Tag: James Neal

Report: Smith asking for $4.75 million ahead of arbitration date with Predators


According to Adam Vingan of The Tennessean, the Nashville Predators and 25-year-old center Craig Smith have an arbitration hearing scheduled for Monday.

This, according to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, shows what separates the two sides heading into that hearing:

Smith, a restricted free agent, has emerged with back-to-back 20-plus goal seasons with the Predators, scoring 24 times with 52 points in 79 games in 2013-14.

His point production dipped this past season to 44 points, but he still finished tied for second on the team alongside James Neal with 23 goals, and behind only Filip Forsberg, who had 26.

“It’s just a process,” Predators GM David Poile recently told The Tennessean.

“It’s probably actually good it’s been done because we know they’re going to be signed. It’s just how much, and it gives both sides a chance to prepare as best possible for an arbitration or maybe for a settlement.”

Ribeiro re-signs with Preds — two years, $7 million

Winnipeg Jets vs Nashville Predators

From TSN’s Aaron Ward:

After being bought out by Arizona, Ribeiro bounced back with a productive “last chance” season for the Preds. The 35-year-old had 15 goals and 47 assists while playing mostly on a top line with Filip Forsberg and James Neal.

The Preds wanted Ribeiro back, despite the civil lawsuit filed by his former nanny, who claims that he sexually assaulted her in 2012.

“Last year before we signed Mike, we talked to he and his family a lot about his past and I guess you could say his plan and his commitment for moving forward for both on and off the ice,” GM David Poile said. “As it turned out, I think Mike was a good teammate and he was a productive player. I don’t think anybody would argue with that. I think he was great among his teammates, and his wife and he were excellent in the community.”

Hockey wise, the Preds may be in tough to win a Stanley Cup with a pair of 35-year-olds, Ribeiro and Mike Fisher, as their top centers. But Ribeiro and Fisher are only signed through 2016-17, so there’s flexibility to improve at the position.

Keith conquers: Blackhawks come back, eliminate Predators

Nashville Predators at Chicago Blackhawks

The Nashville Predators aren’t a common playoff threat for the Chicago Blackhawks, so in some ways, this blistering first-round series feels different. Even so, the usual suspects keep coming up big for the Blackhawks, so the script ended up being familiar enough.

Brent Seabrook scored the game-winner in that epic triple-OT contest in Game 4. Duncan Keith was the difference-maker not once, but twice. Patrick Kane was shockingly productive in this series even short of 100 percent; Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa were their usual dominant selves.

It almost felt inevitable when Keith scored the last game-winner, as close as this series was:

With plenty of overtime action in this series, Predators – Blackhawks felt like a seven-game classic. Chicago was able to make enough plays to end it in six, however, beating Nashville in another thriller by a score of 4-3.

Things were wild and woolly in the opening frame. James Neal scored two early goals, and after the teams traded tallies for a 3-1 Nashville lead, Joel Quenneville gave Scott Darling the hook in favor of Corey Crawford.

It wasn’t advantage: Predators for very long, however. Jonathan Toews scored on the power play and Patrick Kane fired a laser beam home late in the first to tie it up 3-3.

There was plenty of action after that, but Chicago was unable to take advantage of a significant advantage in play in the second period, including a 12-7 shot advantage. In general, it seemed like the Blackhawks were locking in to try to put away the Predators, yet both Crawford and Pekka Rinne held strong through much of the action, making for more tight proceedings.

Ultimately, Rinne was unable to turn aside an unrelenting Blackhawks attack culminating with Keith’s game-winner.

With that, the Blackhawks advance to the next round while the Predators’ surprisingly excellent season ends in heartbreak.

Time will tell if Nashville can bounce back and turn this one-off series into a budding rivalry. Whatever happens in 2015-16 and beyond, this was one of those rare gems that may very well convert new fans to the sport.

… Even if the ultimate outcome might seem predictable to some.

Neal, Predators chase Darling in little time

Nashville Predators v Chicago Blackhawks - Game Four

Are the Nashville Predators starting to get to Scott Darling? Could it be that James Neal has the young Chicago Blackhawks netminder’s number?

It might be a little early to ask such a question, but the bottom line is that the power forward has given the Predators a nice lead so far in Game 6.

The prettiest tally was his first, as he beat Darling with a simple (but nice) move just 1:10 into the contest:

Not long after, Neal deflected a shot in for a power-play goal to make it 2-0 quite early in the game.

Getting a 2-0 lead is very nice for Nashville, but a litany of opponents would tell the Predators not to get too comfortable against the dangerous Blackhawks attack.

Still, it’s certainly a positive development for the Preds, and one can only wonder how long the leash is for Darling.

Update: It turns out that the leash is fairly short for Darling. Patrick Sharp made it 2-1, but moments later, Matt Cullen scored a 3-1 goal. Corey Crawford was summed back into the Chicago net less than 12 minutes into the first period … and that’s that.

For now?

Video: Blackhawks’ Shaw fined $2,000 for diving/embellishment


Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw has been fined $2,000 by the NHL for diving/embellishment.

From the league:

Shaw was issued a Warning following an incident flagged by NHL Hockey Operations during NHL Game No. 228 against Tampa Bay on Nov. 11. His second Citation, which triggered the $2,000 fine, was issued for an incident during NHL Game No. 1138 against Los Angeles on March 30. Shaw drew a delayed penalty to Los Angeles forward Mike Richards on the play, at 5:24 of the first period. The penalty to Richards was nullified when Chicago scored seven seconds later.

Shaw becomes the ninth player to be fined for diving/embellishment this season, joining Washington’s Tom Wilson, Toronto’s Richard Panik, Islanders goalie Michal Neuvirth (fine occurred while with Buffalo), the Islanders’ Cal Clutterbuck, Detroit’s Gustav Nyquist, Florida’s Vincent Trocheck, Nashville’s James Neal and Montreal’s P.K. Subban, who has been fined twice.