Keeping everyone on their toes today, the Predators confirmed a second signing this afternoon, this time involving veteran defenseman Matt Carle. Here’s the official word from the Predators:
The Predators newest defenseman, who inked a one-year, $700,000 deal with the club on Wednesday, played for Preds Head Coach Peter Laviolette and Assistant Coach Kevin McCarthy from 2009-12, when the three were members of the Philadelphia Flyers organization. Add that to the time spent with Preds Assistant Coach Phil Housley and Team USA at the 2013 World Championship, and the familiarity with those behind the bench can only help Carle find his game once more.
Bought out of the final two seasons of a six-year deal by Tampa Bay, Carle is hoping for a fresh start in Nashville with a blue line that is arguably the League’s best.
Carle is a veteran of 724 career regular-season games – the most of any Preds defenseman – and 127 postseason contests, which include two trips to the Stanley Cup Final, once in 2010 with Laviolette and the Flyers, the other in 2015 with Tampa Bay. The 31-year-old blueliner, born in Anchorage, Alaska, is excited to see what’s next to come in Tennessee.
Carle saw the most statistical success of his career while playing under Laviolette, hitting the 35-plus point mark for three consecutive seasons, including 40 points in 2010-11. With the interest in Nashville already present, a phone call with Laviolette may have sealed the deal.
Drafted 47th overall in the 2003 NHL Draft, Matt Carle was actually Tampa Bay’s highest paid defenseman last season at $5.5M. However, after a disappointing 2015-16 season, the Lightning bought out the remainder of his contract and off to unrestricted free agency he went… and into the arms of the Nashville Predators. At 31-years-old, Carle will be the oldest defenseman on the team, filling the veteran void left behind by Weber and Jackman. Matt Carle should find success under his former coach, which should overshadow his performance last season.