All the P.K. Subban trade chatter turned out to have some merit after all.
On Wednesday, the Montreal Canadiens sent the all-star defenseman to the Nashville Predators for fellow all-star Shea Weber in a blockbuster, straight up, deal.
Subban, 27, had been, along with goalie Carey Price, the face of the franchise for the past five years. He was a two-time all-star, and won the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman in 2012-13. Last season, he scored six goals and 51 points in 68 games before missing the final 14 games of the season with a neck injury.
Restricted free agent Filip Forsberg’s six-year, $36-million contract extension with the Nashville Predators, announced Monday, was a slam-dunk deal.
In 2015-16 left winger Forsberg, 21, became the franchise’s first player in six years to crack 30 goals, equalling Jason Arnott’s team record of 33. Forsberg has averaged 29.5 goals and 63.5 points over his first two full NHL seasons, playing all 164 games. He’s safe, he’s young, and he’s already the best young scorer in Preds history. Six years at $6 million per? Fair deal for both sides. General manager David Poile has about $7.1 million in remaining cap space to play with for 2016-17. Some will go to re-signing RFA Calle Jarnkrok but, assuming Poile lets unrestricted free agents Paul Gaustad and Carter Hutton walk, he may have enough cash left for a medium-impact free agent signing.
Nashville can feel good about Forsberg’s deal. It’s an open-and-shut case. Forsberg got about exactly what we figured he’d get. What’s more interesting is pondering how it’ll affect negotiations involving a player with a comparable resume: Tampa Bay Lightning right winger Nikita Kucherov.
According to multiple reports, right winger Alexander Radulov has priced himself out of an NHL contract. The KHL star always had the fall-back option of staying in Russia, but now that seems to have hit a speed bump, too.
Jimmy Vesey is the most sought after free agent coming out of the NCAA, but he won’t hit the open market until Aug. 15. And with the Nashville Predators, the team which drafted Vesey, knowing full well the 23-year-old won’t be signing with them, they’ve flipped the NCAA standout’s exclusive negotiating rights for a third-round pick.
In a deal that came out of left field, the Buffalo Sabres shipped a 2016 third-round pick, 76th overall, to the Predators in exchange the rights to talk contract with Vesey. While Buffalo could have waited until Vesey became an unrestricted free agent, getting his rights now gives Sabres GM Tim Murray time to try to convince Vesey that Buffalo is the right fit, and Murray sees reasons why Vesey would want to suit up for the Sabres.
“Why not us? Why not give it a shot? We have a spot in our top six for him,” Murray told TSN’s Bob McKenzie. “We had four 3rd-round picks. If I could’ve traded Jamie McGinn for Vesey’s rights at deadline, I’d have done it. We’ll give (signing Vesey) our best shot.” Read more
Nothing says the off-season quite like the threat of buyouts, and we’re inching ever-closer to the NHL’s buyout window opening and several players could see their time with their current teams come to a close.
For some of the candidates, massive contracts are at fault, while other will fall victim to underperforming or simply not fitting within a team’s structure any longer. Unfortunately, some are a combination of all three.
With the salary cap remaining relatively flat according to all reports, several teams are going to be in tough financial situations. Even a rise of $2 million in the salary cap, which is a rough estimate of the maximum amount the upper limit will rise, would still see several teams in tough cap positions. That’s not to say all players on this list will be bought out, but there’s at least a fair chance several from this list will be sent packing by way of a buyout. Read more
In the four seasons since he began his professional career, Max Reinhart hasn’t been able to find himself a steady role in the NHL. And after spending the entirety of the 2015-16 campaign in the AHL, Reinhart has decided to take his game overseas.
The DEL’s Kolner Haie announced they have signed Reinhart to a contract for the 2016-17 season. Reinhart’s deal comes following what was arguably the most disappointing campaign of the 24-year-old’s career. In 73 games with the Milwaukee Admirals, the Nashville Predators’ AHL affiliate, Reinhart managed 23 goals and 38 points in 73 games, but that made for his lowest-scoring season since his rookie campaign. That didn’t scare the German club off, though.
“Max Reinhart is a young, dynamic player who can be used on both the center and on the outside position. He is strong on the offensive and has a good shot,” said Kolner sports director Mark Mahon. Read more
The Nashville Predators’ off-season started with GM David Poile announcing that Paul Gaustad and Eric Nystrom wouldn’t be back with the team in 2016-17 and that a number of young players ready to take over bottom-six roles would fill the spots left vacant by Gaustad and Nystrom’s departures. That doesn’t mean all the Predators’ bottom-six veterans are on their way out, though.
It was announced Wednesday that Nashville has inked 29-year-old Cody Bass to a two-year, two-way deal worth $612,500 per season in the NHL and $150,000 per campaign in the AHL. Bass has bounced back and forth between the AHL and NHL throughout his career, but he found a regular spot in the Predators’ bottom-six during the post-season only to suffer a lower-body injury that forced him to miss the final eight games of the playoffs.
Bass doesn’t necessarily bring the scoring touch to the fourth-line, but that’s not what he’ll be relied upon for. He’s got good enough speed to cause chaos on the forecheck and he’s not afraid to throw his weight around, something that saw him earn ice time during the opening-round series against the Anaheim Ducks. Read more
PITTSBURGH – In a Stanley Cup final where speed could end up being a determining factor, the San Jose Sharks got a lot faster for Game 2 when they announced winger Matt Nieto would be drawing back into the lineup after missing eight games with what is suspected to be a left shoulder injury.
Nieto has been out of the Sharks lineup since crashing into the net in Game 6 of their second-round series against the Nashville Predators. He was ready to go for Game 1 of the final, but the Sharks elected to sit him out. But after seeing how fast the Penguins are as a team and needed players who can keep up to that speed, Nieto gets the call for Game 2.