Monday, June 21, 2010

Music City Movements

Just a quick note on the barrage of moves made by the Nashville Predators recently.

The first of which involved the resigning of D Francis Bouillon. The deal covers the next two seasons, in the first year he will make $1.2 million and in the following the 34-year-old will earn $1.5 million. Despite being undersized at just 5ft 8in and 198lbs, Bouillon never shies away from the physical side of the game. The solid, hard hitting defenseman is the type of player every team needs, especially considering he only spent 50 minutes in the box last season. Quite disciplined for a player of his style. He averaged over 19 minutes per game last season and rattled off 162 hits.

Later, the Preds dealt the rights to defenseman Dan Hamhuis to the Eastern Conference Champion Flyers. The Predators also gave up a conditional pick in the 2011 draft. In return, Nashville will receive the rights to D Ryan Parent, who will soon become a restricted free agent. Parent is listed at 6ft 2in and 210lbs and made $0.9 million last season. The 23-year-old Parent was originally drafted by Nashville in 2005, but was later traded to the Flyers. He collected just 1 goal and 2 assists in a mere 48 games with the Flyers this season. The 2-time World Junior Champion is considered to be more of a defensive specialist. As for Hamhuis, he earned $2 million last season and will be getting a raise from the Flyers. He is however, still set to become an unrestricted free agent July 1. Hamhuis scored 5 goals and added 19 assists for 24 points last season and has never played less than 78 games in one season, over his 6-year NHL career. The 27-year-old is 6ft 1in and 203lbs.

The busy Preds weren't done there though, they also traded Captain Jason Arnott to the Devils for forward Matt Halischuk and a 2nd round pick in 2011. The former NHL All Star and Stanley Cup Champion Arnott, previously played with New Jersey from 1997 to 2002. Last season the 35-year-old potted 19 goals and assisted on 27 others for a total of 46 points in 63 games. The powerful 6ft 5in and 220 pound Arnott will cost the Devils $4.5 million in the 2010-11 season. Arnott is also noted for having scored the Stanley Cup winning goal in double OT of Game 6 in 2000, as a member of those Devils! Going the other way is Matt Halischuk, a 22-year-old who played 20 games with the Devils this year, recording 1 goal and adding an assist. He spent most of the season playing for the Devils' minor league team in Lowell, where he played 32 games and notched 11 goals and 11 assists for 22 points. Halischuk is just 5ft 11in and 177lbs but makes up for his lacking size with his skating and hard work. He is also known to spend time on the penalty kill. Many may remember Halischuk when he scored the gold medal clinching goal in overtime for Canada at the 2008 World Juniors!

Predators GM David Poile cleared up some cap space with these moves and also brought in some younger players. No doubt with the cap space they now have they may be looking to make a bigger splash come July 1st. But for now, all eyes are on the draft where the Preds also have the 18th pick.


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