The Washington Times - July 2, 2011, 04:52PM

Matt Bradley broke into the NHL with the Sharks and even played a full season with the Penguins before the lockout. But the majority of his career has been in Washington – six years as one of the Capitals’ best tough guys.

Considered an excellent locker room presence by all, Bradley will take his talents to South Beach – or close – signing a two-year deal with the Panthers.

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“We are very pleased to have signed Matt,” Florida general manager Dale Tallon said in a statement released by the team. “He is a veteran, high-character, hard-working forward who adds depth and a physical presence to our lineup.”

It’s hard to argue with any of that. Bradley recorded just 96 points in six years with the Caps but was always willing to drop the gloves and was a reliable guy to speak his mind in the room.

According to his agent, Larry Kelly, the Caps never made an offer to keep him. So the Panthers used Bradley to finally get over the salary floor after a day’s worth of signings that included also bringing in Jose Theodore and Tomas Fleischmann.

The Panthers’ first visit to Verizon Center is Tuesday, Oct. 18.