Preds sign Calle Jarnkrok

Image Source: Kristen Jerkins Photography

Image Source: Kristen Jerkins Photography

There’s a good chance the young 23-year-old Swede is smiling from ear to ear today as Calle Jarnkrok and the Predators organization come to terms on a one-year deal worth $735,000. Here’s a little excerpt from the official press release:

Jarnkrok, 23 (9/25/91), has amassed 27 points (9g-18a) in 86 career NHL contests since making his debut with the Predators on March 21, 2014 vs. Calgary. During his first full NHL season in 2014-15, the Gavle, Sweden native suited up for 74 regular-season games (7g-11a-18pts) and all six playoff games (2a), recording assists in each of his first two career Stanley Cup Playoff games. In his first two months upon being acquired from Detroit on March 5, 2014, Jarnkrok posted nine points (2g-7a) in his first 12 NHL games, including five points (1g-4a) in the first five contests of his NHL career, the second-longest point streak by a Predators player in the first games of their NHL career (Marek Zidlicky, six games, Oct. 9-23, 2003).

Perhaps I made I good choice in purchasing his practice jersey at the Used Equipment Sale after all.

…And then there were two (RFAs) left…

  • Colin Wilson – July 28th
  • Craig Smith – July 20th
  • Gabriel Bourque – 1 Year, $866,250 (Qualifying Offer)  – 7/2/2015
  • Anthony Bitetto – 1 Year, $665,000(NHL)/$60,000(AHL) – 7/13/2015
  • Calle Jarnkrok – 1 Year, $735,000
  • Taylor Beck – Traded to Toronto for Jamie Devane – 7/12/2015
  • Taylor Aronson – 1 Year, $605,000(NHL)/$65,000(AHL) – 7/16/2015
  • Magnus Hellberg – Traded to NY Rangers for 6th Rounder 2016 Draft – 7/1/2015

Yeah, we’re looking at you, Colin Wilson and Craig Smith.

Bourque accepts Preds’ Qualifying Offer

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You like Bourque? We like Bourque. Well, he likes Nashville too, it seems because he has accepted his qualifying offer extended to him by the Predators. What’s that offer? A one-year, $866,250 deal, to be exact.

Gabriel Bourque was 3-10-13 last season, a wee bit off from his 9-17-26 record from the 2013-14 season. But hey, everyone is entitled to a few off seasons, right?

Bourque is just the first of eight RFAs that the Predators extended qualifying offers to on Monday to accept. That list includes the likes of Colin Wilson, Craig Smith, Calle Jarnkrok, Taylor Beck, Anthony Bitetto, and Taylor Aronson. Magnus Hellberg, the eighth RFA, was traded yesterday afternoon to the New York Rangers in return for a sixth-rounder in the 2016 Draft.

Highlights from Today’s Presser

Nashville Predators general manager David Poile answers questions at a news conference Monday, April 14, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn. The Predators announced earlier in the day that head coach Barry Trotz's contract won't be extended and they will begin looking for a new head coach. Trotz is the only head coach the NHL hockey team has had. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Source: AP Photo/Mark Humphrey

Predators General Manager David Poile met with the media today regarding free agency, the recent draft, and… you know, little stuff here and there. I’ve compiled some of the thousand tweets from media and condensed them for your reading pleasure:

In case you missed it, the NHL passed the new 3-on-3 overtime. As Poile mentioned, there’s a good chance we’ll see less shootouts now.

If you needed official word on Clune and Stalberg’s departure, here it is straight from the horse’s mouth. Stalberg’s buyout will cost the Predators $4.67M over the next four years. Yay.

As you recall (or if you missed it), Austin Watson was just signed to a two-year deal yesterday. It’s been a long time coming for the 2010 draft pick and it will be interesting where he’ll mesh in as far as the lineup goes.

Again, straight from the horse’s mouth himself. Take a deep breath and remember: patience is a virtue.

Yes, the Predators and David Poile have extended an offer to Mike Ribeiro. Please also remember the whole “innocent until proven guilty” motto. You know, the law.

