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TSN.ca Staff
7/28/2006 1:45:16 PM

The Florida Panthers avoided arbitration with defenceman Mike Van Ryn Friday, signing him to a four-year deal. Terms were not disclosed.

Van Ryn, 27, posted career highs last season in games played (80) and assists (29), while also tying a professional best with 37 points. He also placed second on the club averaging 22:35 in ice time and third on the team with a plus-15 rating. During the 2003-04 campaign, Van Ryn become only the third defenseman in Panthers history to score at least 13 goals in a season.

"Mike is a top tier defenseman who we are extremely pleased to have come to terms with on a long-term deal," said Panthers general manager Mike Keenan. "He is a fine ambassador of the game for the Panthers both on and off the ice. We look forward to his continued contributions to our team, as well as the South Florida community."

The 6-foot-1, 202-pound defenseman has played in 228 career contests scoring 23 goals with 64 assists and 168 penalty minutes. In two seasons with the Panthers,Van Ryn has 21 goals and 53 assists with 142 PIM.

Off the ice, Van Ryn was awarded the 2005-06 Sziro Jewelry Community Service Award for his involvement in the South Florida community. He was also the Panthers nominee for the 2006 NHL Foundation Player Award for Community Service and served as a guest coach at the Panthers summer hockey schools this year.

The Panthers still have one arbitration hearing pending. Defenceman Ric Jackman is scheduled to have his arbitration case heard on August 4 in Toronto. The Panthers will have 48 hours after the arbitrator's ruling to accept of decline the contract awarded to Jackman, unless they get a deal done before the hearing.

The Panthers already went to arbitration with defenceman Jay Bouwmeester, who was granted a two-year deal worth $4.35 million. The Panthers have already accepted that settlement.
 

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Keenan re-signs Van Ryn, Jackman

July 28, 2006
Sportsnet.ca

SUNRISE, Fla. (CP) -- The Florida Panthers re-signed defencemen Mike Van Ryn, who got a four-year package, and Ric Jackman, who re-upped for one year, on Friday rather than proceed with salary arbitration hearings.

Van Ryn, 27, from London, Ont., earned $1.064 million US last season when he posted career highs in games (80) and assists (29) while equalling a career best of 37 points.

"Mike is a top-tier defenceman who we are extremely pleased to have come to terms with on a long-term deal," said GM Mike Keenan.

Jackman, 28, from Toronto, played 15 games with Florida last spring after being acquired from Pittsburgh. On the season, he had career highs in games played (54), assists (23), points (30) and penalty minutes (52).

"He is a skilled and hard working defensive player who will play an important role in the team's success this season," said Keenan.
 
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