PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
The New Jersey Devils are holding a contest to design a mask for Cory Schneider. (Devils.nhl.com)
The argument in favor of the Nashville Predators trading Shea Weber within the next year. (Puck Daddy)
Did you enjoy Jonathan Quick’s look at the league’s elite snipers? Because he’s doing a second part to it and is taking requests. (Quick on Twitter)
Leo Reise Jr. passed away at the age of 93. The former defenseman played in 494 NHL games and won the Stanley Cup with Detroit in 1950 and 1952. (Associated Press)
The Chicago Blackhawks are getting a new practice facility. (NHL.com)
Ken Daneyko wrote about Lou Lamoriello, who he feels is a “once-in-a-generation hockey mind.” (The Players’ Tribune)
One more down, four to go.
Arbitration cases, we mean.
The Nashville Predators announced today that they’d signed restricted free agent Colin Wilson to a four-year, $15.75 million contract. Wilson had been scheduled to go to arbitration tomorrow.
The Wilson signing, combined with today’s Derek Stepan signing, leaves four RFAs still scheduled to make their cases in front of an arbitrator:
— Washington’s Marcus Johansson, hearing scheduled for Wednesday
— Ottawa’s Mike Hoffman, Thursday
— Minnesota’s Erik Haula, Friday
— Toronto’s Jonathan Bernier, Friday
Wilson, 25, had 20 goals and 22 assists last season for the Preds.
Related: Preds sign ‘integral’ Smith to five-year, $21.25M extension
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.
In the end, Craig Smith and the Nashville Predators didn’t need an arbitrator to render a decision on his salary. The two sides reached a four-year, $21.25 million deal on their own.
But they still went through with Monday’s hearing. And as we all know, sometimes those hearings can cause hurt feelings.
Not so in this case, according to Smith and GM David Poile.
“I’ve probably said worse things (about) myself than what I heard (in) there,” Smith said, per The Tennessean.
Said Poile: “I’m sure if you talked to Craig Smith, he might have taken disagreement to things that we said, but I would be very surprised if he’s not a very happy guy today.”
Calgary’s Lance Bouma is scheduled for arbitration today. Thursday, it’s Washington’s Braden Holtby and Ottawa’s Alex Chiasson.
Related: Ah, arbitration: Holtby reportedly asking for $8 million, Caps countering at $5.1 million
The Nashville Predators have locked in one of their best goalscorers, signing Craig Smith to a five-year, $21.25 million extension on Monday.
The deal, which carries a $4.25 million cap hit, is a nice raise from the $2M Smith made annually on his last deal.
“As evidenced by his back-to-back 20-goal seasons and performance in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Craig Smith is an integral part of our team’s young core and we are pleased to have agreed on a long-term contract that both parties are comfortable with,” Preds GM David Poile said in a release. “With Craig’s durability, work ethic and intensity, we see him continuing the build on his recent production and be a valuable contributor to our offensive attack for the next five seasons.”
Smith, 25, scored five points in six games during Nashville’s opening-round playoff loss to Chicago, and was one of just four Preds forwards to average more than 20 minutes per game. The former University of Wisconsin standout is, as Poile mentioned, also one of the organization’s most durable players — since breaking in during the 2011-12 campaign, Smith has appeared in 277 of a possible 294 games, and played all 82 last season.
With this deal done, Poile now has just one key RFA to re-sign — Colin Wilson, the former first-round pick that scored a career-high 20 goals and 42 points last season.