All four signings were reasonable, with little if any premium paid. This shows that the four involved were true believers in the "Predator Way" and want to be a part of it going forward. The hearing will still take place today in New York before independent arbitrator George Nicolau with Sergei Kostitsyn being the only relevant player under consideration .
Many feel that Kostitsyn is a key piece to this team but I beg to differ. While he had a big year and scored 23 goals and added 27 assists, he was absent when he was needed the most in the playoffs. He played 18 more games during the regular season than he has ever played before at any level. There is no guarantee of a repeat of those numbers.
The Preds are focusing on building a squad of thirty or so players that can play 82 games and then go four rounds deep in the playoffs, turning the volume up in each round. Kostitsyn did not prove he could do that so Poile is not going to pay him beyond what he is worth.
If it is determined that Kostitsyn is an RFA, the negotiations will continue and since he elected arbitration, the team will probably walk away from an award driven by recent "stupid" deals. So be it. There are other players hungrier than Sergei that will fit the bill.
If is determined that he is unrestricted then another team will pay him stupid money that much quicker, but it will not be the Predators. It probably won't be the Vancouver Canucks.
Whatever goodwill was lost with the whole NHLPA grievance filing should be well on the way to recovery with the fan base pleased with the four signings yesterday and the UFA pick-ups on Niclas Bergfors, Jack Stortini, and Kyle Wilson.
Bergfors has potential of a breakout season with some Preds love and Stortini will be the beloved big man who can fight and handle fourth line minutes too. Wilson is a wild car that is waiting for a breakout at the NHL level after proving all he can in the AHL.
Fans can now sit back and enjoy the summer and look forward to the Skate of the Union on Wednesday and wait for the announcement of the re-signing of Shea Weber that I'm betting will be announced before the SOTU so Shea can show up and model the new home golds that folks will fall in love with once they can see and touch the sweater.
For today's news and links, make the jump...
In Pred Nation...
Once again, the potential return of Alex Radulov is discussed by Josh Cooper in a discussion with David Poile who has been consistent in ruling out a return for this season but is optimistic fro 2012-12..
Dirk Hoag heads over to Arctic Ice Hockey to do some higher math on the value of zone starts, Corsi and other statistics. He also had afternoon links and more this morning.
Puck Daddy picked up on the Preds' marketing to the displaced Thrasher fans and has the details.
Mark Willoughby has the weekly "My View" where we find amidst all the government misdeeds that he and Buddha ave a lot in common.
Those in Milwaukee will have a chance to meet new coach Kirk Muller at Summerfest tonight.
Around the NHL...
Yesterday's signings were highlighted by the four Predators RFAs along with Ex-Pred Alexander Sulzer becoming a Canuck. The Flyers also locked up Wayne Simmonds for two years after picking him up in the Richards trade.
One move that didn't big headlines was the Detroit Red Wings signing free agent forward Chris Conner to a one-year two-way contract. Oddly enough, the Preds blogger clan seemed to run into Chris at every turn in Las Vegas when we were there for the awards show. He was there vacationing with his girlfriend and we were all hopeful that he would find his way to the Preds as he is a true Preds type player.
Pro Hockey Talk may have one of the more interesting posts of the day with a potential slip of the tongue from Craig Leipold that gives a hint to a new realignment framework.
George Makik says that he expects to hear who the Red Wings pick for new coaches as well as what will happen with Chris Osgood and Kris Draper either today or over the weekend.
Ryan Porth looks at vacant captain slots and who should fill them. He also takes a look at the St. Louis Blues becoming a competitive team in the Western Conference.
All female hockey fans should check out Michelle Kenneth's campaign for proper women's sizing in hockey wear. This has been an ongoing issue and designers need to pay attention.
Michael Langlois looks at the NHL on the road to destruction with crazy money contracts. Nick Cotsonika furthers the point with reasons at to why it occurred.
Adrian Dater has video proof that Semyon Varlamov is indeed in Colorado and in an Avs uniform with the #1. Here's the full story. Hopefully Varley won't start talking about Denver women being fat like he did in Washington.
The Maple Leafs have an exchange program worked out with the Mannheim Eagles in Germany to trade a couple of players and coaches for their summer camps.
Joe Yerdon looks at the thinning ranks of quality UFA's. He also has a story about Craig Ramsay being rightfully pissed at the Winnipeg management team.
All the hurdles have been overcome on the August 1 referendum on the new arena for Long Island.
Justin Bourne has the proper etiquette for summer hockey.
Jeff Marek made a quick transition to Rogers. here is his debut video.
For what it's worth, the NHL and KHL signed a new pact regarding player movement.
There is an ongoing battle in Boston between sports stations NESN and CSNNE for local sports superiority.
The case against the octopi thrower during the playoffs was dismissed due to the officer not showing up. Do you think Wings fans detained him?
James "Tapeleg" Gralien's Dead Blog Challenge has wrapped up and here are the results.
In the age of social media, rioters in Vancouver are getting caught from pictures and videos posted on the Internet.
Odds and Ends...
The last space shuttle is set to launch today at 10:26 a.m. CDT barring weather issues that don't look promising. The Space Coast is jammed with tourist from around the world hoping to see the final launch of the Shuttle that has served the country for almost thirty years as the only US vehicle used for manned missions since the Apollo program.
This is an interesting concept where a company encourages innovation and risk taking with a "Best New Mistake" Award.
If you planning on getting a new Droid 3 which Verizon released yesterday here are 20 "how to" videos.
Used soap is a big charitable donation for Nashville hotels. This really makes sense.
Mark Zuckerberg explains his "Law of Social Sharing."
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass