Dunn still under contract, the Kraken presumably have a pair of experienced weapons to run the point on both power play units, sheltering Ryker Evans if he makes the big club. 

While the Kraken addressed a big upgrade on the blueline, questions still remain with scoring upgrades along their top six forward portion of their lineup. Francis said the team has backing of ownership for an aggressive summer with cap space of $16 million at the time of Montour’s signing, and will need to address an offense that fell to 29th in the NHL last season at 2.6 goals per game. 

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