Not much to commentate on as this information was made known much earlier.

We should all expect to hear whether or not Ribeiro accepts the Predators’ offer by this evening or early tomorrow morning.

Okay, here’s the statement everyone should read and set down their pitchforks. The NHL is involved, along with law enforcement. Poile would not have moved forward with offering Mike Ribeiro a new deal if he felt like this was going to continue imploding. This isn’t Poile’s first rodeo as GM, my friends.

Be ready for an explosion on Twitter and the Predators’ Facebook account.

No surprise that Volchenkov will be left to wander to greener pastures.

Another no surprise, Poile mentioned that the organization is actively seeking a trade involving goaltender Magnus Hellberg. Hellberg is definitely ready to move up to the NHL (or somewhere he’ll get the chance) and Nashville is overrun with netminder potential at this point. You know, especially after signing Saros the other day.

Honestly, I forgot he was injured. Good news – he’s doing well.

And, last but not least, Adam Vingan has this statement regarding the Ribeiro civil lawsuit. Maybe it will help lower the amount of torches and pitchforks a little, yes?

So, there you have it. Trust me, this is a condensed list of tweets from today’s presser. Free Agency starts tomorrow, July 1st. It should prove for an interesting day. I hope.

 

 

Qualifying Offers extended to 8 RFAs

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Fear not, Preds fans! The Predators extended qualifying offers to eight Restricted Free Agents all before the 4PM deadline this afternoon. Those eight players? Colin Wilson, Craig Smith, Gabriel Bourque, Anthony Bitetto, Calle Jarnkrok, Taylor Beck, Taylor Aronson, and Magnus Hellberg.

In a nutshell, by extending these qualifying offers, the Predators are still given the opportunity to continue negotiations with these particular players. This doesn’t stop these players from signing other contracts, but it does give Nashville the right to match or exceed these potential competitive offers. If the Predators do not choose to match or exceed an offer, they will be compensated for the player’s departure from the organization. If the Predators had not given these RFAs qualifying offers, these players would’ve become Unrestricted Free Agents on Wednesday, July 1st.

So, who didn’t receive qualifying offers? Well, that would be Zach Budish and Josh Shalla; two players that will hit the UFA market come July 1st.

Predators Sign Juuse Saros

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Image source: Google images

Moments ago, the Nashville Predators announced that they have signed 2013 draftee, Juuse Saros to a three-year, entry-level contract. Due to this deal, he is expected to begin his North American career during the 2015-16 season. Here is word from the official Predators press release about the Finnish goaltender:

Saros, 20 (4/19/95), appeared in 47 of HPK’s 60 Finnish Elite League (SM-Liiga) contests in 2014-15, ranking among the league’s Top Five in shutouts (6), minutes played (2773:53), save percentage (.929) and goals-against average (2.14) in his second full season in the league. He was named 2013-14 Finnish Elite League Rookie of the Year after ranking second among the Top Three in goals-against average (1.76), and save percentage (.928) becoming just the fourth goalie to win the award in its 40-year history. During his final Finnish junior league season in 2012-13, the Forssa, Finland, native was named best player and recipient of the Jorma Valtonen Award as the league’s top goaltender after leading all netminders in goals-against average (1.86) and save percentage (.933).

The 5-11, 176-pounder represented Finland at both the World Championship and the World Junior Championship for the second consecutive year in 2015, backing up Predators netminder Pekka Rinne at the 2015 World Championship and stopping all 22 shots he faced in his lone appearance of the tournament against Slovakia to record Finland’s third of four consecutive shutouts. At the 2014 World Junior Championship, he led Finland to its first Gold Medal at the tournament since 1987, receiving Media All-Star Team honors after leading all goaltenders in save percentage (.943) and goals-against average (1.57) in six games. He was also named Best Goalkeeper of the 2013 Under-18 World Championship and one of Finland’s three best players of the tournament in helping them claim the bronze medal.

With Saros’ signing, that ultimately means someone has to go. You have Rinne and Hutton on the NHL level, and Marek Mazanec and Magnus Hellberg in waiting with Milwaukee. Well, it has already been stated that Carter Hutton isn’t going anywhere (definitely not Rinne, either), and Mazanec has been goalie-in-waiting. Though Hellberg is good to have in the system, it’s time for this kiddo so spread his wings and get some ice time elsewhere.

Preparing for Game 5

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Game 5 is upon us, ladies and gents and from here on out, it’s do or die for the Nashville Predators if they intend on hoisting that big silver Cup in the end.

I am not going to go into what the Predators need to do to win tonight (and those two other possible games); no, we know and the players, coaches, and whatnot know, too. It’s just a matter of getting the job done. Scott Darling is not invincible; he truly is all that has stood between the Predators and taking Round One. Chicago should be kissing his feet right about now because, without him, they’d be facing a quick exit out of the playoffs themselves.

Here’s what’s been happening since Tuesday/Wednesday’s Game 4:

  • Yesterday afternoon, the Predators recalled nine players from Milwaukee. No need to panic, everyone; this is not regular season so there is an unlimited amount of players you can have on a roster. Some may see some ice time, but really, they are just here for emergencies and/or experience. The players chosen? Joe Piskula, Rich Clune, Marek Mazanec, Magnus Hellberg, Anthony Bitetto, Johan Alm, Colton Sissons, Austin Watson, and Viktor Arvidsson.
  • No surprise, the Blackhawks have chosen to go with Scott Darling as their starter for tonight’s game.
  • No need to panic – Kris Martel quickly reported that Wilson did show up to the locker room looking fine.

  • Speaking of those participating in practice…

    Though Fisher was a game time decision Tuesday (and didn’t play), knowing that he’s back out there again is a good sign. Also, long time no see, Eric Nystrom! Though I am doubtful of his magical return for tonight’s game, his presence brings hope.

  • Anaheim becomes the first team to advance to the second round, sweeping the Winnipeg Jets. However, Jets fans stood tall with the sinking ship, giving their team an affable standing ovation for a tremendous season.

  • The Ottawa Senators live to see another day game, shutting down the Montreal Canadiens 1-0 last night.

I have been on edge all day so far and I hope you have been, too. The love for hockey is crazy like that, I guess. It’s going to be deafening in the Bridgestone Arena tonight; I hope you got your tickets. To say this game is huge for either team is an insane understatement.

Go Preds.

 

Preds fall to Ducks in Shootout 4-3

Source: Harry How/Getty Images North America

After a nail-bitter of third period game last night against the Kings, the Predators hopped on a bus and made the exhausting trip across the street to Anaheim this morning to face the Ducks. But not just any Ducks; nope. The Anaheim Ducks are currently 25-9-6 and not only the leader of the Western Conference, but the leader of the entire league. Needless to say, a win in regulation would look and feel wonderful for the Predators tonight.

SCRATCHES: James Neal (still day-to-day), Victor Bartley, and Miikka Salomaki

First Period:

  • The Ducks lit the lamp at 12:15 to get the “puck” rolling, a clean wrister from Matt Beleskey past Carter Hutton.
  • Yes, Carter Hutton. Despite Pekka Rinne being a master in the net, he needs rest and cannot play in every single game; especially not this many back-to-backs. Contrary to popular belief, the man his human.
  • Anaheim would tally 14 shots-on-net compared to Nashville’s nine, so give Hutton some credit, guys.

Second Period:

  • Mattias Ekholm would get Nashville on the board at 1:38, not wasting any time tying up the game. Mike Ribeiro (24) and Filip Forsberg (23) nab the assists on Ekholm’s third goal of the season.
  • Noteworthy: Filip Forsberg has now officially tied Alexander Radulov’s rookie record in points.
  • Corey Perry wouldn’t give the Predators much time to celebrate, giving Anaheim the 2-1 lead at 2:52.
  • At 13:50, Seth Jones would come in past Frederik Andersen for a powerplay goal. Ryan Ellis (12) and Mike Ribeiro (25) would pick up the assists on Jones’ second goal of the season.
  • Moments later, at 17:14, Nashville would take a 3-2 lead with a powerplay wrister from Craig Smith (12). Ryan Ellis (13) and Mike Ribeiro (26) would nab the assists on this goal, too.
  • This period, Nashville would take the lead in shots at 13 to Anaheim’s five.
  • Just a few seconds remaining the the second, Ducks goaltender Frederik Andersen decided to give Mike Fisher a nice “neck hug”. That nice gesture gave Nashville a powerplay opportunity going into the third, so thanks.

Third Period:

  • The third period would be rather quiet until 17:43 when Francois Beauchemin decided to tie the game, his second goal of the season.
  • Anaheim deserved this goal in third, as they took fourteen shots to Nashville’s meager three on goal.

OVERTIME:

  • No goals, shootout time.

SHOOTOUT:

  • NSH – Roman Josi – MISS
  • ANA – Corey Perry – MISS
  • NSH – Ryan Ellis – MISS
  • ANA – Jakob Silfverberg – GOAL
  • NSH – Craig Smith – GOAL
  • ANA – Ryan Kessler – GOAL

Le sigh. An overtime loss to the leaders of the league. Believe me, it’s disheartening, but here’s the good news: it wasn’t a loss in regulation. Any points with how close the race is in the league (division, conference, league) is better than nothing. Keep that glass half full, my friends.

However, these blown late third period leads could spell trouble later on down the road if Nashville doesn’t get a firm grip on those quick. These types of instances are far worse an any terrible powerplay action could ever be. I am confident this issue will be addressed rather swiftly.

May I also suggest not placing the blame on Carter Hutton for the loss tonight. No, he does not have Pekka Rinne’s caliber, but remember, he’s in the NHL for a reason. Hutton blocked 30 of 33 shots tonight, which is pretty good for someone who rarely sees ice time. And no, Nashville will not be calling up a goaltender – Mangus Hellberg – to combat Carter Hutton; he’s not a bad goaltender. End of statement.

The Predators head home tonight to rest in preparation for the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night. This may also be a good time to put Hutton in and give Pekka more rest.

Schedule: Preds Training Camp

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Hola! Long time, no read! Eh, I’ll be back to posting a ton more once the season starts, so please bear with me. Now that Rookie Camp is over and done, it’s time for the big boys to return to town and get ready for the all important official start to they 2014-15 NHL season! Training camp began this morning at Centennial Sportsplex, but was not open to the public. Tomorrow, on the other hand, and the following days will be open to the public for your viewing pleasure (and beneficial for optimal lunch hour hockey time). Here is the on-ice schedule to follow in order to get your maximum hockey allowance before pre-season begins *gasp* next Tuesday.

Friday, September 19th:
– 8:45AM – 10AM
– 10:45AM – 12PM
– 12:45PM – 2PM

Saturday, September 20th:
– 8:45AM – 10AM
– 10:45AM – 12PM
– 12:45PM – 2PM

Sunday, September 21st:
– 10:30AM – 11:30AM
– Scrimmage @ 12PM
Monday, September 22nd:
– 9:45AM – 11:15AM
– 11:45AM – 1:15PM

Tuesday, September 23rd:
– 11AM – 12:15PM
6:30PM – @ Tampa Bay Lightning

Wednesday, September 24th:
– 10:45AM – 12:15PM
– 12:45PM – 2:15PM

Friday, September 26th:
– 9:45AM – 11:15AM
– 11:45AM – 1:15PM

Tuesday, September 30th – Friday, October 3rd:
– 11AM

Team White:

  • Defense – Shea Weber, Roman Josi, Joe Piskula, Jaynen Rissling, Anthony Bietto, Jimmy Oligny
  • Goalies – Magnus Hellberg, Rob Madore
  • Forwards – Olli Jokinen, Filip Forsberg, Calle Jarnkrok, Paul Gaustad, Viktor Stalberg, Brendan Leipsic, Viktor Arvidsson, Joe Pendenza, Justin Kirkland, Mikka Salomaki, Zach Budish, Jon Puskar

