Randy Sexton can add another bulletpoint to his resume as he auditions for the Florida Panthers GM vacancy.
• Signed defenseman Jordan Leopold; salvaged Jay Bouwmeester deal from becoming a disaster.
Not shabby, especially since the thought of signing Leopold seemed distant a mere 24 hours ago.
"I did think [our chances] were remote yesterday," Sexton said.
The Panthers inked the former Olympian to a one-year deal Tuesday. TSN reports the contract is worth $1.75 million.
Florida presented Leopold with several offers of varying of terms and money. None suited the defenseman. When Sexton noticed Leopold had not signed elsewhere by this afternoon, he reached out again with a one-year offer. Negotiations moved quickly from there.
The last time the Panthers witnessed such a dramatic turnaround, defenseman Keith Ballard flipped Evgeni Malkin onto his head.
"That's the interesting thing about free agency, and the dynamics of the market we're in now," Sexton said. "Jordan turned down more money and longer terms with other teams to play here.
"I am not glad to get it done, I am pumped to get it done. We are ecstatic to have Jordan here in Florida."
For Leopold, part of the delay involved experiencing the free agency process for the first time and consulting his family on the best move.
"I've never been through FA, and this year has been different than past year," he said. "Randy called back. There were other teams interested, but I had prior conversations with Randy before, and things were always positive with Florida."
It probably didn't hurt to have Ballard, a fellow University of Minnesota alum, talking up the advantages of playing hockey in South Florida. Leopold said the two talked Monday night and the conversation was "positive."
"I never officially ruled it out," Leopold said. "I just wanted to test the market and see what was out there. Florida was always in the back of my mind."
It appears Leopold was always in the back of Sexton's, too.