NHL

NHL free agency: Jason Demers signs 5-year deal with Panthers

The Florida Panthers have continued overhauling their blue line by signing defenceman Jason Demers to a five-year contract.

Former Stars defenceman joins Ekblad, Yandle, Kindl on Florida blue line

Former Dallas Stars defenceman Jason Demers signed on with the Florida Panthers the day after free agency opened. (Glenn James/NHLI/Getty Images)

The Florida Panthers have continued overhauling their blue line by signing defenceman Jason Demers to a five-year contract worth $22.5 million US. 

Demers had seven goals and 16 assists in 62 games for the Dallas Stars last season. He's a puck-moving defenceman who general manager Tom Rowe says will help the Panthers' transition game and special teams.

The 28-year-old will be one of several new faces on defence for the Panthers next season. Already they traded for and signed Keith Yandle, traded away Erik Gudbranson and Dmitry Kulikov, let Brian Campbell leave in free agency and acquired Mark Pysyk.

Demers has 143 points in 434 NHL games. He'll join a group that includes Yandle, Jakub Kindl and 2014 No. 1 pick Aaron Ekblad, who on Friday signed a $60 million, eight-year extension.

Polak returns to Leafs

Roman Polak is back with the Maple Leafs.

Toronto signed the free agent defenceman to a one-year contract on Saturday. Term of the deal were not immediately available.

Polak played 55 games last year with the Leafs before being dealt in a Feb. 22 trade with the San Jose Sharks. Centre Nick Spaling was also apart of the deal that saw Toronto receive second-round picks in 2017 and 2018 as well as forward Raffi Torres.

The 30-year-old Polak had one goal and 12 assists with Toronto and three assists in 24 regular season games for San Jose.

Polak didn't record a point in 24 post-season games for the Sharks, who fell to the Pittsburgh Penguins in six games during the Stanley Cup final.

Toronto originally acquired Polak from the St. Louis Blues in June 2014 for defenceman Carl Gunnarsson.

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