Insider Reveals Potential Sam Reinhart Extension Plans

Sam Reinhart wants to stay in Miami. And the Florida Panthers want to retain their leading scorer. Sounds like it should be easy to get an extension done for the pending unrestricted free agent. According to Insider Pierre LeBrun in The Athletic, he believes so, but with some certain stipulations:

I think term will matter to Reinhart. He’s 28 years old, so this is likely his last big contract moment, and he’s never gotten term before. He came out of his entry-level deal in Buffalo and signed a two-year, $7.3 million deal in September 2018, followed by a one-year, $5.2 million contract in October 2020, then signed a three-year, $19.5 million with the Panthers in August 2021, a month after his trade acquisition.

Point being that term and the peace of mind that would come with it might be a nice exchange for taking less AAV than his market worth.

And if there's any location in the NHL where "taking less AAV" is an easier pill to swallow for a player, it would be in South Beach. And not just because of the weather. 

Tax advantages of playing in Florida are huge. Reinhart is coming off a $6.5 million AAV, and sure, he could hold out on the open market for something close to the $11.5 million that realistic comp William Nylander got from the Toronto Maple Leafs. But calculations show that a $9.5 million AAV in the Sunshine State would actually net Reinhart more at the end of the day than Nylander's $11.5 million in Ontario due to the extreme differences in tax rate (and yes, weather!). 

Reinhart is certainly due for a huge raise, thanks to his massive season thus far, with 31 goals (matching his entire total from last year), and 54 points in 32 games, with a plus/minus rating of +15. But with both sides eager to make it work, as long as the Panthers come up with the long-term reward in years for the 28-year-old, it sure seems like a team-friendly extension could wind up keeping him in Florida.

Photo: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports