Tag: Mike Santorelli

Shea Weber

Weber says he should be ready for Preds’ training camp


Perhaps the Nashville Predators face a few “What ifs?” considering the fact that Shea Weber got injured during their series against the Chicago Blackhawks, yet it doesn’t sound like they’ll need to play without him to start the 2015-16 season.

Weber told the Tennessean that his rehab from a knee injury (and eventual surgery) is going smoothly.

In fact, it sounds like the 29-year-old is on track to participate in Predators training camp.

“Just going to obviously try to find out from the doctor and see what he thinks, and if it’s ready to go, then we’ll go when he says it is,” Weber said. “I think there’s no question that I should be ready for training camp.”

That’s promising for Nashville.

The question is: how many players from the 2014-15 team will join him?

Predators GM David Poile more or less admitted that Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli will not be back. Unrestricted free agents Mike Ribeiro and Mike Fisher are big considerations, while RFAs such as Colin Wilson and Craig Smith should get raises. The team has up-and-comers alongside Weber on defense and ample space to make improvements.

In other words, Weber should have help next season, but we’ll see how much he receives. Either way, a fully healthy Weber would obviously make a huge difference for Nashville.

Predators hope to re-sign Ribeiro soon

Mike Ribeiro

Predators GM David Poile took a chance when he signed Mike Ribeiro to a one-year deal after the Arizona Coyotes bought him out and that worked out nicely for Nashville. Now he’s among the Predators’ top priorities ahead of the start of the free agent period on July 1.

“(Mike) Fisher and Ribeiro are two guys we really want to get under contract soon,” Poile said, per NHL.com.

Poile had previously made his intentions clear with regard to Fisher. For the record, Fisher has expressed optimism about his chances of re-signing with Nashville while Ribeiro has also said that he’d like to return.

He likely won’t come cheap though. Under his cap friendly $1.05 million deal for 2014-15, Ribeiro had 15 goals and 62 points in 82 contests. He often played alongside rookie standout Filip Forsberg.

Poile also said that Nashville probably won’t re-sign Cody Franson or Mike Santorelli. He acquired both of them from Toronto in February as part of a deal that involved the Predators surrendering their 2015 first round pick.


After prepping for three years, Franson excited to test free agency

Franson on free agency: ‘I’m hopeful that Toronto’s in the mix’

cody franson

During his season-ending media availability Nashville Predators GM David Poile told reporters that his acquisition of defenseman Cody Franson from the Toronto Maple Leafs “wasn’t a perfect fit”.

Franson along with Mike Santorelli were dealt from the Leafs to the Predators on Feb. 15 in exchange for Olli Jokinen, Brendan Leipsic and Nashville’s 2015 first-round draft pick.

“The fact that Franson was a right-handed shot…wasn’t the perfect situation for Franson or for us,” said Poile said last month.

The blue liner had a goal and four points in 23 games with the Preds following the trade and added two assists in five games of Nashville’s first round loss to the Chicago Blackhawks.

Barring a trade before July, Franson is likely headed for unrestricted free agency for the first time in his career and is hoping his former team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, comes calling.

“I enjoyed playing in that city and definitely I’m hopeful that Toronto’s in the mix come July 1,” Franson told TSN Radio 1050 on Saturday. “My phone will definitely be on and hoping that they’re one of the teams that calls.”

The 27-year-old spent parts of four seasons in Toronto registering 115 points in 236 games while averaging just under 20 minutes a night in ice time.

Having appeared in 400 career games over eight seasons split between Nashville and Toronto, Franson could have the opportunity to chose where he plays for the first time in his career. However, it’s not something he’s necessarily looking forward to.

“This is new territory for me,” he said. “I’m excited to kind of really just get it over with and find out where I’m going and start gearing towards the next season. I’ve been off for a few weeks now, taken my time off and getting back in the gym here.

“When you start getting back in the gym, it’s that time to start looking forward to the next season. With being in free agency, you don’t know where that’s going to be. July 1 can’t come quick in enough.”

Franson made $3.3 million this season on a one-year deal.

Poile: Preds hoped Franson trade ‘would work out better’

Dallas Stars v Nashville Predators

GM David Poile met with reporters today in the wake of Nashville’s first-round playoff elimination to Chicago and, in doing so, admitted his big trade deadline move — acquiring Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli from Toronto — simply didn’t work out.

Franson, a pending UFA, was a major disappointment for the Preds (partially because they surrendered a first-round pick and prospect Brendan Leipsic to acquire him). The 27-year-old had six goals and 32 points in 55 games at the time of the trade and was averaging more than 21 TOI per night — upon pulling the trigger, Poile called Franson “a veteran defenseman who could play in all situations,” adding he’d “seamlessly fit into our team.”

But that didn’t happen.

Franson saw his ice time slowly dwindle after making his Nashville debut on Feb. 21, to the point where he was a virtual non-factor by April.

Franson then missed Game 1 of the Chicago series and, while he drew back in for the final five contests and recorded a pair of assists, his ice time still hovered between a mere 14-15 minutes per night — and that was after Shea Weber exited the series in Game 2.

Looking ahead, it seems as though Franson’s second go-round with the Preds is over. The club sounds unlikely to offer him a new contract, which means that — despite this poor spell in Music City — he’ll still be one of the more coveted free agent defenseman hitting the market on July 1.

Deadline pickups Franson, Santorelli likely in for Preds after sitting Game 1

Dallas Stars v Nashville Predators

After blowing a 3-0 lead and losing their series opener against Chicago in OT, the Predators appear to be making some lineup changes.

Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli, acquired from Toronto just prior to the trade deadline, look as though they’ll play tonight after sitting out Game 1. Franson, who had been dealing with an upper-body injury that lingered from the regular season, said he feels ready to get back into action for the first time since Apr. 9.

As for Santorelli, an injury to Mike Fisher looks as though it’ll play in his favor. Head coach Peter Laviolette wouldn’t confirm the move, but it’s expected Santorelli — who’s posted four points (one goal, three assists) in 22 games with Nashville — will get in ahead of ’14 first-rounder Kevin Fiala, who also sat out Game 1.

“He brings a lot of speed to the lineup,” Laviolette said of Santorelli, per The Tennessean. “He’s capable of contributing offensively. He’s a reliable player. We can use him on the penalty kill. I think he’s been an effective player for us in the role we’ve asked him to play in. If Mike gets in there, tonight, we have no question he’ll be able to do the job.”