Joel Ward, Marcel Goc, Steve Sullivan move on from Nashville

So long, guys.

The Nashville Predators typically don't make major acquisitions on July 1, but today they suffered a few losses as unrestricted free agents Joel Ward, Marcel Goc, and Steve Sullivan all signed with new teams.

  • Steve Sullivan, who we already knew wouldn't be back with the Preds, goes to Pittsburgh for one year, $1.5 million. It's a great opportunity for him to make a run at a Stanley Cup as a complementary winger on a team loaded with talent down the middle.
  • Marcel Goc signed with the Florida Panthers at 3 years, $5.1 million. It's a big step up for the center who should benefit from increased ice time on a team which is bringing in lots of fresh talent this summer.
  • Joel Ward hit the biggest jackpot, heading to Washington for 4 years and $12 million. He should fit the defensive style of play that Bruce Boudreau introduced there last season, while still adding some offensive punch. It's a great opportunity for Wardo, a late bloomer who earned every bit of this payday.
I know some of these salary numbers being tossed around are surprising, but the overall salary level is on the way up, folks. Coming out of the lockout in 2005, the salary cap was $39 million. This upcoming season, it'll be $64.3 million, a rise of almost 2/3rd's. So, a $2 million player back then is roughly equivalent to a $3.5 million player today.
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