The Nashville Predators made a safe move this past Tuesday and extended the contract of veteran defenseman Mark Borowiecki. It is a one-year contract that costs under a million dollars and will take him through next season.
This decision comes as no surprise as Borowiecki is a popular player among fans and his teammates alike. He is delighted to be calling Nashville home for another season and has spoken about how much he loves playing for the Predators.
There is no doubt that everyone is happy about this contract extension, but how does this affect the team on the ice? For such a low-stakes contract, it does tell us a few things about Nashville’s short-term direction.
Nashville Predators have lots of bottom defensive options
You can not have too many guys like Borowiecki on your team. He is serviceable as a hockey player, and his physicality and willingness to fight and stand up for his teammates have made the Predators a much more intimidating team.
Borowiecki and Matt Benning have vastly improved the third pairing for the Predators, which had been an issue for years. With Benning most likely gone after this season, Philippe Myers will likely play alongside Borowiecki next season, which in time, should be very good for the 3rd-pairing defensive role.
One very telling statement that the Predators are putting out with this deal is that they are not confident in David Farrance being fully ready for an NHL role at the start of next season. That is probably the only downside, as many were ready to see him showcase his skills when the puck drops on the 2022-23 season.
The good news is that Farrance will now have more time to further develop before putting on a Predators uniform. And if he is ready to go before next season ends, he is yet another viable option on defense that only showcases Nashville’s flexibility at the position. Everyone wins.
There is no conceivable way to look at this deal and not say it was a great idea. The team is happy, the fans are happy, as is Borowiecki himself. The Predators have essentially guaranteed themselves quality options at the defense position for at least the next season and a half.