Hockey Betting News – Nashville adds scoring depth

Updated: July 16, 2014
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Nashville Predators add scoring depth with four new signings

By Ian Palmer

In hockey betting news, the Nashville Predators have added some more attacking options by signing three offensive forwards on July 15. The NHL club agreed to one-year contracts with veterans Derek Roy and Mike Ribeiro for relatively small change. The team also recently locked up free-agent forward Ollie Jokinen and traded for forward James Neal from the Pittsburgh Penguins to provide some much-needed scoring prowess.

Ribeiro found himself eligible for free agency just a few weeks ago when the Phoenix Coyotes decided to buy him out of his last contract which still had three years to go on it at a total cost of $22 million. Nashville general manager David Pole therefore considered him to be a bargain at just $1.05 million for the 2014/15 season. Poile said the 34-year-old is an experienced, creative, and talented center who will definitely help his squad’s offense.

Poile added that Ribeiro knows he has to produce for the Predators since he’s on just a one-year deal. Ribeiro played 80 games for the Coyotes last season and scored 16 goals and 31 assists for 47 points. He’s appeared in 865 career regular-season games in the NHL and has racked up 204 goals along with 454 assists for 656 points. Phoenix GM Don Maloney claimed he decided to buy Ribeiro out of his contract since he had some behavioral issues that the Coyotes organization couldn’t tolerate.

Ribeiro admitted that he has some personal issues last year since he and his wife were separated and he rarely had the chance to visit his children. He stated that he’s been working on his personal life since the 2013/14 campaign ended and he’s now in a better frame of mind and is looking forward to getting his career back on track in Nashville. He added that he wants to prove to the Predators that he’s a good person who is committed to the team as well as his family and can still produce at an elite NHL level on the ice.

Poile said he spoke with former teammates of Ribeiro as well as ex-managers, and coaches and the player’s wife before signing him and he’s comfortable with his decision. Poile signed the 31-year-old Roy to a one-year deal worth $1 million. The center played for the St. Louis Blues last season where he scored nine goals and 28 assists for 37 points in 75 games. He’s also played for the Buffalo Sabres, Dallas Stars, and Vancouver Canucks in the past and has appeared in 666 career regular-season contests with 492 points on 177 goals and 315 assists. Roy’s best years came in Buffalo where he managed to score at least 63 points in four consecutive seasons.

The Predators have been one of the NHL’s busiest franchises during the offseason as they also fired former head coach Barry Trotz with Peter Laviolette after missing the playoffs for the past two years. The team has stocked up on offensive players as it attempts to ice an attacking lineup. The new signings will help alleviate the forward unit considering center Mike Fisher will be sidelined for several months due to an Achilles tendon injury. Poile said his squad could have as many as six new faces in the forward positions once the 2014/15 season faces off in early October.

The Predators’ leading scorer last campaign was team captain and defenseman Shea Weber. In addition to announcing the signings of Ribeiro and Roy, the club said it signed draft picks Kevin Fiala and Viktor Arvidsson of Sweden to three-year entry-level deals.