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Florida’s Matthias signs in Austrian league

Dec 3, 2012, 11:33 AM EDT

Shawn Matthias Getty Images

Panthers forward Shawn Matthias has agreed to a lockout deal with EHC Black Wings Linz of the Austrian league, according to the team website.

Mattias, 24, is coming off the finest season of his four-year NHL career, scoring 10G-14A-24PTS in 79 games. He also appeared in all seven games of Florida’s opening round playoff loss to New Jersey, notching one assist while averaging over 11 minutes a night.

With Linz, Mattias will join a handful of ex-NHLers — Pat Leahy, David LeNeveu, Curtis Murphy — and will also join a growing number of locked-out players suiting up in the Erste Bank Eishockey Liga, the top flight of professional hockey in Austria.

Thomas Vanek, David Clarkson, Tobias Enstrom, Derek Dorsett, Andrew Cogliano, Johnny Boychuk, Derick Brassard, Sam Gagner, Tyler Myers, Michael Grabner, Andreas Nodl and Bryan Bickell have all signed on with Austrian clubs, though it should be noted a few (Vanek, Clarkson and Enstrom most notably) have since returned to North America.

Matthias is in the final year of a two-year, $1.7 million deal with the Panthers. He was acquired from Detroit in 2007 as part of the Todd Bertuzzi trade.

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