Anton Volchenkov adds an experienced defenseman into the youthful Nashville Predators core. (Photo Credit: NHL.com)
Today a wave of news has rolled into Nashville HQ. Here is the latest on recent events.
~Anton Volchenkov Signs With Nashville~
Another piece has been added to the Nashville/Milwaukee puzzle as veteran defenseman Anton Volchenkov signed with the Predators today on a one-year, $1 million contract. The 11-year NHL veteran recently received a compliance buyout from the New Jersey Devils, making him a UFA after passing through waivers.
Never a high scorer, Volchenkov is known as one of the NHL’s top shot blockers throughout his stints with Ottawa and the Devils. Via a statement Predators G.M. David Poile sounded pleased adding the former 2000 first-round pick:
“Anton provides a strong veteran presence that will complement our young, talented defensive corps nicely,” general manager David Poile said in a statement. “He is a physical, left-handed shooting defenseman who can match up with top-line forwards and effectively kill penalties.”
~Mike Fisher Out 4 to 6 Months~
The Volchenkov signing comes on the same day that the organization announced that forward Mike Fisher sustained a ruptured Achilles tendon during a training session and will be out four to six months.
The loss of Fisher makes last week’s signing of Olli Jokinen all that more important. The veteran Finn added some depth to the Predators already shallow pool of quality centers.
Here is Poile’s statement on Mr. Underwood’s injury:
“Predators forward and alternate captain Mike Fisher sustained a ruptured Achilles tendon during a training session and underwent successful surgery on Thursday, July 3. We expect Mike to make a full recovery in four-to-six months, and look forward to his return to the ice.”
~Ekholm Files for Salary Arbitration~
Via TSN.ca 20 NHL players filed for arbitration before the deadline of 5PM Eastern Time on Saturday, July 5. Among the most prominent names on the list were P.K. Subban, Lars Eller, Mats Zuccarello, and Dwight King. A couple of ex-Admirals, Nick Spaling and Cody Franson, were also on that list.
Nashville’s lone player to file for arbitration was defenseman Mattias Ekholm, who is coming off of his first full season with the Predators. The year before the 24-year-old Swede played in 59 games with Milwaukee along with four playoff contests, racking up 10 goals and 33 points.
Ekholm is currently a restricted free agent. The 2009 Predators fourth-round pick is coming off an entry level contact that paid him (via CapGeek.com) $900,000 at the NHL level and $67,500 at the AHL level plus bonuses.
~Moser Rejects First Predators Contract Offer~
According to the website SwissHockeyNews.Ch, Admirals/Predators forward Simon Moser rejected the first contract offer presented to him by Nashville. So far the 25-year-old has received only an offer for a one-year, two-way, league minimum contract, worth less than he could make playing hockey back home in Switzerland where he is still under contract with SC Bern.
Unlike Ekholm, Moser did not opt for the arbitration rout on July 5. Fisher’s injury, combined with the drafting of another Swiss prospect, Kevin Fiala, might up the ante in getting this deal done. Then again Moser had few NHL options last season, and according to the website a trade to another team is also unlikely.
Last year the Swiss forward was key contributor on both the Admirals and Predators. Moser scored 26 points in 51 games (regular season plus playoffs) with Milwaukee and two points in six games with Nashville.