Nashville Predators Player News: All Positions

News: Lane inked a one-year deal with Italian club Ritten Sport on Tuesday.
Impact: Lane struggled to earn a spot with AHL Milwaukee last season, instead spending the bulk of the year in the minors with ECHL Atlanta. After a four-year career at Boston University, the undrafted center tried to earn his way into an NHL deal, but was unable to recreate his collegiate success. The move overseas all but closes the door on an NHL appearance for the 25-year-old.
News: Sissons filed for arbitration Friday.
Impact: After collecting 30 points in 2018-19, Sissons is due for a raise on his $650,000 salary from a year ago. Expect him and the Predators to iron out a deal before the arbitration hearing.
News: Helewka signed a one-year contract with Barys Nur-Sultan (KHL) on Thursday.
Impact: Since being drafted by the Sharks in the fourth round of the 2015 NHL Draft, Helewka has been traded three times before the Devils finally waived him in order to terminate his contract. At just 23 years of age, the door certainly isn't shut on a return to the NHL, but he will have to put together a solid KHL season in order to earn a look from one of the league's 31 clubs.
News: Duchene signed a seven-year, $56 million contract with the Predators on Monday, Adam Vingan of The Athletic reports.
Impact: Nashville already has all of its defensive regulars under contract for the 2019-20 season, so it makes sense that the Predators would turn their attention to bolstering the top-six forward group upon this major signing of Duchene, with the average annual value on his contract ($8.0 million) matching that of revered assistant captain Ryan Johansen. The Predators averaged a putrid two goals per game in an abbreviated 2019 postseason run, meaning Duchene -- an accomplished top-six, power-play forward with a career average of 0.75 points per game between the Avalanche, Senators and Blue Jackets -- will be relied upon heavily, just as he was in his most recent stint with Columbus.
News: The Devils placed Helewka on unconditional waivers for the purpose of terminating his contract Thursday, Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports reports.
Impact: Helewka was just traded to New Jersey from the Predators in exchange for future considerations during the 2019 draft, but the Devils have clearly already decided he doesn't fit into their plans for the future. The 2015 fourth-round pick was pretty productive in the minors last campaign, racking up 50 points in 65 contests, so he shouldn't have much trouble landing a two-way deal with a different organization this offseason.
News: Kirkland did not receive a qualifying offer from Nashville ahead of Tuesday's deadline, Adam Vingan of The Athletic reports.
Impact: Since signing an entry-level deal with the Preds back in 2016, Kirkland, 22, has yet to make his NHL debut and instead has spent all of his time at the AHL level, scoring nine goals and tallying 21 assists in 75 appearances this past season with AHL Milwaukee. Set to become an unrestricted free agency, Kirkland will now have a chance to earn an NHL spot with a new club.
News: Grimaldi was qualified by Nashville on Tuesday, Adam Vingan of The Athletic reports.
Impact: Preds GM David Poile has gone on record as saying he has every intention of re-signing Grimaldi after the winger collected 13 points in 53 games this past season. At this point, nothing suggests Grimaldi won't be a Predator in 2019-20.
News: Sissons was qualified by Nashville ahead of Tuesday's deadline, Adam Vingan of The Athletic reports.
Impact: Sissons is coming off a 2018-19 campaign that saw him score 15 goals, a career-best for the 25-year-old winger. Look for Nashville to do all it can to hold onto him, but other teams will certainly be keeping tabs on the situation until it is resolved officially.
News: Baptiste wasn't given a qualifying offer from Toronto, making him a free agent, Chris Johnston of Sportsnet reports.
Impact: Baptiste didn't see any time with the big club last season, but put up 29 points in 73 AHL games. The NHL portion of his resume includes 10 points in 47 games with the Sabres. The 23-year-old won't likely make a fantasy impact with whichever team he signs with for the upcoming season.
News: Oligny wasn't tendered a qualifying offer by Winnipeg on Tuesday.
Impact: Olginy will be allowed to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, though he may not have many suitors. The blueliner notched 11 points in 48 AHL games this season and has yet to make his NHL debut.
News: Rinaldo will not rejoin the Predators during the 2019-20 season, Adam Vingan of The Athletic reports.
