Now that the NHL and NHLPA have reached an agreement and the NHL Board of Governors has passed that agreement with a staggering 30-0 vote, we can get back to business. I, for one, cannot wait until January 19th.
Last offseason was not particularly kind to the Nashville Predators. There was the slap in the face from Ryan Suter as he took a $98-million dollar deal from the Minnesota Wild, even though he had been telling Preds GM David Poile he has no intentions of leaving Nashville. Then Jordin Tootoo decided to take a deal from Detroit, even though it carried the same price tag and length as the contract Poile was offering. Alexander Radulov (whose rights as a restricted free agent are still held by the Predators) partied a bit too much for Poile and coach Barry Trotz to handle, so he was sent back to the KHL, along with Andrei Kostitsyn. The Predators also lost Francis Bouillon who returned to his hometown Montreal Canadiens and Jack Hillen packed his bags for the Washington Capitals. Ending the list is backup goaltender Anders Lindback, who went to a starting position with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
That is a long list. It has been a hard hit to the Predators franchise, but they have managed to add a few new faces to fill the void.
First, there’s goalie Chris Mason. With Mason back in town, it will mark his third go-around as a Predator. He’s well worth the 1-year, $1.25 million contract he was offered, seeing as he has plenty of experience. Mason is familiar with the players, staff, and Nashville itself, so he’ll fit right in.
Next is veteran defenseman, Scott Hannan, who was acquired from the Calgary Flames. While he’s expected to play 2nd or 3rd defensive pair at even strength, Hannan is an excellent contributor to the penalty kill also.
By adding two players to a roster that lost seven doesn’t seem to be in favor of the Predators, a lot of other key players signed new contracts to stay:
- Shea Weber: 14-years, $110 million
- Kevin Klein: 5-years, $14.5 million
- Colin Wilson: 3-year, $6 million
- Paul Gaustad: 4-years, $13 million
- Sergei Kostitsyn: 2-years, $6 million
- Hal Gill: 2-years, $4 million
- Craig Smith: 2-years, $4 million
- Gabriel Bourque: 2-years, $1.55 million
- Brandon Yip: 1-year, $750,000
- Brian McGrattan: 1-year, $600,000
Players who signed two-way contracts (which pay a lesser amount at the AHL level) are:
- Jeremy Smith: 1-year, $660,000
- Jonathan Blum: 1-year, $650,000
- Jack MacLellan: 1-year, $600,000
- Chris Mueller: 1-year, $550,000
- Kevin Henderson: 1-year, $550,000
- Mike Moore: 1-year, $550,000
There’s also Mike Fisher who signed an extension of 2-years, $8.4 million to his contract that was set to expire this summer.
With a mostly full roster, the Nashville Predators look to do well for themselves as they hit the ice for the shortened season. Other players may come in, but the Predators can work with what they have.