The Nashville Predators have all the defense that a team could ever need in Weber, Jones, Josi, Victor Bartley, my favorite former Devil Anton Volchenkov, and Ryan Ellis (even though he’s a RFA this year), but where they really needed help was at center and with scoring. With Mike Fisher having a major setback with a ruptured Achilles tendon which will keep him out for the next 4-6 months, the Preds have been making seemingly small moves that will hopefully have long lasting effects.
With new coach (and Coach #2 in the history of the team!) Peter Laviolette at the helm, this off-season the Preds signed Olli Jokinen to a one-year/$2.5 million deal, the aforementioned Volchenkov to a one-year/$1 million deal, James Neal nee the Pittsburgh Penguins for forwards Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling during the NHL Draft in June, and D Mattias Ekholm (most famous for coming up from the Milwaukee Admirals at the tail-end of the 2013 season after Kevin Klein was injured) signed a 2 year/$2.075 million contract.
Today the Preds signed centers Mike Ribeiro to a one-year/$1.05 million deal and Derek Roy to a one-year/$1 million deal. Ribeiro had a terrible season last year with the Coyotes, with rumors circulating that it was affecting his marriage (or vise versa) and also was affecting his hockey life with things such as shouting matches with the coach, being late to team meetings, etc. which GM Dave Poile and Ribeiro discussed in a press conference on Tuesday.
This isn’t the first time the Predators have taken a chance on someone who had something to prove (King of Predators Twitter Rich Clune and former Predator Jordin Tootoo both quickly come to mind) and hopefully with so many low risk contracts, the Preds will do better than last seasons’ 88 points and second from the bottom in the Central division.