May 4, 2012; Nashville, TN, USA; Nashville Predators center Paul Gaustad (28) faces off against Phoenix Coyotes center Boyd Gordon (15) during the second period of game four in the Western Conference semifinals of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bridgestone Arena. The Coyotes beat the Predators 1-0. Don McPeak-US PRESSWIRE
Josh Cooper reports the following:
The Predators have re-signed Paul Gausted to a four-year deal worth $13 million.
Wow, that's a lot of money and term to throw at a guy who plays the Penalty Kill/Faceoff Specialist role. It's a healthy bump up from the 4-year, $9.2 million contract he just finished this season. If left unsigned, Gaustad would have hit the open market tomorrow morning.
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The Preds acquired Gaustad along with a 4th-round pick for their 1st-round draft pick this season from the Buffalo Sabres at the Trade Deadline, in a move to provide an upgrade over Jerred Smithson in this role, after Smithson was traded to the Florida Panthers. He's definitely good at his job, finishing 7th among faceoff men this season, providing an ace in the hole as Nashville's other centers are all average to below-average on the faceoff dot. While his Corsi numbers look terrible at first blush, that's because he starts so many extra shifts in the defensive end of the ice. Once you adjust for that, he comes out as a pretty positive force at even strength.
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My initial take? This is way too much money and term to tie up with this kind of player. Smithson, by comparison, was making $800,000 per year.