Can Panthers, Oilers keep their teams together? Plenty of contracts are expiring.


The Florida Panthers have won their first NHL championship in their third trip to the Stanley Cup Final.

The Edmonton Oilers hope the future is bright after reaching the championship round for the first time in the Connor McDavid era and pushing back from a 3-0 deficit to force Game 7.

Can they keep their teams together?

The recent champion Tampa Bay Lightning and Colorado Avalanche showed that's more difficult in the salary cap era. But this year's finalists will benefit from the salary cap rising from $83.5 million to $88 million.

Here are the decisions that await the Panthers and Oilers:

Florida Panthers forward Sam Reinhart (13) hoists the Stanley Cup after defeating the Edmonton Oilers in Game 7.
Florida Panthers forward Sam Reinhart (13) hoists the Stanley Cup after defeating the Edmonton Oilers in Game 7.

What's next for the Florida Panthers?

The big offseason questions will be unrestricted free agent forward Sam Reinhart and defenseman Brandon Montour.

Reinhart, 28, had a career year with 57 goals, had 10 more in the playoffs and works well with Aleksander Barkov. He's due a big raise from this season's $6.5 million but might need to take a slight hometown discount.

Montour, 30, had 73 points in 2022-23 but dropped to 33 after offseason shoulder surgery. He's a coveted right-shot defenseman, but Gustav Forsling appears to have supplanted him as the top blue liner and just got an extension.

Other pending unrestricted free agent defensemen are offseason signees Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Dmitry Kulikov. Aaron Ekblad is entering the final year of his contract.

Among the forwards, trade deadline acquisition Vladimir Tarasenko is on a one-year deal. He has a Florida home and has been a good fit on the third line. Kyle Okposo, also acquired at the deadline, won his first Cup at 36. There are other bottom six forwards on the UFA list.

Anton Lundell is a restricted free agent, and Sam Bennett and Carter Verhaeghe have one year left.

Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky had two more years on his contract. Backup goalie Anthony Stolarz is unrestricted. Spencer Knight, who didn't play in the NHL this season, is in the system.

What's next for the Edmonton Oilers?

No. 2 scorer Leon Draisaitl is heading into his final season and is eligible for an extension. Connor McDavid has two years left on his deal and forwards Zach Hyman, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Evander Kane are signed beyond next season.

Defenseman Evan Bouchard, who has emerged as the Oilers' top defenseman, is eligible for an extension. He'll be a restricted free agent at the end of next season. Philip Broberg, who took big strides in the playoffs, is restricted.

The Oilers have a long list of UFAs. including their impressive third line of Mattias Janmark, Connor Brown and Adam Henrique. Warren Foegele, who had a four-game point streak in the final, is unrestricted, and Dylan Holloway is restricted.

Goalie Stuart Skinner has two years left on his deal at an inexpensive $2.6 million cap hit. The Oilers need to make a decision on veteran goalie Jack Campbell, who spent most of the season in the American Hockey League. Calvin Pickard is unrestricted.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Panthers, Oilers futures: Where players' contract statuses stand