sp-584kopecky

The Florida Panthers have acquired the rights to Chicago Blackhawks center Tomas Kopecky and are hoping to convince him not to become a free-agent. ((Paul Sancya/Associated Press))

The Florida Panthers have three days to convince Tomas Kopecky not to become an unrestricted free agent.   

The NHL team acquired his rights from Chicago on Monday for a seventh-round draft pick.   

Kopecky is due to become a free agent on Friday.   

The 29-year-old forward had 42 points (15-27) in 81 games for the Blackhawks last season while earning $1.2 million US.   

Florida still needs to add more than $20 million in payroll to reach the salary floor next year.