Impact: Rinaldo will thus hit free agency this offseason and explore opportunities with other clubs after drawing into just 23 games for the Predators last season. Regardless of where he lands, Rinaldo doesn't typically produce enough to warrant fantasy ownership in the vast majority of leagues, collecting just three points last year.
News: McLeod won't be retained by Nashville in free agency, Adam Vingan of The Athletic reports.
Impact: There's a good chance the aging enforcer has played his last NHL game, as McLeod's skill set simply isn't valued in today's NHL. He turns 35 later this month and was held to a single point in 38 games between the Rangers and Predators last season, adding 67 PIM.
News: Simmonds (lower body) won't be retained by the Predators in free agency, Adam Vingan of The Athletic reports.
Impact: Vingan had no update on the lower-body injury that cut Simmonds' time with the Predators short after he was acquired as a rental at the trade deadline. The injury shouldn't curtail interest in the veteran power forward, who can still bring a nice mix of skill and net-front presence. Nashville won't be among his suitors in free agency, even though the team has plenty of cap room after shipping out P.K. Subban's $9 million AAV to New Jersey at the draft.
News: Campbell was drafted 65th overall by the Predators at the 2019 NHL Entry Draft on Saturday.
Impact: Campbell spent this past season playing alongside 2019 Colorado first-round selection (19th overall) Alex Newhook with Vancouver of the BCHL. While his numbers were impressive (21 goals, 67 points in 53 games), the understandable concern is that many think Campbell's production was simply the result of riding Newhook's coattails. Campbell is a shifty offensive player in his own right and he rarely gets hit for a kid who is physically immature, but Campbell has a lot of questions to answer moving forward. He is a 2020-21 commit to Clarkson University.
News: Afanasyev was drafted 45th overall by the Predators at the 2019 NHL Entry Draft on Saturday.
Impact: NHL clubs salivate over massive 18-year-old kids with big shots and Afanasyev (6-foot-4) brings both those attributes to the table. Formerly committed to Michigan State and now set to play for OHL Windsor, Afanasyev is coming off a season in which he posted 24 goals in 56 games for Muskegon while being named to the USHL Top Prospects game. His decision to play major junior was a smart one given Michigan State's inability to further the development of offensive prospects over the past several years. Afanasyev needs to work on playing with a bit more pace to his game, but he has excellent hands for such a big kid.
News: Davies has been traded to Nashville from New Jersey in a package for P.K. Subban, reports TSN.ca.
Impact: Davies is an NCAA product who was considered one of the Devils' top two blue-line prospects. He's 5-foot-11 and 180 pounds, and he put up 22 goals and 72 assists (94 points) over a 111-game collegiate career. Davies should flourish in the Nashville system, as the Predators are the best at sourcing and developing blue-line talent. But he may also face fan outrage as part of what looks like a poor haul for a superstar defender. The deal also includes two second-round draft picks and fringe defender Steve Santini.
News: Santini has been traded to Nashville from New Jersey, along with Jeremy Davies and two second-round draft picks, in exchange for P.K. Subban, reports TSN.ca.
Impact: It's a huge deal, but a bit of a shocker. Santini is 24, but has been a fringe NHL defender to date. He had four points (one goal, three assists) in 39 games in 2018-19 and has 21 points in 114 games in his career. But there must be something to the guy's game for the defensive gurus in Nashville to want him. Santini may not be a fantasy play, but he could develop into the kind of on-ice presence that is the perfect fit in the NHL.
News: Tomasino was drafted 24th overall by the Predators at the 2019 NHL Entry Draft on Friday.
Impact: Tomasino is a great hockey player -- he has skill, smarts and speed. But as one of the youngest guys in the 2019 draft class, Tomasino still has a lot of growth left in his game. He needs to get stronger on the puck. That's a given. But his first three steps are slick and his strong vision allows him to be creative with the puck. Tomasino could eventually develop into one of the elite playmakers from the 2019 draft class. But that's several years away.
News: The Lightning traded Ingram to the Predators in exchange for a 2021 seventh-round pick Friday.
