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Nashville Predators

Preds’ P.K. Subban Says Pekka Rinne Is ‘the backbone of this team’

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The Nashville Predators are reeling after their Game 7, playoff ending, defeat at the hands of the Winnipeg Jets and many fans are pointing to goalie Pikke Rinne as the reason.

Rinne was pulled in the 1st period after giving up 2 goals on 7 shots, but despite the poor performance, Predators superstar P.K. Subban defended his teammate.

“Critics that want to criticize him don’t know what they’re talking about, I don’t care if they played in the NHL or not,” Subban said, according to Brady Trettenero of the Nation Network. “He’s the backbone of our hockey club and he’s one of the main reasons we’re here.

“I’m sick and tired of people always talking about him. He’s the backbone of this team. He’s the main reason we’re here. You talk about top goaltenders in the league it’s him, it’s (Carey) Price, it’s (Andrei) Vasilevskiy, it’s (Connor) Hellebuyck, it’s these guys. You’re lucky to have one of them.”

Rinne took responsibility after the game, telling reporters that, “It’s the most important game of the season and I let the whole team down.”

Adding that, “I feel very much responsible for our season ending at this point.”

It’s tough to imagine what Rinne is feeling, but his teammates certainly have his back after a brutal Game 7.

 

Buffalo Sabres

Predators Acquire Nick Baptiste from Sabres for Jack Dougherty

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The Nashville Predators have acquired forward Nick Baptiste from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for defenseman Jack Doughtery in a trade that was announced by both teams on Monday.

Baptiste appeared in 33 games for the Sabres last season, scoring 4 goals and notching 2 assists. Baptiste was Buffalo’s 2013 third-round draft pick.

Dougherty has played the past 2 seasons with the Milwaukee Admirals, Nashville’s AHL affiliate team, where he registered 1 goal and picked up 11 assists over 63 games with the team last season.

 

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Nashville Predators

Scott Hartnell Announces Retirement

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After 17 seasons in the NHL, Scott Hartnell is calling it a career.

Hartnell announced his retirement on Monday by posting the following on his official Twitter page:

Every young kid from a small town across Canada dreams of playing a game in the NHL … I was fortunate enough to play 1,249 of them.

A huge thank you to the Nashville Predators (twice), the Philadelphia Flyers, and the Columbus Blue Jackets. You are all world class organizations and it was an honor playing for your cities! (Seventeen) years in the NHL was the best job anyone could ever ask for. The games, the fans, the travel, the hotels, the food, the pregame soccer games, are just some of the things that I will always remember and miss. …

Thanks again to my family, friends & all of the fans that cheered for me (and against) along the way. I’m looking forward to spending more time with my wife Katie and son Wesley. Cheers to the NHL, and the next phase of life!

Hartnell accumulated 327 goals and 380 assists in 1,249 games throughout his career and spent his final season with the Nashville Predators last year.

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Nashville Predators

Predators Sign Ryan Ellis to 8 Year, $50M Extension

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The Nashville Predators have signed defenseman Ryan Ellis to an eight-year, $50-million contract extension, according to an official team announcement on Tuesday.

Ellis, who is in the final year of a five-year, $12.5-million deal that pays him a modest $2.5 per season, was set to become an unrestricted free agent following the 2018-2019 regular season but will now remain under contract through the 2026-27  season.

“Ryan is a huge part of our team on and off the ice and we are happy to have his leadership remain in our locker room for the foreseeable future,” general manager David Poile said in a release. “We have talked about wanting to keep the core of our team together, and this is another opportunity to help us do so while continuing to compete for a Stanley Cup. Ryan is entering his prime and is one of the reasons why we feel this team has a chance to win every time we step on the ice.”

Ellis only played in 44 games last season, but still poured in nine goals and 32 points for Nashville.

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