NASHVILLE, TN - Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile sits down and addresses the media from his office at the Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, the first day of the National Hockey League free agency period. Poile talked about the Predators strategy and approach to the free agency.
Poile said that there were two priorities coming into free agency, to sign a goalie and re-sign star forward Mikael Grandlund. Poile achieved both just a few hours after the period was opened, with Grandlund signed to a four-year deal worth $20 million, and they got a new goalie in David Rittich which they signed for one-year worth $1.25 million.
Poile said that Grandlund is the player that the team's needed as a leader, because they get younger especially in the forwards position. "I think he's a great role model for all of our younger players. He's going to keep us in that competitive mode, and I think he's going to be a great mentor and leader, if you will, to some of these younger players."
Rittich is a 2020 NHL All-Star when he was with the Calgary Flames, he will provide the necessary skillset to be a backup or handling a heavier workload when needed. "His work ethic is really good, he plays with a lot of energy, and you can see that in any games that you watched him play." Poile said. "I think he'd be a great complement to Juice and a guy that, if need be, can actually play a lot of games because he's been a number one goalie."
The team then proceeds to sign seven players on Wednesday. They landed forward Anthony Richard (one-year, two-way contract), forward Michael McCarron (two-year, two-way contract), defenseman Matt Tennyson (two-year, two-way contract), forward Matt Luff (one-year, two-way contract), and forward Zachary L'Heureux who was selected 27th overall in 2021 NHL Draft (three-year, entry level deal).
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