Tag: Mike Fisher

Nashville News: Volchenkov, Fisher, Ekholm, Moser

Anton Volchenkov adds an experienced defenseman into the youthful Nashville Predators core. (Photo Credit: NHL.com)
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.

Van Guilder Returns, Bouvet-Morrissette Added and Preds Sign Pair

A key to the Milwaukee puzzle, Mark Van Guilder, is back with the Admirals for the 2012-2013 season after a signing an AHL contract today.

This will be the fourth full season for the popular forward, who posted career highs last season in goals (12), assists (15), points (27) and games played (70). The two-way specialist chipped in three game winners in 2011-2012 and posted a +8 rating. A couple of features I wrote over the last two seasons spelled out Van Guilder’s positive impact on Milwaukee. First a story on Van Guilder’s leadership on and off the ice. Second a story on MVG’s 2011 playoff heroics and his Kelly Cup run with Cincinnati.

This will be the first professional season for Andre Bouvet-Morrissette, who went undrafted by NHL teams. The 6-3 winger posted 39 goals and 33 assists for the Drummondville Voltigeurs last season, combined with 75 PIMs in 63 games. The Becancour, Quebec native added two more tallies in four playoff games. The AHL contract comes on the heals of news back in May that Bouvet-Morrissette had signed with Nashville, in what was thought at the time to be a preemptive move by the Predators to keep the prospect away from Montreal.

In addition Nashville recently announced the resigning of forward Mike Fisher (yesterday) and the signing of free agent defenseman Scott Hannan (last Friday). Fisher is back in the fold for two more years at $4.2 million per season. The 33-year-old Hannan will earn a $1 million, one-year/one-way deal to serve as another veteran on the Predators blueline.

So Roundtable . . . How would you like to welcome back Mark Van Guilder and what are your favorite MVG moments?

What do you think of the addition of Bouvet-Morrissette and what role do you see him playing in Milwaukee? Power forward, checker, fighter, scorer, or some sort of combination?

What do you think about Nashville’s addition of Scott Hannan? Does his addition shore up the Predators’ defensive depth chart?

Nashville Acquires Mike Fisher from Ottawa for Picks

Huge news today out of the Music City.  The Nashville Predators have acquired forward Mike Fisher from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for Nashville’s first round selection in the 2011 draft and a conditional pick next year.

The move is a monumental one for the Predators, as only two players, Patric Hornqvist (16) and Sergei Kostitsyn (15), have scored more goals this season than Fisher (14).

As a player with an extensive playoff resume, Fisher brings a set of intangibles as a player that is hard to find.

The question now is which player will be moved to make room on the Predators roster for Fisher.  My guess is that Matt Halischuk will be sent back to Milwaukee, but that is simply speculation.

Coincidentally this transaction happens on the same day I write a feature on how important the Admirals have been this season in keeping Nashville alive in the Western Conference playoff race.  A curious piece of timing for the trade to say the least.

Another curiosity:  What role did Mike Fisher play in choosing his new home?  Fisher is of course married to country singer Carrie Underwood.  She may have been pushing Ottawa’s fan favorite to move south.

Combined with Chicago’s trade yesterday of Jack Skille for Michael Frolik and the Francois Beauchemin/Joffrey Lupul deal, it has certainly been an eventful couple of days around the NHL.

So Roundtable, what are your thoughts on the Mike Fisher trade?