Panthers sign Kwiatkowski, Jacina

On Tuesday, the Florida Panthers announced the signing of defenseman Joel Kwiatkowski and left wing Greg Jacina to two-year contracts.

“Joel is a very durable and reliable defenseman who excelled in San Antonio last season,” said Panthers GM Mike Keenan. “He demonstrated outstanding leadership on and off the ice while playing with our younger players last year.”

Kwiatkowski, 28, finished first among American Hockey League blueliners with 20 goals and second with nine power-play tallies and five game-winners in 2004-05, splitting the season between San Antonio and St. John’s. He totaled 45 points (20g, 25a) in 81 games.

During the 2003-04 season, Kwiatkowski set NHL-career highs in games played (80), goals (6), assists (6) and points (12) while playing with the Washington Capitals.

Greg Jacina finished fifth in team scoring for San Antonio last season.

Jacina, 23, played in 78 games with San Antonio (AHL) last season, registering 11 goals with 20 assists and 150 penalty minutes. In his two years with the Rampage, he appeared in 91 games, accumulating a total of 11 goals, 24 assists and 35 points.

“Greg is a hard working, competitive player,” said Keenan. “He adds solid depth to our organization and will come ready to compete for a roster spot in September.”