I'll have a report up from camp up soon, but the biggest story from today was David Poile speaking publicly about the qualifying offer situation, Shane O'Brien, Joel Ward, some potential offseason moves and more. You can listen to the whole thing here, but here are some quick highlights from his address:
- We've got the full scoop here, but the Predators have decided to buy out JP Dumont. It's an unfortunate situation all the way around, but the reality is that Dumont just isn't the player he was when the Predators extended his contract, and isn't worth $4M anymore.
- The Predators won't be re-signing Shane O'Brien. Poile said, "It's no indictment against Shane, it's just, in my mind, in our evaluations with our coaches and staff, we have so many other young defensemen." And he's right. Ellis and Josi are two young prospects who will most likely be NHL-ready next year, and Teemu Laakso will contribute as well. SOB probably had the most memorable one-year stay in Nashville of any free agent and we'll all miss him and his "scoreboard" taunt dearly.
- Joel Ward and Marcel Goc will hit the free agent market tomorrow. Poile said that he has been in talks with both players and that they feel it's in their best interest to test the free agent waters and try to determine their market value before signing a contract. He compared it to Joel Ward's situation two years ago when he became a free agent, but ultimately ended up signing with Nashville.
- Poile addressed the health concerns of Francis Bouillon and Matthew Lombardi. He said Bouillon is "feeling much better and starting to exercise on a regular basis" and Lombardi is doing "better but he's certainly not doing enough to get us excited about his prognosis."
- Negotiations with Weber are still ongoing, but it doesn't sound like the sides are close to getting a deal done yet. Poile also mentioned that there are a few "comparables" that haven't signed yet that they are waiting to see about.
- About the qualifying offer situation, Poile basically went no comment. He acknowledged that the NHLPA had filed a grievance, that the team was adamant they hadn't done anything wrong, but that he couldn't answer anything else because "this is now a matter between the NHL and the NHLPA." Poile doesn't know how long the arbitration will last, but they are treating the situation as if the players are restricted free agents.