The Nashville Predators already crowded blueline situation took on another competitor on Friday with the announced signing of Tyler Sloan who was an unrestricted free agent from the Washington Capitals organization.
The 6'4" 210 pound 30 year old signed a two-way deal that will thrust him into a battle with several others for the Preds' fifth, sixth, and seventh defensive position.
There is little doubt that Shea Weber, Ryan Suter, Kevin Klein and Jon Blum have the first four slots taken but the field is wide open after that. Brett Lebda, Tyler Sloan, and Teemu Laakso are the three with NHL experience.
Prospects Ryan Ellis, Roman Josi, Mattias Ekholm, and Victor Bartley are all hoping to make the jump either in camp or as an in season callup from Milwaukee. It also cannot be ruled out that David Poile will pick up another D-man at some point before opening day.
The bottom line is that whoever shows up in September and can prove themselves ready to compete will have a good chance to stick with the team when they open the season. It should make for interesting battles in training camp as the whole array of players try to make an impression.
Make the jump for the official release on Tyler Sloan from the Predators...
NASHVILLE PREDATORS SIGN DEFENSEMAN TYLER SLOAN
Nashville, Tenn. (July 29, 2011) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has signed defenseman Tyler Sloan to a one-year, two-way contract worth $650,000 at the NHL level and $105,000 at the AHL level.
Sloan, 30 (3/15/81), spent the 2010-11 season with the Washington Capitals, recording six points (1g-5a) in 33 games. In 99 career NHL contests with the Capitals since 2008, the Calgary, Alta., native has posted 17 points (4g-13a) and 50 penalty minutes while playing both forward and defense. The 6-4, 214-pound Sloan has also seen action in four Stanley Cup Playoff games, posting one assist. Since turning professional for the 2002-03 campaign, he also has 45 points (9g-36a) and 380 penalty minutes in 306 American Hockey League games, winning the 2009 Calder Cup with the Hershey Bears.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOntheGlass