Nashville Predators Puck Drop: Free Agency Period Begins

Nashville Predators center Mikael Granlund (64) Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Nashville Predators center Mikael Granlund (64) Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports /

Welcome to The Puck Drop, a weekly roundup of all things Nashville Predators. We look at news stories, social media posts, and everything else regarding YOUR NASHVILLE PREDATORS.

The NHL Free Agency signing period kicked off with a frenzy on Wednesday. As a result, many fans may need a program to find out exactly who is and isn’t on their favorite team once the new season kicks off.

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The Predators were relatively quiet when the free agency signing period began. However, to kick off the signing period, GM David Poile signed Mikael Granlund to a four-year deal worth $20M. Signing Granlund was one of the top priorities on Poile’s To-Do list this offseason.

Poile also found a suitable backup goaltender for Juuse Saros in five-year veteran David Rittich. Rittich spent most of his career in Calgary but was traded to Toronto at the trade deadline last season.

Poile also announced that he had signed forward Matt Luff to a one-year, two-way deal and defenseman Matt Tennyson to a two-year, two-way deal.

Luff has been in the NHL for three seasons and last played for the L.A. Kings. Tennyson has spent eight seasons in the league and has played for San Jose, Carolina, Buffalo, and New Jersey.

Another announcement saw the signing of forward Mathieu Olivier to a two-year deal worth $1.5M. Olivier made quite a name for himself last season on the “Herd” line, known for their scrappy and hard-hitting style of play.

And speaking of scrappy, Poile also announced that the Predators had signed Zachary L’Heureux to a three-year entry-level contract. Nashville chose L’Heureux with their 27th pick in the 2021 NHL Entry Level Draft.

Granny’s Not Going Anywhere

On the first day of free agency, Mikael Granlund and the Predators agreed to a four-year contract worth $20M. He will be in Nashville for many years to come and provide leadership to a younger Predators team.

With Granlund being one of the most consistent players last season, Poile felt that signing him was his number one priority this offseason.

Congratulations on your new contract, Granny!

Nashville Predators Sign Goaltender David Rittich

At the beginning of the offseason, one of our questions was who would be the backup goaltender if Pekka Rinne retires? Poile answered that question on day one of the free agency signing period.

The Predators’ newest addition to the goaltending unit is veteran David Rittich. In 134 career games, Rittich’s SV% is .907 with a GAA of 2.82.

Even with Saros taking the bulk of the starts next season, it is good to know that Nashville has a dependable backup in “Big Save” Dave.

L’Heureux Signs Three-year, Entry-Level Deal

The Predators are a team that is reworking its identity to be harder to play against, and they just added a player who might be able to help. Zachary L’Heureux signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Predators.

Poile traded two of Nashville’s first-round picks to be able to draft L’Heureux. And while he still has to develop before he is ready for the NHL, he should make a good addition to a team that wants to be known as the hardest working team in the NHL.

Welcome to Smashville, Zachary!

The Biloxi Bull Signs New Contract

Forward Mathieu Olivier made a name for himself in training camp last season. Now he has signed a new two-year contract with the Predators.

Spending the majority of his time on the 4th line last season, Olivier became well known for his gutsy play as he helped mold the identity of the “Herd” line.

Congratulations on your new contract!

With The 19th Overall Pick, Nashville Selects…

After the season ended, the Predators wound up with the 19th overall pick in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. With that pick, the Predators selected forward Fedor Svechkov.

It’s no secret that the Predators needed to select some forwards in this year’s draft. Poile got exactly the player that he wanted with Nashville’s first pick. Hopefully, Svechkov will develop quickly so that he can make the leap to the NHL and begin to positively impact the team.

Welcome to Smashville, Fedor!

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