Impact: Ingram was a third-round selection by Tampa Bay in the 2016 NHL Draft, so the Predators are getting decent value here. Given Nashville's organizational depth, Ingram could struggle to earn minutes with AHL Milwaukee and may find himself still playing down in the ECHL, where he finished the 2018-19 campaign. With the Solar Bears, the 22-year-old went 8-2-0 with a 2.81 GAA.
News: O'Brien inked a one-year contact with Stjernen Hockey (Norway) on Thursday.
Impact: It will be the first taste of European hockey for O'Brien, who came up through the QMJHL. Selected by the Ducks in the fourth round of the 2012 NHL Draft, the blueliner was never able to break his way into the NHL, instead splitting time between the AHL and ECHL over the past six seasons. It's hard to imagine the 26-year-old will get another shot in North America, so he'll probably close out his career overseas.
News: Pettersson inked a two-year contract with Vaxjo Lakers HC (Sweden) on Thursday.
Impact: Pettersson returns to the Lakers after two seasons playing in the AHL with Milwaukee and Tucson. The center put up 24 goals and 60 helpers in 133 minor-league games, but evidently didn't like his chances of breaking into the Coyotes' lineup any time soon. Arizona may issue the 25-year-old a qualifying offer this summer in order to retain his rights should he decide to give North America another shot.
News: Tinordi has inked a two-year, two-way contract with the Predators, Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports reports.
Impact: The deal is worth $700,000 at the NHL level and $300,000 at the AHL level, but the latter number will likely be more relevant to Tinordi's future. The 26-year-old hasn't played in the NHL since the 2015-16 season, and with the depth Nashville has on defense that seems unlikely to change. Tinordi collected 22 points in 75 games last season with the AHL's Milwaukee Admirals.
News: Pyrochta signed a contract with Czech club HC Kometa Brno on Tuesday.
Impact: Pyrochta -- who was released by the Predators in early May -- will return to his native Czech Republic to continue his professional career. The 22-year-old was forced to split time between the AHL and ECHL this season, logging a total of 51 games in which he tallied a combined two goals and 11 helpers. Considering the blueliner failed to crack the Preds lineup, it's hard to imagine he will be returning to North America any time soon.
News: Pyrochta was placed on unconditional waivers Friday by Nashville in order to terminate his contract, Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports reports.
Impact: Pyrochta's first season playing in North America didn't exactly go to plan, as he appeared in just 30 AHL contests in which he notched zero goals, four assists and a minus-9 rating. The blueliner didn't fare much better with ECHL Atlanta, where he posted nine points in 21 outings. The 22-year-old will almost certainly return to his native Czech Republic if he wants to continue his professional career.
News: Fabbro (face) was back in action for Saturday's World Championship clash with Germany.
Impact: Fabbro likely won't see a ton of ice time in the tournament, but fantasy owners will be happy to see the defenseman healthy after taking a puck to the face in his previous appearance. Despite the club not having any blueliners set to hit free agency this offseason, the 20-year-old Fabbro should still have a decent shot at securing a spot on the 23-man roster for Opening Night.
News: Fabbro was hit in the face by a puck during Team Canada's clash with Slovakia on Monday and won't return to the game, Brent Wallace of TSN.ca reports.
Impact: Fabbro's status for the remainder of the tournament is certainly in doubt, especially if the Predators feel it's best of he returns to Nashville to be evaluated by team doctors. The blueliner broke into the lineup for the final 10 games of the 2018-19 season, in which he tallied one goal, one assist and eight shots while averaging a mere 12:20 of ice time. Barring anything significant, Fabbro should be ready for training camp this fall and will likely compete for a spot on the 23-man roster.
News: Ramage inked a two-year contract with the Berlin Eisbaren (DEL) on Friday.
Impact: Ramage spent the 2018-19 campaign with AHL Binghamton, but was never able to earn a call-up from the Devils. The blueliner logged 384 contests in the AHL, in which he tallied 31 goals, 83 helpers and 385 PIM. The University of Wisconsin product will play overseas for the first time in his professional career and has probably appeared in his last NHL game.
News: GM David Poile will be discussing a contract extension with Josi and his agent July 1.
Impact: Before leading the team in scoring with four points in the first round of this year's playoffs, Josi played in all 82 games of the regular season, scoring 15 goals and 41 assists -- the fifth time in the last six seasons he has posted at least 50 points. Furthermore, his 274 points (70G, 204A) over the past five seasons leave him tied with Victor Hedman for third in scoring among all NHL defensemen over that span. The 28-year-old has one year left on his current seven-year, $28 million contract and is due for a hefty raise this offseason. Given his impressive stats, he's worth every penny.
News: Predators GM David Poile said he has every intention of re-signing Grimaldi before next season.
Impact: Grimaldi had just 13 points in 53 games during the regular season, but led the team with three goals in five games during their first-round playoff loss to the Stars. The 26-year-old California native will become a restricted free agent July 1, but you should expect to see him back in a Preds uniform next season and return to his usual bottom-six role.
News: Olivier inked a two-year, entry-level contract with the Predators on Wednesday.
Impact: Olivier didn't produce eye-popping numbers in the AHL this season, notching four goals and 12 points in 54 games, but the Predators don't expect him to develop into an offensive force, and are likely far more interested in what he might be able to bring to the table as a bottom-six grinder. The 22-year-old American will undoubtedly spend the majority of the 2019-20 campaign in the minors, and he'll never produce much offense at the NHL level, so there's no reason for fantasy owners to have him on their radars.
News: Tolvanen failed to record a point in five playoff contests for AHL Milwaukee.
Impact: The Admirals were eliminated by Iowa on Monday. To characterize Tolvanen's season as a disappointment would be a massive understatement. He played just four games with the Predators and managed just 15 goals in 58 games for Milwaukee. Tolvanen has always been able to score, but the rest of his game needs a ton of work. The good news is that he is still just 20 years old and has time to make the necessary fixes. He seems likely to begin the 2019-20 campaign right back in Milwaukee.
News: Simmonds (lower body) wasn't able to overcome his injury prior to the Predators getting bounced from the playoffs.
Impact: Simmonds missed the final four games of the series after getting hurt early in Game 2. The winger managed just three points in 17 contests with Nashville after making the move to the Music City at the trade deadline. The 30-year-old will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason and will likely have a handful of suitors looking to add a gritty, bottom-six veteran.
News: Boyle had an assist, two shots and two hits in Monday's 2-1 overtime loss to the Stars in Game 6.
Impact: Boyle set up fellow fourth-liner Austin Watson for the goal early in the first period. Boyle managed a pair of assists as well as seven hits and seven shots in three appearances in the series. He missed Games 2 through 4 with an abdominal injury, but recovered enough to make an impact late in the series, even though his team lost. The center isn't known for his playmaking, having scored 18 goals while adding six assists between the Devils and Predators in 73 regular-season appearances.
News: Subban registered an assist and seven blocked shots in Monday's 2-1 overtime loss to the Stars in Game 6.
Impact: Subban provided the secondary assist on Austin Watson's opening tally in the first period, but his big contribution came defensively, as his seven blocks trailed only teammate Dan Hamhuis' nine in the game. Subban managed a goal and two helpers in the series, along with 18 shots and 15 blocks.
News: Watson scored a goal on four shots and dished out 14 hits in Monday's 2-1 overtime loss to the Stars in Game 6.
Impact: Watson was a physical force of nature, scoring the opening goal and then running rampant with the lofty hit totals. Watson produced 16 points and 109 hits in 37 regular-season appearances, and has added a goal and a helper along with (32) hits in six postseason outings.
News: Rinne stopped 49 of 51 shots in a 2-1 overtime loss to the Stars in Monday's Game 6.
Impact: Rinne had his ups and downs in the series, allowing 17 goals over six games, including nine goals over Games 4 and 5. This was arguably his best performance of the playoffs, but it wasn't enough to save the Predators' season, as they lost the series 4-2.
News: Simmonds (lower body) will not play in Monday's Game 6 road tilt against the Stars, Adam Vingan of The Athletic reports.
Impact: Simmonds hasn't played since Game 2 and his absence is surely being felt with Nashville down 3-2 in the series. His status is unclear for Wednesday's potential Game 7 matchup.
