The Nashville Predators have almost completed their off-season signings yesterday by bringing Patric Hornqvist into the fold for three more seasons. Codey Franson is the only remaining unsigned player that the Preds need to sign in the next few weeks before camp officially opens on September 17.
Most Predator fans realized that Hornqvist would eventually be signed at some point, but getting the deal finalized takes any of the uneasiness out not having your leading scorer from last season fully engaged leading into the month of September.
Hornqvist is thrilled to be signed and is ready to return to Nashville. Jim Diamond caught up with the winger last night and published this interview at the Examiner.
In retrospect, with the numbers involved in the three-year $9.25 million deal, it makes more sense as to why the negotiations took as long as they did. The general consensus was that the deal would be in the neighborhood of $2.5 million per year based on several comparable signings and arbitration awards.
While a half million dollars a year is no big deal to some teams, it is an agonizing amount for the Predators who look for value in every signing. Adding the new contract to figures at Cap Geek as well as NHL Numbers puts the Predators in uncharted waters with a payroll in excess of $47 million with Franson and a second goalie still to be added.
A key to the signing is that Hornqvist will still be an RFA at the end of the new contract so the Predators will have the last chance to retain his rights for an additional season if they desire.
Predator fans should be pleased with the monetary commitments that the organization has made both on and off the ice over the last couple of months. With the Del Biaggio situation resolving, new blood in the front office, and the addition of a few players, the team is in the best position that it has seen in the twelve year history of the franchise.
In Pred Nation...
There was no shortage of thoughts on the Hornqvist signing yesterday. Dirk Hoag, the Forechecker and Section 303 were in the lead in confirming the signing before the Pred's release. The original story broke in Europe at Sport Bladet. Dirk followed up with an analysis that supported the higher than expected price for the Swede.
Brian Mullen at the Tennessean spoke with David Poile after the signing was announced. Here is a second story with some additional facts.
Mark Willoughby, Predsblog, Predlines, and Jas Faulkner all had stories and perspectives about the signing.
Sam at Predsblog pondered the Predators at the Titans game on Monday. That is what we plan to do at the Tweetup at the Sounds game tomorrow night.
Paul McCann has a few random notes including potential free agent signings by the Predators. Would Kyle Wellwood really be able to fit in the Pred's locker room? (Harkens back to the #KyleWellwoodissofat meme on Twitter).
The Predators are offering two free tickets to a preseason game if you go here and fill out a form.
Forechecker has the story of the last rites for the Sommet Group. He also has a look ahead for J P Dumont.
Amanda at Predlines has her weekly Central Division round-up.
Good news on the Tennessean hockey beat from @RapSheet: Congratulations to my buddy @joshuacooper, the new Nashville Predators beat reporter the Tennessean.
For the second night in a row, I was involved with an extended podcast, this time a a co-host on Ryan Porth's RLD Radio. Guests were ESPN's John Buccigross and Matt Reitz from View from My Seats. The Hockey Guy's Anthony Curatolo was also a co-host.
Buccigross wsa very candid in the discussion about ESPN being desirous of picking up at least a part of the NHL Package when it comes up for bid at the end of the season. He also accused me of sounding like Nolan Ryan.
The discussion with Matt Reitz was interesting with a roundtable of viewpoints on winners and losers from the summer, the R and D Camp and several other topics.
With the summer winding down, there is no shortage of hockey talk as everyone is getting pumped for the opening of camps.
Intent to Blow has a story that the Devils have resubmitted the Kovalchuk contract along with a new birth certificate showing that he is four years younger.
Around the NHL...
Day two at the World Hockey Summit brought many tweets of yawns and boredom. Concussions were a big topic. Sounds like it was unanimous that folks were against them. Duh!
On the international front, IIHF President Rene Fasel and I seem to have a common opinion. We both don't want to see the NHL venture into Europe.
Bil Daly appeared on XM Homeice's Hockey This Morning with Mike Ross yesterday and gavethe best explanation that I've heard of the contracts that are under investigation. The interview did not get posted on their Facebook page but hopefully will be up today. Update - Here is Part 1 and Part 2.
I know I will be listening to Part Two of The Rink Podcast 64 with Tapeleg and Ryan Classic today at work. The first part was a good one but they assure me, this half is better.
Ryan at the RLD continues Fantasy Week with five players to avoid in your draft.
The well liked Aaron Ward announced his retirement on Tuesday. He will be missed in the hockey community.
Anthony Perez takes a look at the Coyotes line combinations as they stand heading into camp.
After a ten day delay, the NHL national TV schedule will be released today. Steve Lapore will have the schedule and analysis once it comes out.
We are starting to see some value signings that will really help a few teams. After Aaron Asham signed with the Pens on Monday, we now see that Raffi Tores has signed with Vancouver.
Odds and Ends...
More fear-mongering from the national Underwriter who claims the "big one" is headed to California soon. They also mention that only 12% of California homeowners have earthquake coverage. This confirms what a guy told me when I was in San Francisco that no one caries coverage because the premiums are too high and the deductibles start at $50,000.
It is interesting to see Tony Hawk and his friends skating a normal backyard pool at a foreclosed house.
Have you ever heard of Jatropha? It is a plant that produces large amounts of bio-diesel jet fuel.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass