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Nashville Predators Offseason Recap

by Jimi Russell / Nashville Predators recaps some of the events this offseason as we prepare for the Nashville Predators 2012-13 season. 

April 20, 2012: With a 2-1 victory at Bridgestone Arena, the Predators eliminate the Detroit Red Wings in five games of their Western Conference Quarterfinal Series. Not only is it the shortest series victory in franchise history, but marks the first postseason win over the team long looked to as toast of the Central Division.

May 7, 2012:The Predators fell, 2-1, to the Phoenix Coyotes in Game Five of the Western Conference Semifinals. The Predators were the only team in the Western Conference to advance to the second round in both 2011 and 2012.

June 20, 2012: For the second consecutive season, four members of the organization are finalists at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas. Mike Fisher became the second award winner in franchise history, earning the NHL Foundation Award which recognizes an NHL player who applies the core values of hockey – commitment, perseverance and teamwork – to enrich the lives of people in his community. Both Pekka Rinne (Vezina) and Shea Weber (Norris) are finalists for awards given to the top players at their respective positions, while David Poile is nominated for the GM of the Year Award for the third straight campaign.

June 22-23, 2012:The Nashville Predators select forwards Pontus Aberg, Max Gortz, Brendan Leipsic, Colton Sissons, Zach Stepan and Jimmy Vesey, defensemen Simon Fernholm and Mikko Vainonen, and goaltender Marek Mazanec in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

June 28, 2012: Veteran defenseman Hal Gill signs a two-year contract extension with the Preds. The 37-year-old suited up for 23 regular season games and five playoff games for Nashville in 2011-12, posting five assists in those contests. Gill has played in 1,070 regular season games with Boston, Toronto, Pittsburgh, Montreal and Nashville.

June 30, 2012:Paul Gaustad signs a four-year contract extension with Nashville. Gaustad had four assists in 14 games for Nashville in 2011-12, and added a goal and an assist in 10 playoff games. Gaustad ranked among the League’s Top 10 in the faceoff circle again in 2011-12 (7th, 57.3 percent). He finished among the League’s faceoff leaders in 2010-11 (3rd, 59.8 percent) and 2009-10 (6th, 57.4 percent).

  July 1, 2012: Nashville signs free-agent goaltender Chris Mason. The 2012-13 season will be Mason’s third stint with the club after being acquired via trade in 1998 and through waivers in 2003. He has posted a 58-43-12 record with a 2.61 goals-against average and a .913 save percentage in 135 games with the Predators (1998-2002, 2003-08).

Forward/Enforcer Brian McGrattan was also signed to a one-year contract. In 30 games for the Predators in 2011-12, McGrattan posted two assists and 61 penalty minutes.

July 23, 2012:Sergei Kostitsyn signs a two-year contract extension. He posted 43 points (17g-26a) in 75 games during the 2011-12 campaign, one year after leading the Preds in goals (23) and tying for the team lead in points (50). Kostitsyn also ranked 10th in the NHL in shooting percentage (17.5 percent) in 2011-12.

July 24, 2012:
In the most important hockey transaction in franchise history, the Predators match the 14-year, $110 million offer sheet to captain Shea Weber. It is the second largest contract in NHL history.

Perhaps overshadowed by the Weber signing was the news that forward Colin Wilson signed a three-year contract extension with the Preds. Wilson enjoyed a career-year in 2011-12, posting a career-high 35 points (15g-20a) in 68 games.

August 17, 2012:The Predators sign free-agent defenseman Scott Hannan to a one-year deal. The 33-year-old posted 12 points (2g-10a) with Calgary in 2011-12. Hannan has 33 goals, 164 assists and 522 penalty minutes in 908 career regular season games with San Jose, Colorado, Washington and Calgary.

August 20, 2012: Center Mike Fisher signs a two-year contract extension with the Preds. Fisher ranked second on the team in goals (24) and third in points (51) during the 2011-12 campaign – his first full season with the club – and added four points (1g-4a) in 10 playoff games.

September 13, 2012:Defenseman Jonathon Blum signs a one-year, two-way contract with the Preds. Blum posted seven points (3g-4a) in 33 games for the Predators in 2011-13. In 56 career regular-season NHL games, he has tallied 15 points (6g-9a).

September 14, 2012:Nashville signs forward Gabriel Bourque to a two-year contract extension. Bourque had seven goals and 12 assists in 43 games as a rookie in 2011-12, and added three goals and two assists in 10 playoff games.

The Preds sign defenseman Kevin Klein to a five-year contract extension. Klein had four goals and 17 assists in 66 regular-season games during the 2011-12 campaign, and added two goals and two assists in 10 playoff games.

Forward Craig Smith signs a two-year contract extension. Smith posted a rookie franchise record with 10 road goals in 2011-12 and finished the season with 36 points (14g-22a), ranking him second all-time in franchise rookie scoring.

September 15, 2012: The Collective Bargaining Agreement – which had been in place since the 2005-06 season – expires.

January 6, 2013:The NHL and the Players’ Association reach a tentative agreement on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

January 7-11, 2013:Players begin skating at Centennial Sportsplex to prepare for the upcoming season.

January 12, 2013: The NHL and the Players' Association sign Memorandum of Understanding on new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

January 13, 2013: The Nashville Predators open training camp for the 2012-13 season.

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