Nashville Predators general manager David Poille said Sunday at the 2013 NHL Draft he was satisfied with his team's goaltenders and defensemen, but wanted to add to his forward corps.
Poile didn't waste a lot of time Friday on the first day of free agency before doing just that. The Predators have agreed to a four-year contracts with wings Viktor Stalberg and Eric Nystrom, a two-year deal with center Matt Cullen and a four-year contract with center Matt Hendricks. The Predators also added a potential backup goaltender in Carter Hutton on a one-year, two-way deal.
The deal with Stalberg is worth $12 million, per a team release, and TSN's Aaron Ward reported the Cullen contract is for $7 million. Joshua Cooper of the Tennessean reported the Predators have inked Hendricks, and ESPN the Magazine's Craig Custance reported the deal is for $1.85 million per season.
Stalberg won a Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks this past season, chipping in with three assists in 19 playoff games for coach Joel Quenneville. The 27-year-old right wing had nine goals, 23 points and a plus-16 rating in 47 regular-season games for the Blackhawks -- the team for which he spent the past three seasons.
Stalberg was drafted in the sixth round (No. 161) by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2006, collecting nine goals and 14 points with the Leafs in 2009-10. He has 52 goals and 104 points in 243 career regular-season games.
Nystrom, 30, had seven goals and 11 points while playing in all 48 games in 2012-13 for the Dallas Stars. The No. 10 pick in the 2002 NHL Draft by the Calgary Flames, he has 46 goals and 83 points in 408 NHL games for the Flames, Minnesota Wild and Stars.
Cullen, 36, had seven goals and 27 points in 42 games for the Minnesota Wild this past season. He has 202 goals and 562 points in 1073 career NHL games, and won the Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006.
Hendricks, 32, had five goals and eight points in 48 games for the Washington Capitals this past season. He has spent the past three years with Washington, playing mostly on the fourth line, but he was also akey figure on the team's penalty-killing unit and is one of the League's top players in the shootout.
Hutton, 27, appeared in one game for the Chicago Blackhawks last season but spent most of the campaign with the Rockford IceHogs in the American Hockey League. He was 26-22-1 record, a 2.72 goals-against average, a .908 save percentage with Rockford, and could be the backup to Pekka Rinne for Nashville.
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