Nashville Predators: Mikael Granlund Signs Four-Year Deal

Nashville Predators center Mikael Granlund (64) skates during a second period face-off against Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports
Nashville Predators center Mikael Granlund (64) skates during a second period face-off against Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports /

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind for the Nashville Predators. They have weathered the retirement of Pekka Rinne and the loss of three veterans through trades and the NHL Expansion Draft.

The free agency signing period is now in full swing. While we weren’t expecting the Predators to make any huge moves, one signing retained some veteran leadership for Nashville.

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An hour after the free agency signing period officially started, the Predators signed forward Mikael Granlund to a four-year deal worth $20M.

Before the start of the free agency signing period, it was rumored that Granlund would be testing the free agency waters. However, that wound up not being the case.

If this sounds familiar, we went through this same scenario before the start of last season.

During the 2019-20 season, Granlund experienced a resurgence under Head Coach John Hynes, but it still wasn’t enough to garner much interest from other teams. The ups and downs of that season didn’t help matters.

At the end of the 2019-20 season, Granlund entered free agency looking for a larger contract than GM David Poile wanted to give.

Granlund eventually signed a one-year deal worth $3.375M with the Predators and became one of the most consistent players last season.

Granlund’s Impact For The Nashville Predators.

Granlund tallied 30 points (17 goals, 13 assists) in his first full season with the Predators. Along with the rest of the team, he got off to a slow start that year but picked up his production halfway through the season once Hynes took over as head coach.

Last season was, without a doubt, Granlund’s best with the Predators so far. He excelled under Hynes and his new system.

Granlund tied Calle Jarnkrok for most goals with 17 and was fourth in total points with 27. In six playoff games last season, he also had 5 points (2 goals, 3 assists).

"“Signing Mikael to a contract that will keep him here in Nashville was a priority for us as we entered the free agency period. He has been one of our most consistent players since he joined the Predators. We’re excited to see his continued impact in all three zones of the ice for the next several years and know he and his leadership will be instrumental in helping with the growth of the young group of forwards we’ve assembled.”-GM David Poile"

With the exodus of veteran players in recent weeks, keeping Granlund was a priority for the Predators. He fits well into the system and is a constant contributor on both ends of the ice.

With the Predators moving into a rebuilding period, things may go a little smoother with Granlund in the mix. His veteran leadership will be desperately needed with so many younger players on the roster next season.

Now that Granlund has received the long-term contract that he wanted, expectations will be even higher for him to produce. He will need to step up his game even further and continue to be a leader on the second line, which may find him partnered with some young prospects.

If Granlund and the Predators can continue to build on the momentum that they gained in the second half of last season, they might surprise all of us and be more competitive than most are anticipating.

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