The Nashville Predators have agreed to terms with UFA defenseman Hal Gill for two years, $4 million.
Gill, 37, came to Nashville at February’s deadline for a steep price — Blake Geoffrion, Robert Slaney and a 2012 second round pick — and the Preds retained him after injuries derailed most of his time in the Music City.
(Translation: If you’ve paid for a rental, might as well pay more to actually see what you’ve rented.)
The contract represents a slight pay cut for Gill — down from $2.25 million annually — but he could find himself in a good situation should Ryan Suter fly the coop via free agency.
The Preds currently have four defensemen under contract (Gill, Ryan Ellis, Kevin Klein and Roman Josi) with Gill being the most veteran of the lot. There’s an opportunity for him to get quality playing time and fill a mentorship role, something he had in Montreal with P.K. Subban.
It’ll be interesting to see what effect this deal has on the market come July 1. Gill wasn’t going to be the most sought-after blueliner, but he’s the latest in a run of veteran UFA defensemen signings, joining the likes of Dennis Wideman, Shane O’Brien, Brad Stuart and Barret Jackman.
There was stiff competition for the backup goaltending job in Boston, but with a signing this afternoon, it seems likely that the matter has been resolved.
The Boston Bruins announced that Jonas Gustavsson has agreed to a one-year, $700,000 deal. It’s a one-way contract, according to the Boston Globe’s Amalie Benjamin.
That contract is still small enough that the Bruins could bury it in the minors if they so desire, but it does set him apart from his last competitor for the goalie position, Jeremy Smith, who has a two-way deal. The fact that Boston went this route seems to imply that Gustavsson will serve as Tuukka Rask‘s understudy, although both netminders attended Sunday’s practice.
In Smith, the Bruins would be getting a 26-year-old goaltender who was dominant with the AHL’s Providence Bruins last season, but has no NHL experience. By contrast Gustavsson, 30, has played in almost 150 NHL games.
Boston sent Zane McIntyre and Malcolm Subban to the minors last week, but an argument could be made that either one of them is worthy of the backup job. However, both of them have a lot of potential and it’s not surprising that the Bruins felt they were better served by staying in the minors where they can play regularly and focus on honing their game.
The Calgary Flames have released Ryan Wilson from his professional tryout.
The 28-year-old was trying to make a comeback after missing 79 games with a shoulder injury last season.
Even with T.J. Brodie sidelined because of a broken hand, Wilson still faced long odds to make the final roster.
The veteran will be hard-pressed to find NHL work with another team.
He hasn’t suited up in more than 12 regular season games since 2011-12.
The Stockton Heat, Calgary’s AHL affiliate, also made some news on Sunday.
The club announced that they’ve signed Colton Orr to an AHL contract.
The 33-year-old tough guy suited up in just one game for the Toronto Maple Leafs last season. He has 12 seasons of NHL experience under his belt.