Restricted free agent Colin Wilson is going to get a significant raise this summer and soon he’ll know exactly how big it is.
With his arbitration hearing set for Tuesday, Wilson has filed a request for a $4.25 million salary while the Nashville Predators have countered at $3 million, per Elliotte Friedman. He earned $2.5 million last season in the final campaign of a three-year, $6 million contract.
The 25-year-old forward set new career-highs with 20 goals and 42 points in 77 contests in 2014-15. He went on to score another five goals in Nashville’s six-game first round series against the Chicago Blackhawks.
He’s the last of the three Predators RFAs to file for salary arbitration to be dealt with. Nashville traded Taylor Beck to Toronto and inked Craig Smith to a five-year, $21.25 million contract.
Barring another trade or signing in addition to Wilson’s, Nashville will likely enter the season with more than $10 million in cap space, per General Fanager. It does have some significant players eligible to test the restricted free agent waters next summer though, including Filip Forsberg, Mattias Ekholm, and Seth Jones.
Some smaller signings to pass your way…
• Nashville has signed veteran d-man Barret Jackman to a two-year, $4 million deal with an average annual cap hit of $2 million. Jackman, 34, had previously spent his entire NHL career — 14 years, 803 games — with the St. Louis Blues and, though it was a while ago, is still one of just four defensemen in the last 25 years to win the Calder Memorial Trophy as NHL rookie of the year.
In Nashville, he’ll provide a veteran presence in the club’s top-six defense alongside Shea Weber, Roman Josi, Seth Jones, Mattias Ekholm and Ryan Ellis.
• New Jersey has signed former Blue Jackets, Rangers and Coyotes defenseman John Moore to a three-year, $5 million deal with an average annual value of $1.67M. Columbus’ first-round pick (21st overall) at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Moore had a pretty decent ’13-14 campaign with the Rangers (15 points in 74 games, 21 playoff appearances) but was sent to Arizona as part of the Keith Yandle trade, and wasn’t given a qualifying offer by Coyotes GM Don Maloney.
• Just days after Montreal bought him out of his contract, P.A. Parenteau has signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal with Toronto.
Parenteau, 32, has struggled to find the form that saw him score 67 points in 80 games for the Islanders in 2011-12 — when he played on a line with John Tavares — but less will be expected of him now that he’s no longer pulling down a $4 million cap hit.
Sounds as though the door may be open for Anton Volchenkov’s return to Nashville.
Volchenkov’s agent, Jay Grossman, told PHT on Monday he’s had discussions with the Predators about re-signing the pending UFA for a second season in the Music City, but added there’s “nothing further to report.”
Volchenkov, 33, signed a one-year, $1 million deal with the Preds last summer after the Devils amnestied the remainder of a six-year, $25.5M pact signed in 2010. The veteran Russian was brought to Nashville as a depth defenseman and filled that role throughout the regular season, appearing in 46 games while registering seven points and averaging 13:11 TOI per.
Volchenkov then appeared in just one postseason game — a series-opening loss to Chicago, in which he played 13:51 in a double-OT affair.
It’ll be interesting to see if Preds GM David Poile opts to return Volchenkov in a similar capacity next season. The team has six defensemen under contract for next season — Shea Weber, Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis, Mattias Ekholm, Seth Jones and Victor Bartley — and trade deadline pickup Cody Frason won’t be brought back.
Of course, the Preds could opt to promote one of their young d-men from AHL Milwaukee to fill the seventh blueline spot, rather than re-sign Volchenkov.
Nashville defenseman Mattias Ekholm was temporarily shaken up during today’s Sweden-Germany match at the 2015 World Hockey Championships on this devastating hit from Stephan Daschner:
Daschner was given an interference major and game misconduct for the hit, which occurred in the final few seconds of the opening period. Ekholm, meanwhile, was bloodied and appeared enraged at Daschner as the two crossed paths heading down the tunnel.
Ekholm was able to return to the contest and finished with just over 19 minutes of ice time. Sweden narrowly defeated the Germans 4-3, after which the Swedish Ice Hockey Association tweeted out this:
After scoring 31-seconds apart in the first period, the Predators and Blackhawks exchanged goals in a 22-second span of the second period.
Jonathan Toews put the Blackhawks up 2-1 36-seconds into the second period.
Mattias Ekholm beat Scott Darling to tie the game 2-2 just moments later.
Chicago has since taken a 4-2 lead on goals from Brandon Saad and Brent Seabrook.