SUNRISE, Fla. — Jonathan Huberdeau waited four seasons before finally experiencing the Stanley Cup playoffs. If the Florida Panthers have their way, he’ll be a postseason fixture for years to come.
A well-paid fixture, too.
Huberdeau’s $35.4 million, six-year extension was formally announced by the Panthers on Wednesday, the forward becoming yet another piece of the team’s young core to be locked into a long-term deal since January — and another sign that the long-sputtering franchise has turned a corner toward becoming a legit title contender.
“Jonathan is a highly talented and dynamic player who is another important piece of our team’s young core,” Panthers President Dale Tallon said.
That core came at a cost, one that the Panthers don’t seem to mind.
So far in 2016 alone, the Panthers have committed more than $184 million in contracts to five players who are all age 25 or younger. Aleksander Barkov (who turned 21 last week) signed an extension in January, and Aaron Ekblad (20), Vincent Trocheck (23), Reilly Smith…