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Free Agents Grimaldi, Sissons, Boyle Express Desire to Remain with Preds

Predators Intend to Begin Contract Negotiations with Josi This Summer

by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten / Senior Communications & Content Coordinator

As soon as the on-ice work concludes, the offseason tasks commence.

Those undertakings began on Thursday for Predators General Manager David Poile and his staff, starting with individual meetings with every player to discuss the highs and lows of the past eight months, what to work on this summer and what the future might hold.

For a few on the Nashville roster, a new contract is also in order. In total, seven skaters, who saw NHL action with the Predators this season, will need to sign a deal for the 2019-20 campaign, whether it be in Tennessee or elsewhere.

Brian Boyle, Wayne Simmonds, Cody McLeod and Zac Rinaldo are unrestricted free agents, while Colton Sissons, Rocco Grimaldi and Phillip Di Giuseppe are restricted free agents.

The first four are eligible to field offers from all other NHL teams, as well as the Preds, if Nashville chooses to do so. The latter three must receive a qualifying offer from the Predators, a way to signal the club's intentions to re-sign the player.

In the case of Grimaldi, who signed a one-year deal with the Predators last summer and eventually became a mainstay on the NHL roster, the feelings are mutual when it comes to a desire to remain in Nashville.

Video: Grimaldi says he wants to re-sign with Predators

Both sides expressed the intention to do so when the topic was raised during Wednesday's final media availability of the season, with Preds General Manager David Poile stating a new contract for Grimaldi is certainly on the to-do list.

"For a guy that never made the team out of training camp, he was terrific," Poile said of Grimaldi. "He was one of, if not our best forward in the playoffs, and by production he was. He's a restricted free agent, and we have every intention to re-sign him."

"They've given me a chance to play and try to prove myself, to prove that I belong and that's all that I can ask for," Grimaldi said Wednesday. "They gave me an opportunity and from there it's what I've done with it. I love it here, it's a great city, the fans have been super awesome to me and to my family and it's a great place. If [signing me to a new deal] is something they're going to pursue I'm definitely open to it."

Video: Colton Sissons: We expected a lot more of ourselves

Sissons fully expects to be back as well in the only NHL city he's ever known, a place where he's developed into an integral part of the Predators lineup.

"I love being a Predator, I love the city and I love the people here," Sissons said. "I've invested a lot into the team and what I bring to the table every day, so we'll get something done."

Boyle also expressed a desire to stay in Nashville, and while there's never a guarantee conserving his situation as a UFA, the 34-year-old certainly made a positive impression on the organization during his time here with his play and personality.

Video: Boyle says Preds had elements of becoming Cup winners

"This was a phenomenal place to play," Boyle said. "I really enjoyed it. I think what we have as a group is - we should've done more, which is disappointing, but it's still there. I'd love to be a part of that. I very much enjoyed my time here and it's an adjustment, the transition, getting moved, but like I said, I was welcomed in and the comfortability from day one was something that really stood out to me."

While players like Grimaldi, Sissons and Boyle have more pressing contract needs, there is another player who will also be on Poile's radar this summer.

Preds Captain Roman Josi is eligible to sign a contract extension on July 1, one year ahead of his current deal expiring. The Predators got a deal done with fellow defenseman Ryan Ellis last summer prior to the start of the season, something Poile would prefer to do once more.

"Yes, we'll be talking to Roman and his agent," Poile said emphatically when asked on Wednesday. "July 1 is the date, and we'll be talking to them then."

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