News: Rinne will draw the start in Dallas for Monday's Game 6 matchup, Mark Stepneski of the Stars' official site reports.
Impact: After allowed just six goals in the first three games of the series, Rinne has been drilled for nine goals on 34 shots over the last two contests. The Predators have their backs against the wall down 3-2 in the series but they'll continue to rely on their longtime netminder.
News: Johansen scored a goal in Saturday's 5-3, Game 5 loss to the Stars, who now lead the Predators 3-2 in the series.
Impact: It's his first goal of the postseason and just his second point. Johansen is supposed to be one of the offensive leaders in Nashville, but he's being outscored by fourth-liner Rocco Grimaldi. He needs to ratchet his game up to new heights if there is to be a Game 7.
News: Rinne made 21 saves in a 5-3 loss to the Stars on Saturday in Game 5 of the Western Conference first round.
Impact: The Stars' top line dominated the Predators. Tyler Seguin had a goal and assist, Alexander Radulov had two snipes, and Jamie Benn set up three. The loss wasn't on Rinne -- the Preds' forwards have gone silent, except for fourth-line sniper Rocco Grimaldi. Rinne can't do it all, but he may have to if Nashville is going to advance. Dallas now leads the series 3-2 heading home for Game 6.
News: Grimaldi scored a goal in Saturday's 5-3 loss to Dallas in Game 5 of the Western Conference first round.
Impact: Grimaldi has been great this series. This was his third goal of the postseason and it came on a pretty move that turned stud-rookie defender Miro Heiskanen inside-out. But for as good as Grimaldi has been, the rest of the Preds haven't. He leads Nashville in goals and sits second in team scoring with three points. No offense, but they just can't win with a fourth-liner as their best forward. However, Grimaldi's strong play has cemented his spot for 2019-20.
News: Simmonds (lower body) wasn't on the ice for warmups ahead of Saturday's Game 5 against the Stars, Robby Stanley of NHL.com reports.
Impact: While Simmons has effectively been ruled out for the latest playoff contest, the fact that his status came down to warmups suggests that he may not be all that far away from a return. It's not all doom and gloom for the Predators in the way of injuries, though, as Rocco Grimaldi (undisclosed) is set to return.
News: Boyle (abdomen) was on the ice for warmups in preparation for Saturday's playoff game against the Stars, Robby Stanley of NHL.com reports.
Impact: It appears safe to deploy Boyle in DFS contests after he missed Games 2-4 of these conference quarterfinals.
News: Grimaldi (undisclosed) is on the ice for pregame warmups, indicating he'll be in the lineup for Saturday's Game 5 against the Stars, Robby Stanley of NHL.com reports.
Impact: Grimaldi didn't practice Friday as a precaution, but he was never in real danger of missing Saturday's pivotal contest. The 26-year-old pivot will slot into a bottom-six role for Game 5, skating with Brian Boyle and Kyle Turris on the Predators' fourth line.
News: Rinne will start in goal Saturday for Game 5 against the visiting Stars, Mike Heika of the Stars' official site reports.
Impact: Rinne is looking to rebound from a rare dud Wednesday, when he permitted four goals on eight shots before getting pulled in favor of Juuse Saros.
News: Boyle (abdomen) showed well in practice Friday, Brooks Bratten of the Predators' official site reports.
Impact: Predators coach Peter Laviolette was still awaiting official word from team trainers regarding the status of both Boyle and Wayne Simmonds (lower body) as of Friday morning, but it's clear that they're trending in a positive direction healthwise. Boyle notched an assist in the Game 1 loss versus Dallas, only to be sidelined for the three subsequent contests of these conference quarterfinals.
News: Grimaldi was labeled day-to-day by coach Peter Laviolette after the winger took a maintenance day Friday, John Glennon of The Athletic reports.
Impact: Grimaldi could be facing the prospect of heading up to the press box even if he is fully fit after Brian Boyle (abdomen) returned to practice, though Grimaldi's pair of postseason goals might be enough for him to hold his spot in the lineup. Saturday's game-day skate prior to Game 5 should shed some more light on the 25-year-old's status.