The Florida Panthers have successfully wrapped up extension negotiations with their star center Aleksander Barkov. The franchise confirmed the news on Friday, revealing that Barkov, who serves as team captain, inked a new eight-year deal that will keep him in Florida through the 2029-30 season.
While the Panthers didn’t disclose the financial terms of the agreement, it was reported that the deal was worth $80 million. If true, Barkov’s $10 million annual salary would place him in the top 10 of highest-paid players in the NHL.
As ESPN points out, Barkov’s extension now stands as the largest contract in terms of the total value that the Panthers ever gave to a single player.
Barkov was drafted second overall by the Panthers in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. After experiencing an up-and-down rookie season, the Finland-native found his footing in the league and quickly established himself as Florida’s franchise star. He was named team captain in 2018, stepping in for Derek MacKenzie.
During his eight years as a Panther, Barkov played 529 NHL games and contributed with 181 goals and 284 assists for a total of 465 points. He has an All-Star appearance from 2018 and received Lady Byng Memorial Trophy and Frank J. Selke Trophy.
“Over his past eight years in South Florida, Sasha has demonstrated his leadership, character, and elite playmaking ability, cementing himself as one of the best all-around players in hockey,” said general manager Bill Zito in a statement. “He has earned the respect of the hockey community through work ethic and a team-first attitude. Most importantly, he is a tremendous person, athlete, and friend, and we are thrilled to secure Sasha as our leader on and off the ice for the next eight years.”