Tag: Gabriel Bourque


Preds re-sign Bourque: one year, $866,250


RFA forward Gabriel Bourque accepted his qualifying offer from Nashville on Thursday, locking him into a one-year deal that pays $866,250.

Bourque, 24, has been a regular lineup fixture in Nashville over the last two seasons. After scoring 11 goals in just 34 games during the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign, he set career highs in ’13-14 in assists (17) and points (26).

Last year, though, was a bit of a step back. Bourque only played in 69 games and his TOI dropped to 12:01 per night. He also finished with just three goals and a minus-13 rating.

It’ll be interesting to see where Bourque fits next season. Forwards Matt Cullen, Viktor Stalberg, Mike Santorelli and Rich Clune are all either gone or likely to go elsewhere, but the club did add Cody Hodgson and Steve Moses.

Slumping Preds lose Nystrom (lower body) for one month

Detroit Red Wings v Nashville Predators

Losers of five straight, the Nashville Predators got more bad news on Friday as Eric Nystrom was ruled out for four weeks with a lower-body ailment.

Nystrom, 32, was hurt during Tuesday’s loss to New Jersey and held out of last night’s defeat to the Isles. A checking forward that played largely in a fourth-line role, Nystrom had seven goals and 12 points in 60 games this year, averaging over 13 minutes per game.

With Nystrom out, the Preds look as though they’ll roll with a fourth line of Paul Gaustad, Taylor Beck and Gabriel Bourque. It’s possible the team could fill Nystrom’s roster spot by recalling someone from AHL Milwaukee, possibly Viktor Stalberg.

Fisher ‘definitely’ wants to re-sign in Nashville

Mike Fisher

Last week, an ESPN report claimed the Predators started contract negotiations with veteran centers Mike Ribeiro and Mike Fisher.

This week, Fisher expressed his desire to stick in Nashville.

“I love the city and I love the guys here in the organization,” he explained, per The Tennessean. “It’s been great. Hopefully the business part of things will take care of itself, but I definitely want to be part of it for sure.”

One would think Nashville feels the same way. Fisher, 34, is in the last of a two-year, $8.4 million deal with a $4.2 million cap hit. Though he’s only played 33 games this year due to a ruptured Achilles, Fisher has been great — he’s scored 13 goals and 25 points while averaging 18:23 TOI per night.

(What’s more, Fisher is averaging .76 points per game, the highest total of his 16-year career.)

In terms of their financial future, the Preds should be able to make Fisher a reasonable offer. A hometown discount is definitely on the table — in addition to spending the last five years in Nashville, Fisher’s wife, musician Carrie Underwood, is hugely popular in the city — though it’s worth pointing out the team does have a ton of free agents to deal with this summer.

In addition to Ribeiro and Fisher, the likes of Matt Cullen, Colin Wilson, Craig Smith, Calle Jarnkrok, Olli Jokinen, Gabriel Bourque, Anton Volchenkov and Taylor Beck are all due for new contracts, though it’s safe to assume veterans like Volchenkov, Cullen and Jokinen could be allowed to walk.

The big question with Fisher, it seems, is if he’ll be able to score enough money from Nashville as he would on the open market, where the center position projects to be thin.

Hutton, Predators shutout Penguins

Carter Hutton, Jonathan Ericsson

Roman Josi had a goal and an assist and Carter Hutton made 21 saves as the Nashville Predators blanked the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-0 Sunday afternoon.

With the win, the Predators avoided a third straight loss.

The game marked the return of James Neal to Pittsburgh. The 26-year-old was held off the score sheet while playing 15:09 in the win.

Gabriel Bourque, Eric Nystrom and Mike Fisher had the other goals for Nashville, who moves into a tie with the Anaheim Ducks for top spot in the Western Conference. The Preds have a game in hand on the Ducks.

“It was a real good first and a real good third,” said Predators coach Peter Laviolette. “We lost a little bit with the penalties in the second. We went to the box too many times. We need to be a little more disciplined than that. When that happens, it takes the roll out of the bench.

“In the second, the PK did a real nice job, I thought.”

Rookie Filip Forsberg had two assists in the win.

The Penguins shutout the Predators 3-0 in the only other meeting between the two clubs this season on Oct. 25.

“I think the start obviously hurt us,” said Sidney Crosby. “It wasn’t a terrible start. We made some mistakes that end up in the back of our net and then we’re playing uphill from there, so we still had a lot of time to get back into the game, but we have to find a way to score goals.”

Marc-Andre Fleury made 20 saves in the loss.

Defenseman Derrick Pouliot, who was recalled Saturday, is expected to play during the Penguins upcoming three-game western Canadian road trip, which begins Wednesday in Edmonton.

Preds put Neal, Nystrom on IR

St Louis Blues v Nashville Predators

Nashville’s forward depth is about to get its biggest test of the season.

On Thursday, the club placed wingers James Neal — who’s missed the last three games with a lower-body injury — and Eric Nystrom on injured reserve, recalling forward Miikka Salomaki from AHL Milwaukee to fill the void.

Neal, who sits second on the team in goals (13), hasn’t played since a 3-2 win over St. Louis on Dec. 30 — a game in which he scored twice. Nystrom, who has nine points in 39 games this year, played 12:50 in Tuesday’s win over Carolina and assisted on Roman Josi’s game-winner in the third period, so it’s unclear exactly what’s ailing him at the moment.

As for Salomaki, he was taken in the second round (52nd overall) of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, but has yet to make his big league debut. The Finnish forward has 16 points in 26 games for Milwaukee this season, and finished fifth among AHL rookies in scoring last year with 50 points.

As mentioned above, the Neal/Nystrom injuries really thin out Nashville’s forward group. During the morning skate in advance of tonight’s tilt versus Dallas, Craig Smith took Neal’s spot on the top line next to Filip Forsberg and Mike Ribeiro, while Salomaki skated on a wing with Calle Jarnkrok and Olli Jokinen.

Colin Wilson, Mike Fisher and Mark Arcobello also rushed together, as did Gabriel Bourque, Paul Gaustad and Viktor Stalberg.