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Panthers land forward Kopecky for seventh-round pick

The Canadian Press

6/27/2011 5:46:50 PM

SUNRISE, Fla. -- The Florida Panthers have three days to convince Tomas Kopecky not to become an unrestricted free agent.

The NHL team acquired his rights from Chicago on Monday for a seventh-round draft pick.

Kopecky is due to become a free agent on Friday.

The 29-year-old forward had 42 points (15-27) in 81 games for the Blackhawks last season while earning US$1.2 million.

Florida still needs to add more than $20 million in payroll to reach the salary floor next year.