Just two days ago, talks between the Nashville Predators and Ryan Ellis seemed a little nasty. Apparently a day or two does indeed make a difference, as the Predators announced a five-year deal that’s very nice if the contract terms match TSN’s Bob McKenzie’s report.
The deal is worth $2.5 million per year, totaling $12.5 million, according to McKenzie.
Rinkside Report’s Jim Diamond passes along a confirmation from Ellis’ agent, so it sounds accurate:
Ellis is 23, so this deal would even cover a bit of the young blueliner’s UFA window. While he hasn’t put up the offensive stats that some expected considering the ridiculous 101 points he generated with the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires in just 58 games(!) back in 2010-11, Ellis was quietly one of Nashville’s most efficient defensemen last season.
That reported $2.5 million cap hit would be fair for what Ellis was in 2013-14, but if Peter Laviolette can tap into his talents in ways that Barry Trotz’s system never did, this could be a big steal. People are already raving about the contract:
While the Predators made some big risks with hefty contracts for Shea Weber and Pekka Rinne, the team is stocking up on quality defensemen at cheap prices. Roman Josi’s $4 million cap hit has the potential to look better every year until it expires after the 2019-20 season while Seth Jones still has two years on his team-friendly entry-level contract.
The Predators seem like they’re in a transitional stage from Trotz to Laviolette, but that defensive group could be a significant strength in 2014-15 and in the future.