Panthers General Manager Brock Otten announced a large batch of signings earlier this morning at a private press conference. Florida has signed 8 unrestricted free agents, all of whom are young and have a strong future with the Panthers organization.
The signees are as follows: Forwards Fernando Pisani, Peter Sarno, Cody McCormick, Karl Stewart, Dan Baum, Greg Black and defenseman Alexandre Rouleau and Mike Stuart.
Pisani is a hard working, smart two way winger who can step into the Panthers line up right away as a third line winger.
Sarno is a creative offensive centerman whom makes his return to the HFNHL after a stay in Finland last year. He hopes to crack the Panthers as the 4th line center, extra forward.
Forwards Cody McCormick, Karl Stewart, Dan Baum and Greg Black are all UFA's straight out of the CHL. McCormick is a feisty winger who has a very bright future. Stewart is a hard working, two way forward much like Pisani. Baum and Black are two agitators who add nicely to the depth at the forward position for the future.
Alexandre Rouleau is a UFA from the QMJHL, and he played a part in Canada's capture of the silver medal at the last World Junior Championships.
Mike Stuart is a defenseman whom was signed out of the HFAHL, after having a good year there last season. He's a strong, stay at home defenseman whom also adds to the depth of the Panthers organization.
GM Otten had this to say, "The Panthers are VERY happy to get these guys signed. In fact we were down right suprised that they were still available in such a competitive environment. Pisani and Sarno step into our line up immediately and have a chance to be strong future contributors for this franchise. While guys like McCormick, Stewart and Rouleau give this team even more spark for the future. They may not contribute at all this year, but after time spent in the HFAHL, they could be very good players for us in the future. A great day for Florida hockey fans."
The Panthers now look to the upcoming waiver draft, where most of GM Otten's focus will be shifted.