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Offseason Recap: Preds Make Trades, Signings, Selections and Improvements

Relive All the Highlights from the Summer of 2019 in Smashville

by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten / Senior Communications & Content Coordinator

If we're dealing in technicalities, summer doesn't officially end until the autumnal equinox arrives on Sept. 23.

The 24 players scheduled to arrive in Nashville for Predators Rookie Camp next week would likely tell you otherwise - as would the veterans who will be back on the ice the week after that.

If you're a hockey fan, summer is over, and it's undoubtedly a welcome realization. And even if you're not heading back to school, you may find a study guide of sorts will come in handy to recall everything that took place over the past few months.

So, before the Preds are back for good, enjoy this look back at the offseason happenings in Smashville.

May 1: Preds Sign Forward Mathieu Olivier to Two-Year, Entry-Level Contract

The 22-year-old inked his first deal with the Preds after recording 12 points in 54 games with the Milwaukee Admirals last season. A physical player, who also posted 91 penalty minutes with the Ads, Olivier has all the traits of a fan-favorite and figures to contribute in Milwaukee again this season.

Video: Preds Foundation 2019 grant recipient ceremony

May 3: Preds Foundation Distributes Record-Breaking Sum to Local Charities

The Nashville Predators Foundation set another record this past spring when it distributed $675,962 in grants across 145 Nashville and Middle Tennessee-based community service and charitable organizations. The 2019 donation marked the 13th consecutive year the Foundation has surpassed the previous year's total.

May 16: Bridgestone Arena, Metro Nashville Reveal Proposal for New 30-Year Lease

Ultimately approved in June, Powers Management (the company which operates Bridgestone Arena) and Metro Nashville and the Sports Authority announced a proposed lease that relieves taxpayers of financial responsibility for Bridgestone Arena. At the same time, the Sports Authority executed a tenancy agreement with the team that ensures Nashville's team, the Nashville Predators, will remain at Bridgestone Arena for the next 30 years.

May 26: Turris, Fabbro Earn Silver Medal with Canada at IIHF World Championship

Preds forward Kyle Turris and defenseman Dante Fabbro earned silver medals with Canada at the 2019 IIHF World Championship.

Turris, who captained the Canadians at the 2019 Worlds, had a stellar tournament and finished with four goals and 10 points in 10 games. Fabbro, who began the tournament as Canada's seventh defenseman, worked his way onto a pairing with Shea Theodore and posted one goal and three points overall.

The Predators had five representatives at the World Championship this year. In addition to the Canadian duo, Roman Josi and Yannick Weber played for Switzerland, while Mattias Ekholm represented Sweden.

May 29: Predators Sign Jarred Tinordi to Two-Year, Two-Way Contract

After captaining the Milwaukee Admirals last season, Tinordi earned himself a two-year deal to remain in the Nashville system. A defenseman, who made a positive impact on teammates and coaches, Tinordi posted career highs in goals (8), points (22) and games played (75) in 2018-19.

May 29: Predators Enter Affiliation with ECHL's Florida Everblades

The Preds decided to team up with one of the most successful franchises in ECHL history when they signed an affiliation agreement with the Everblades. The Blades will function as a developmental affiliate for Nashville and its primary developmental affiliate, the AHL's Milwaukee Admirals.

June 4: Predators Hire Dan Lambert as Assistant Coach

Following a season that saw the Preds frequently struggle on the power play, there was talk of a potential addition to the coaching staff in an effort to solve the problem. Enter Dan Lambert.

"Dan is an experienced, passionate coach and will nicely round out our coaching staff in 2019-20 and beyond," Predators General Manager David Poile said. "Having enjoyed a lengthy career as a player and now a coach, he has had success at every level running the power play, and we look forward to adding his knowledge and insight in this area to the organization."

A former assistant coach with the Buffalo Sabres, Lambert was the head coach of the WHL's Spokane Chiefs over the past two seasons, leading the club to boast the league's best power play in the regular and postseason.

"I'm thrilled and very excited to be joining the Nashville Predators and want to thank the organization and David Poile for giving me this opportunity," Lambert said. "Getting the opportunity to work with the players, coaches and hockey operations staff that Nashville has is something I'm really looking forward to. Home games in Nashville have such an amazing, energetic atmosphere and my family and I are so excited for the chance to be a part of that."

June 14: Predators Acquire Goaltender Connor Ingram from Tampa Bay

The Preds acquired a promising, young goaltender in Ingram when they sent a seventh-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft back to Tampa Bay to complete the deal. Ingram was tied for the AHL lead with six shutouts last season and figures to compete for the starting job in Milwaukee this season.

June 18: Predators Add Scuderi, Bordeleau, Rook to Hockey Operations Staff

Nashville gave their prospects some experienced voices when they hired Rob Scuderi as a defense development coach, Sebastien Bordeleau as a forward development coach and Dave Rook as a goaltending development coach.

In their roles, they will assist Director of Player Development/Milwaukee Admirals GM Scott Nichol in following and evaluating prospects drafted by Nashville, helping them with their maturation process into NHL players by focusing on nutrition, off-ice workouts and conditioning, practice habits and game performance.

