NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Free agency in the National Hockey League started Saturday and the Nashville Predators first order of business was signing former Pittsburgh Penguin Nick Bonino. The 29-year-old center agreed to a 4-year, $16.4 million contract.
Bonino is a two-time Stanley Cup Champion and will be the only player on the Predators roster with a Stanley Cup. In game two of the Stanley Cup Final he to took a slap shot off his foot from P.K. Subban breaking his tibia. But, Bonino said the city of Nashville made him want to keep playing the rest of the series because the crowd was amazing.
“I was trying to play on a broken leg,” said Bonino. “I’ve been in the league long enough to see how great a city Nashville is.”
General Manager David Poile praised the addition of Bonino and suggests he could be playing on the second line. “With Nick Bonino it was a huge hole for us to fill it gives us a lot of flexibility with our lineup.”
Poile said, “I think we really are strong down the middle for the first time in a long time this might be as good as center ice as we’ve ever had.”
Nashville also signed former Predators Scott Hartnell. After being bought out by the Columbus Blue Jackets, things came full circle for the forward. He started his career with the Predators but after a decade elsewhere, Hartnell is back on a 1-year, $1 million contract.
What’s old is now new again. The Predators signed Goalie Anders Lindback to one-year, two-way contract for his second return to the organization. And they added more depth in net by signing Matt O’Connor to a one-year, two- way contract.
But Poile wasn’t done. He sent a 2019 third-round draft pick to the Las Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for defenseman Alexei Emelin.