Mike Halford

David Poile
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Preds bolster goalie depth, sign Swedish league standout Gunnarsson

Another of the SHL’s top netminders has landed in the NHL.

Jonas Gunnarsson, an undrafted free agent who spent the past two seasons with the Malmo Redhawks, agreed to an entry-level deal with Nashville on Wednesday, the club announced.


[Gunnarsson] played a league-high 44 games, ranking ninth among netminders in save percentage (.913) despite his team finishing 12th out of 14 teams, and in 2014-15, he ranked ninth in Swedish second division goals-against average (2.28), helping Malmo earn promotion to the SHL.

The Preds had pretty decent depth in goal prior to this signing — Pekka Rinne, Carter Hutton, Marek Mazanec — and have a good young prospect in Juuse Saros, who enjoyed a solid campaign in AHL Milwaukee.

Of course, Hutton is a pending UFA that needs a new deal, so one wonders if Nashville is ready to move on. Mazanec is a RFA, and also needs a new deal.

As mentioned above, the Preds are just the latest team to get in on Sweden’s glut of talented goalies. Last month Chicago signed Lars Johansson, the SHL’s reigning Goalie of the Year.

‘So far so good’ for Rust, a gametime decision tonight

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 29:  Bryan Rust #17 of the Pittsburgh Penguins addresses the media during the NHL Stanley Cup Final Media Day at Consol Energy Center on May 29, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
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PITTSBURGH — Bryan Rust was back on the ice Wednesday morning, and back in front of reporters shortly thereafter.

So, will he be back in the lineup for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final?

“[I’m] just seeing how things go, how I feel after the skate and how I feel moving through the afternoon,” Rust said, alluding to the upper-body injury suffered on the controversial Patrick Marleau hit in Game 1.

“So far so good.”

Rust’s health was also one of the questions posed to Pens head coach Mike Sullivan at today’s presser.

“Bryan obviously skated this morning, and he’s a gametime decision,” Sullivan said, confirming the obvious.

There’s been a lot of attention paid to Rust, a 24-year-old rookie who spent a chunk of the year in AHL Wilkes-Barre.

Part of that stems from his goalscoring heroics — two in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final against Tampa Bay, one in the series opener against the Sharks — and part of that stems from the first questionable check of the cup final.

Marleau avoided supplemental discipline for the hit. On that, Rust didn’t have much to say.

“[The] hit is what it is, league looked at it, they dealt with it, they did what they thought was right,” he said. “I didn’t really take much time to look at it, or think about it.”

Jackets not expected to sign Quebec league prospect Pelletier

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 28:  Julien Pelletier meets his team after being drafted #107 by the Columbus Blue Jackets on Day Two of the 2014 NHL Draft at the Wells Fargo Center on June 28, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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Julien Pelletier, the QMJHL Sherbrooke forward taken in the fourth round of the ’14 draft, is unlikely to receive an entry-level contract from the Blue Jackets, per the Columbus Dispatch.

The move would mean Pelletier could re-enter this year’s draft. The Blue Jackets have until Wednesday to decide if they want to sign him, or trade his rights to another team.

Taken five spots ahead of Viktor Arvidsson — who’s become a nice young player for Nashville — Pelletier had a solid season in Sherbrooke, finishing second on the team in goals (with 27).

This year, he was in training camp with the Jackets but sent home early.

Per the Dispatch, the Jackets are also unlikely to sign another ’14 draftee — Olivier Leblanc, who was taken in the seventh round.

NHL explains no suspension for Marleau, says he didn’t ‘pick’ Rust’s head


PITTSBURGH — Shortly after reports surfaced that San Jose’s Patrick Marleau wouldn’t face supplemental discipline for his hit on Pittsburgh’s Bryan Rust in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety issued a series of tweets explaining their decision.

Following last night’s game, Marleau said he didn’t think he’d be suspended for the hit, explaining that he “kind of let [Rust] skate into me.”

“I just tried to keep everything down,” Marleau added. “I didn’t want to get too high on him.”

Marleau’s assessment was in direct contrast with Pittsburgh head coach Mike Sullivan.

“It’s a blindside hit to the head,” he said. “[Marleau] gets a penalty and I’m sure the league will look at it.”

As for Rust, Sullivan listed him as day-to-day with an upper-body injury following the contest. The hit knocked Rust out of last night’s game, and the Penguins haven’t began their off-day practice yet.

More to follow…

Well-traveled journeyman Arcobello signs in Swiss League

TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 23:  Mark Arcobello #33 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates against the Nashville Predators  during an NHL game at the Air Canada Centre on February 23, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Predators defeated the Maple Leafs 3-2. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
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Mark Arcobello, he of waiver wire fame, has decided to sign overseas with Swiss League club SC Bern.

Arcobello is coming off a year in which he managed to stay in just one city — Toronto — though he did bounce back and forth a lot between the Maple Leafs and their AHL affiliate, the Marlies.

The 27-year-old had four points in 20 games for the Leafs, and 59 in 49 games for the Marlies. That statline sort of sums up Arcobello’s career — terrific producer at the AHL level, but found it difficult to translate that success to the bigs.

Doesn’t mean teams weren’t willing to take a chance on the 5-foot-8, 172-pounder.

There was that infamous stretch in ’14-15 when he was waived twice and played for three different teams in a month, eventually landing in Arizona — and it was with the Coyotes where he set some NHL history, becoming the second player to ever record at least a point with four teams in one campaign.

All told, Arcobello played in 139 games at the NHL level, scoring 53 points.