David Poile addressed the media for the final time before heading out to Newark, New Jersey for this Sunday's NHL Draft. Poile did express his thoughts on the upcoming draft, but he also dipped into the free agency situation for the Predators.
July 5th is free agency day, when restricted free agents become unrestricted free agents if they haven't received a qualifying offer sheet. The only player Poile has qualified as of now is Nick Spaling. However, Poile did say he has had trouble re-signing him.
Spaling missed only one game last season and totaled 13 points (9g, 4a) as third/fourth line role player. The 24 year old is a key player on the team's penalty kill and is likable in the locker room. Before the 2011-12 season, the 58th overall pick in the 2007 draft signed a two-year, $2.1 million contract. Now that the deal is up, Spaling is probably looking for more money.
Other RFAs on the Nashville roster include defenseman Jonathon Blum and forward Matt Halischuk. The Predators have yet to qualify them, but Poile said he will not let them leave without getting something in return. Poile has until July 2 to senf them an offer.
- Recently acquired defenseman TJ Brennan has yet to have been signed by the Preds and there was no mention of him during the press conference. Bobby Butler, who they traded to the Florida Panthers for Brennan, has already signed a two-year deal with his new club. It is quite possible, Poile loses on this deal.
- Goaltender Jeremy Smith is no longer going to have a future with the Preds' organization. Poile said he will let Smith go in a different direction. Smith did not play a game for the NHL club, but was huge for the Admirals in past years. However, due to Magnus Hellberg and Marek Mazanec quickly developing, Smith has been left in the dust.
- Lastly, Poile said he would not use his compliance buyouts. Wednesday at 11pm CT is when buyouts can become official. The only possible player who could be bought out is Sergei Kostitsyn, but that is most likely no longer an option.
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