The Nashville Predators continue to make some splashes during free agency. General Manager David Poile announced that the team had signed Forward Nick Cousins.
Free agency has been entertaining to say the least for the Nashville Predators. Poile has begun filling the roster gaps left through the departure of free agents, the Kyle Turris contract buyout, and the Nick Bonino trade that brought Luke Kunin to the team.
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The Predators filled another roster spot by signing free-agent forward Nick Cousins.
On Saturday, Poile announced that the Predators had signed Cousins to a two-year deal worth $3M.
Cousins, a six-year veteran who most recently played for the Vegas Golden Knights, spent most of last season with the Montreal Canadiens.
For the Canadiens, Cousins scored 22 points (9 goals, 13 assists). He only played in seven regular-season games for the Knights due to the pandemic, scoring 3 points (1 goal, 2 assists)
Cousins saw considerable time with the Knights during the 2020 NHL Playoffs. He played in 17 games and tallied five assists.
Initially drafted by Philadelphia, Cousins spent three seasons with the Flyers before moving to the Arizona Coyotes for two seasons.
Cousins will undoubtedly be used in a bottom-six role, potentially on the third line, which is now missing Craig Smith and Bonino. Matching him on a fourth line with Calle Jarnkrok and Yakov Trenin could prove to be the most physical of all line combinations next season.
In a recurring theme that is going on with the “new look” Predators, physicality is one of the elements that Poile is looking to add to a team that was lacking in that department last season.
Via the Predators’ official website release, Poile had this to say about Cousins.
"“Nick is a versatile forward who can play up-and-down our lineup and will help add a physical element to our game every night. He’s a reliable player in his own zone and has shown improvement offensively every year. He fits the mold of the type of player we were targeting during free agency.”"
Once again, signing a player like Cousins should come as no shock to anyone. Poile is making several moves to position the Predators as a physical team by adding several players known for their gritty and hardworking style of play.
Adding Cousins gives the Predators a player who can score and keeps other teams in check with his toughness on the ice. We may be witnessing Poile’s plan to make the Predators the “hardest working team in the NHL” come to fruition.