Team Silver:

  • Defense – Anton Volchenkov, Taylor Aronson, Victor Bartley, Mike Little, Jonathan-Ismael Diaby, Aaron Irving
  • Goalies – Pekka Rinne, Devin Williams
  • Forwards – Tristan Grant, Eric Nystrom, James Neal, Pontus Aberg, Gabriel Bourque, Tommy Veilleux, Mike Ribeiro, Felix Girard, Matthew Campagna, Colton Sissons

Team Blue:

  • Defense – Mattias Ekholm, Seth Jones, Johan Alm, Garrett Noonan, Brian Lee, Mikko Vainonen
  • Goalies – Carter Hutton, Marek Mazanec
  • Forwards – Craig Smith, Matt Cullen, Rich Clune, Derek Roy, Mark Van Guilder, Colin Wilson, Frederick Gaudreau, Josh Shalla, Austin Watson, Michael Liambas, Kevin Fiala

If you’ve never attended a training camp before and you don’t see your favorite player on the ice in the allotted time slot your chose to show up at, don’t panic; unless it’s Ryan Ellis (that deal is still floating in the atmosphere somewhere). No, there’s no need to panic. There will be different players in each time-slot, so you may see James Neal at 10:45AM – 12:15PM, but not at the 12:45PM – 2:15PM slot. Another thing to remember if you’ve never been is to arrive early. Centennial Sportsplex is bigger than the Ford Ice Center, but it’s no Bridgestone Arena. If you have little ones that want to be up against the glass (or you yourself), pack a brunch and get your booty to West End.

Blues Crush Predators 6-1

Image Courtesy: Getty Images

Well, what can I say about last night’s game? Glad I was celebrating my college’s Homecoming, perhaps? Nah, I would’ve gone down with this ship if I had been there, but ouch; what a terrible way to start a long, seven-game road trip. The St. Louis Blues have always picked on little brother Nashville, but last night’s performance made even the strongest stomachs do a few flips, even all the way in Cookeville.

So, were there any highlights from last night’s game? Eh, one or two, but if I was a Blues blogger, I’d be up all night with this one. But there are still somethings we can discuss:

First Period:

  • Alexander Steen collected his ninth goal of the season on a powerplay brought about from a tripping call from Colin Wilson at 5:27. It only took Steen seven seconds to score, with the penalty beginning at 5:20.
  • St. Louis would pound Carter Hutton in the net with shots-on-goal at 17. Nashville was only able to send eight towards Jaroslav Halak.

Second Period:

  • T.J. Oshie would nab his second goal of the season with a tip-in at 7:35.
  • Jaden Schwartz would collect his second goal as well at 11:36.
  • Nashville took more shots in the second period, eight to St. Louis’ four.

Third Period:

  • Fifty-two seconds into the third, Nick Spaling would attempt to turn the tables, capitalizing with a short-handed goal, his first goal of the season. Mattias Ekholm would grab his first assist of the season.
  • Alexander Steen was well on his way to a Hat Trick with his second goal of the night at 4:37, his tenth goal of the season.
  • Predators would fall 5-1 with a goal from Derek Roy at 7:48.
  • Carter Hutton would be pulled after Roy’s goal, with Magnus Hellberg getting his first shot on NHL ice.
  • Alex Pietrangelo would score his first goal of the season on the powerplay to end the game in St. Louis’ favor, 6-1.

Welp, not too much to say after that game except Pekka’s injury has a lot of people freaking out. However, you cannot blame Carter Hutton for the awful game, though he isn’t out of the hot water just yet.

Also, the fact that Viktor Stalberg continues to be healthy scratched is not a good sign between he and Barry Trotz. He has expressed his distain and, you sort of side with the guy. Fourth line with Hendricks and Gaustad? Yea, not exactly an area to produce much from. It’s easy to understand his frustration but… that is the way of the Trotz. Someone has to take up residency in his dog house, and it looks like Mr. Stalberg has found his way.

Nashville has a few days off before heading out to Arizona to take on Phoenix on Halloween at 8PM.