Predators defenseman Ville Koistinen was awarded a one-year contract at $700,000 as part of the NHL’s arbitration process. Koistinen’s arbitration case was heard by an independent arbitrator on Monday (July 28) in Toronto. Koistinen was a restricted free agent this summer and filed for arbitration prior to the July 5 player deadline.
With the award announced, the contract is in the process of being signed by both Koistinen and the Predators and should be finalized by NHL's Central Registry in the coming days. With the deal, Nashville now returns seven of its eight defensemen from last season, having signed Kevin Klein
, Ryan Suter
, and Shea Weber
earlier this off-season to go along with Greg de Vries, Dan Hamhuis, and Greg Zanon each of whom had time remaining on his contract.
Koistinen, 26 (6/17/82), played his first National Hockey League season in 2007-08, registering 17 points (4g-13a) in 48 games. The Tampere, Finland native ranked second on the club and tied for third among rookies in plus/minus rating (+13) in addition to tying for second among Nashville blueliners in power-play points (2g-9a-11pts). The 5-11, 190-pound d-man also earned a bronze medal while representing Finland at the 2008 World Championships in May 2008.
Signed as a free agent on May 18, 2006, Koistinen played his first season in North America with Milwaukee in 2006-07 and was named to the PlanetUSA squad at the 2007 AHL All-Star Classic. Prior to joining the Predators organization, Koistinen played eight seasons in the Ilves Tampere system in his homeland.