The Nashville Predators have added some experience on the blueline, inking former Sens and Devils rearguard Anton Volchenkov to a one-year, $1 million deal.
“Anton provides a strong veteran presence that will complement our young, talented defensive corps nicely,” Preds GM Poile said in a statement. “He is a physical, left-handed shooting defenseman who can match up with top-line forwards and effectively kill penalties.”
Volchenkov, 32, hit free agency on June 30 when the Devils elected to use a compliance buyout on the final two years of his six-year, $25.5 million deal. The move freed New Jersey from his $4.25 million cap hit, but Volchenkov will still get $1.4 million per year in salary until 2018 — possibly why he signed in Nashville for such a (reasonably) low rate.
While the Russian rearguard does boast a wealth of experience, he saw his ice time plummet last season (he averaged the lowest TOI of any Devils defenseman) and has missed extensive time over the last two years with a myriad of injuries. He actually hasn’t averaged more than 20 minutes a night since his last year in Ottawa (2009-10), whne he finished 18th in Norris voting.
With Nashville, Volchenkov instantly becomes the oldest defenseman on the roster and could provide tutelage for the likes of Seth Jones (19 years old) and Ryan Ellis (23).