Predators make free agency splash by signing 2023 playoff MVP Jonathan Marchessault


The Nashville Predators made a big splash in the opening moments of NHL free agency Monday by signing Jonathan Marchessault.

The 2023 playoff MVP got a five-year deal worth $27.5 million, according to a person familiar with the contract. The Predators also signed defenseman Brady Skjei to a $49 million, seven-year contract according to a different person with knowledge of the contract. Both spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deals have not been announced.

Marchessault leaves Vegas after being an original member of the expansion Golden Knights in 2017 and helping them reach the final twice and win the Stanley Cup once.

The Predators were expected to continue to be active in signing free agents, with former Lightning captain Steven Stamkos also on their radar.

Jake Guentzel did not need to wait until NHL free agency got underway to find a new home.

Guentzel signed a $63 million, seven-year contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning after they acquired his rights from Carolina over the weekend. Guentzel will count $9 million against the salary cap through 2031.

“Things just didn’t work out in Carolina, and then I heard Tampa might be trading for my rights, so obviously I got really excited because everyone hears how good of a team and good of a spot this is,” Guentzel said. “The pedigree behind Tampa Bay, the winning culture — just a lot of high-end players that really make it intriguing to come to Tampa.”

Free agency opened with Guentzel, Stanley Cup-clinching goal scorer Sam Reinhart and standout defenseman Chris Tanev all off the board.

Tampa Bay traded defensemen Mikhail Sergachev to Utah and depth forward Tanner Jeannot to Los Angeles to clear significant cap space. But the team and Stamkos’ camp could not come to terms to keep the 2008 No. 1 pick around.

It’s part of the business: You’re not really sure what’s going to happen,” Guentzel said of Stamkos. “He’s a Hall of Famer, he’s a special player. I have the utmost respect or the guy. He’s just an unbelievable player.”

Hours after a rainy rally celebrating their Stanley Cup title, the Florida Panthers beat the midnight buzzer to re-sign Sam Reinhart to an eight-year contract worth $69 million, an annual cap hit of $8.625 million for a player coming off a 57-goal regular season.

“Since coming to South Florida, Sam has demonstrated his ability to be a powerful scoring threat while maintaining strong defensive play,” general manager Bill Zito said of Reinhart, who also scored Florida’s Cup-clinching goal. “His versatility and value as a player are only outshined by his premier personality and work ethic, and we are pleased to have him continue on with our group.”

After Patrick Kane re-signed with Detroit on Sunday night, a handful of other teams kept key players around.

Jordan Martinook is re-signing with the Hurricanes on a three-year deal worth $9.15 million, according to a person with knowledge of the contract. Erik Johnson is staying with the Philadelphia Flyers on a $1 million contract for next season, according to another person familiar with that deal.

The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the contracts had not been announced.

Edmonton, which lost to the Panthers in seven games in the Cup final, re-signed versatile depth forward Connor Brown to a one-year contract for $1 million. Brown, who tore the ACL in his left knee in October 2022, had a goal and an assist in the final.

Toronto, which traded for Tanev’s rights at the draft over the weekend, quickly signed him to a six-year contract worth $27 million that counts $6.5 million against the salary cap through 2030.

“Everyone knows how hard he is to play against and what a warrior and competitive he is,” forward Max Domi, who re-signed with the Leafs on Sunday for the next four years, said of Tanev. “He’s going to be a big part of this team for a long time, obviously, and a big part of our success.”

The Leafs also signed goaltender Joseph Woll, a restricted free agent, to a three-year extension for just under $11 million.

___

AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl



Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top