Scuderi and Bordeleau are both former NHLers, the latter of whom was an original Predator when the team began play in 1998. Scuderi is a two-time Stanley Cup Champion, while Bordeleau served as a skills coach with the Canadiens over the past two seasons. Rook has served as a goaltending consultant for the Predators organization for the past five campaigns.

Video: Behind-the-scenes footage from the 2019 NHL Draft

June 21-22: Preds Select Eight at 2019 NHL Draft in Vancouver

First-round pick Philip Tomasino headlined Nashville's weekend at the 2019 NHL Draft that saw them select five forwards, two defensemen and one goaltender over a span of two days. In addition to Tomasino, Nashville called the names of Egor Afanasyev, Alexander Campbell, Marc Del Gaizo, Semyon Chistyakov, Ethan Haider, Isak Walther and Juuso Parssinen.

"We're happy with the way this year's draft went," Predators Assistant General Manager and Director of Scouting Jeff Kealty said. "We kind of had to adjust things on the fly a little bit with the trade that went down, but we were ready for it. We were prepared, and we thought we got a lot of guys we targeted and talked about. That's always what you hope for. Time will tell - it takes a few years for it all to play out - but we were happy with the way the weekend went."

June 22: Preds Acquire Santini, Davies and Two Draft Picks for P.K. Subban

When Predators General Manager David Poile held his season-ending press conference back in April, he stated there could be some changes to his club in the coming months.

On the morning of June 22 at the NHL Draft in Vancouver, Poile made a move.

The Predators traded defenseman P.K. Subban to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for defensemen Steven Santini, Jeremy Davies, New Jersey's second-round pick (No. 34) in the 2019 NHL Draft and New Jersey's second-round pick in the 2020 Draft.

In a perfect world, the Predators would be able to keep every player on their roster without any implications. However, that's simply not how it works in a league with a salary cap.

"We appreciate P.K.'s contribution to the Predators and the Nashville community over the past three seasons, which have seen our organization have unprecedented success," Poile said. "He was an integral part of our run to the 2017 Stanley Cup Final, the 2018 Presidents' Trophy and back-to-back Central Division titles. His work off the ice speaks for itself - he was an impactful member of our community, especially through the groundbreaking Blueline Buddies initiative.

"We had to make a business decision. With an aim at strengthening our forward corps this offseason, and the continued strength of our defensive group, we felt it was necessary to clear up salary cap space this way."

Video: Preds center Matt Duchene is introduced in Nashville

July 1: Preds Sign Forward Matt Duchene to Seven-Year Contract

In a deal that almost seemed inevitable, the Predators got their man in Matt Duchene, who inked a seven-year, $56 million contract with Nashville as free agency opened. One of the top acquisitions of the summer across the entire NHL, Duchene gives the Preds a one-two punch at the center position like the club has never seen before.

"Our objective this offseason was to bolster our offense, and signing Matt Duchene gives us another dynamic goal-scoring, playmaking center," Preds GM David Poile said. "We are excited to add his skill and experience to our top-six forwards and look forward to the next seven years of Matt and his family in Smashville. Matt's love of country music and passion for the city of Nashville make this partnership a perfect fit."

July 1: Preds Sign Forward Daniel Carr to One-Year Contract

Duchene wasn't the only deal the Preds made on July 1, as they inked the 2018-19 AHL MVP to a one-year, $700,000 contract. Carr recorded 30 goals and 71 points for the Chicago Wolves last season, and Poile believes the forward has the capabilities to make Nashville's Opening-Night roster.

July 23: Predators Sign Forward Colton Sissons to Seven-Year Contract

The Preds avoided arbitration and locked down arguably their most versatile forward with a seven-year, $20 million contract to keep him in Nashville through 2025-26.

"Colton will be an important part of our team for the next seven seasons, and we are happy he has made a long-term commitment to our organization and the city the Nashville," Poile said. "He's a heart and soul player who is versatile and can fill many important roles on our team, including on the penalty kill and power play. His offensive production has increased each season, and he remains an integral part of our defensive structure down the middle of the ice. Colton is also an up-and-coming leader in our organization, which is something we value strongly."

August 6: Predators Sign Rocco Grimaldi to One-Year Contract

Fan-favorite Rocco Grimaldi will be returning this season thanks to a one-year, $1 million contract. The terms of the contract were based on the award of an independent arbitrator who heard the case on August 4. Grimaldi established career highs in games played (53), goals (5), assists (8) and points (13) this season with the Predators and added three more tallies in the playoffs.

All Summer Long: Predators, Bridgestone Arena Install New Scoreboard

The best in-game experience in sports is about to get even better.

It'll be impossible for Predators fans to miss Bridgestone Arena's newest toy when they enter the building and step into the bowl this fall with more than 4.2 million new LED pixels hanging above the ice.

Under construction for the past few weeks, a massive center-hung scoreboard will be fully operational in time for the 2019-20 season, and it's going to be spectacular.

With the old Megatron that had occupied the building since the 2007-08 season now dismantled and shipped out, the new structure boasts a 292 percent increase in primary board size, a 424 percent increase in resolution and a 1,787 percent increase in the number of LED pixels compared to the previous scoreboard.

Translation: It's going to be awesome.

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