No Love for Hillen: Predators extend Qualifying Offers

Poile: “Hey, did we forget anybody?” Trotz: “Nope.”

Poor, poor Jack Hillen! The Predators extending Qualifying Offers out to their Restricted Free Agents this afternoon, but the team left the 26-year-old defenseman off the list.

To add insult to injury, we weren’t surprised when Hillen was not extended an offer. Jack Hillen did well with the Predators for the one season he’s been with the team, but his skills did not shine through and make an impression. In fact, we were surprised he wasn’t traded before the deadline in the Spring.

Jack Hillen wasn’t the only one to not get an offer, technically. Milwaukee Admirals Zach Stortini and Brodie Dupont also will hit the unrestricted market on July 1st.

In case you forgot who the RFAs for Nashville are, here they are in all their glory:
Sergei Kostitsyn
Colin Wilson
Jonathon Blum
Alexander Radulov
Teemu Laakso
Jack Maclellan
Jeremy Smith
Atte Engren
Ryan Thang
Shea Weber

You’re probably wondering why Radulov, Laakso, and Thang are still on this list and why would Nashville extend offer to these three. Well, extending an offer does not mean the Predators and said player have reached a deal. Nashville simply offered base-line agreements, meaning any team that wishes to snag the rights to said players will have to counter-match what the Predators offered. In a nutshell, Nashville will take whatever they can wether the player stays or not.  So, although we know the Predators have parted ways with Radulov, they still, if possible, want to get vital draft picks, for instance, for his rights.

So, needless to say, the team and the players still need to eventually reach an agreement and work out a contract, but Nashville has taken the first step in offering these players a chance to wear gold once again in Smashville… except for Jack Hillen.

(Photo courtesy of Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Rangers want Radulov, Laakso bolts to KHL

Teemu Laakso thinks the KHL looks better than the NHL…

With the fate of several players coming to trial, so to speak, talks of jumping the Predators ship are finally coming out, with two in particular that bring a bit of curiosity.

The Rangers have been a strong force on the Eastern Conference side of the NHL for a while, but with the sudden news that Marian Gaborik will be needing shoulder surgery on his right arm, the Original 6 time needs a replacement- and fast. Their first look? Nashville’s “bad boy”, Alexander Radulov. Per the source, Predators GM David Poile and Rangers GM Glen Sather have just thrown around the idea, but no true offers have been thrown out there. You can read the full article here.

Along with the news of the Rangers pursuing Radulov, another player is making surprising news this morning. Teemu Laakso, who was called up from Milwaukee during last year’s playoff run and in a few games in this past season, has signed a two-year deal with the KHL’s Severstal Cherepovets. Laakso, who was drafted in 3rd Round of the 2005 NHL Draft, has spent the majority of his time in Milwaukee, a clue has to why he jumped ship and headed for more ice time in the KHL.

With these two stories bouncing around the NHL world, be prepared for more permanent news to come to light. Who will the Predators sign and let go? We’ll keep you updated.