Sport Nashville Predators Ink Mikael Granlund to Four-Year Deal
NHL Free Agency 2021: Every signing by all 32 teams
The NHL free agent market opened Wednesday, July 28.• Canadiens sign Nick Suzuki to an eight-year, $63 million deal.
Mikael Granlund isn't quite the offensive producer he once was, but his re-signing in Nashville gives the Predators stability down the middle going into 2021-22.
So, it turns out “kicking the can down the road” isn’t just a fun game everyone played when they were kids; it's also an effective strategy for elite athletes to employ to navigate the (previously) unforgiving COVID-budget landscape.
As reported by Hockey Night in Canada’s Elliotte Friedman, Finnish center Mikael Granlund has signed a four-year, $20-million deal to return to the Nashville Predators, with whom he’s spent the past two-and-a-half seasons.
Ryan Poehling nets two goals in 37 seconds as Canadiens roll
Ryan Poehling nets two goals in 37 seconds as Canadiens rollTyler Toffoli collected a goal and two assists, Artturi Lehkonen had one of each and Christian Dvorak and Brendan Gallagher also tallied as the Canadiens halted a four-game losing skid (0-3-1).
Granlund was originally selected ninth overall by the Minnesota Wild in the 2010 draft. He has called the Music City home since a Feb. 25, 2019, trade sent him from the Wild to Nashville in exchange for Kevin Fiala.
Despite being a top point-producer during his time with Minnesota – Granlund ranked 34th among all NHLers in scoring between 2016-17 and his 2019 trade – he struggled to find that same offensive efficacy in Nashville. He has 31 goals and 62 points in 130 games so far as a member of the Predators
Granlund was a UFA for the first time in his career last off-season. With it being the first off-season under the COVID-19 budget crunch, Granlund was one of several prominent free agents who took short-term deals in order to do it all again in a more hospitable cap environment. In December of 2020, Granlund inked a one-year deal with the Predators that would pay him $3.75 million.
NHL roundup: Filip Forsberg's 4-goal night propels Predators
NHL roundup: Filip Forsberg's 4-goal night propels PredatorsYakov Trenin and Nick Cousins also scored for the Predators, and goaltender Juuse Saros made 27 saves for his first shutout of the season and the 15th of his career.
His numbers from this past season – 13 goals and 27 points in 51 games – don’t immediately jump off the page. But one should remember that paced him to a fourth-place finish on the Predators in scoring. In the Predators' first-round playoff loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, Granlund tied for the team-lead in scoring, with two goals and five points in six games. He averaged nearly 24 minutes a night in the post-season (though that series did feature a lot of overtime). That was clearly indicative of the trust he’d earned from coach John Hynes. Granlund was deployed in all situations throughout the entirety of the 2020-21 campaign.
Granlund will turn 33 midway through the final season of his four-year deal. While the offensive prowess he once showed probably doesn't return to its peak level in Nashville, he's an effective player, and his signing shouldn't be a detriment to the Predators' plans. He could reclaim some of that offensive production should Nashville be able to add a weapon to its attack.
Britain see off France in Davis Cup, Kazakhs close on quarters .
Britain opened their Davis Cup Finals campaign with a 2-1 victory over 10-time winners France in Innsbruck on Saturday, while Kazakhstan fought back to beat Sweden and edge towards the quarter-finals. - Kazakhs claim opening win - Kazakhstan could be surprise quarter-finalists, if they beat a much-weakened Canada team on Sunday, after pulling off a 2-1 win over Sweden. The Swedish singles duo of brothers Elias and Mikael Ymer looked on course to win their second successive match after disposing of Canada 3-0 in the opener.Elias eased past Mikhail Kukushkin in straight sets 6-3, 7-6 (7/4).