NHL Free Agency: Nashville Predators Sign Eric Nystrom for 4 Years, $10 Million

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Nashville Predators kept their busy NHL Free Agency season rolling by signing winger Eric Nystrom, who played with the Dallas Stars last season, to a four-year $10 million contract.

With 46 goals and 37 assists through 408 career regular season games, Nystrom would be looked at as a bottom-6 winger with penalty killing ability. Last season he ranked 2nd among Stars forwards with 2:10 of shorthanded work per game.

Eric Nystrom

#24 / Left Wing



Feb 14, 1983

2012 - Eric Nystrom 48 7 4 11 -3 61 0 1 3 49 14.2
Season GP TOI/60 Pts/60 Corsi Rel On-Ice Sht % On-Ice Sv% PDO Pen Take Pen Drawn OZ Strt% Shots/60
2013 48 11.46 1.09 -11.4 10.6 921 1026 1.3 0.7 32.5 4.80
2012 74 12.25 1.32 -8.1 6.8 917 984 0.3 0.7 44.5 6.55
2011 82 11.44 0.70 -12.0 6.7 922 988 0.6 0.8 35.2 4.99
2010 82 10.90 1.28 -10.1 7.8 932 1010 0.5 0.7 48.4 5.57
2009 76 7.29 0.76 +0.9 3.4 927 961 0.8 0.8 59.2 8.23
2008 44 9.53 1.43 -13.4 7.5 926 1001 0.6 1.3 52.8 5.01

Those low Offensive Zone Start numbers partially explain away the awful Corsi Rel results (he gets lots of extra faceoffs in the defensive zone), but this doesn't appear to be a guy who will help the Predators significantly next season. Assuming Nick Spaling returns (which is a big IF considering the number of forwards acquired today), they already have a formidable 1-2 PK punch between him and Paul Gaustad, with Austin Watson eager to work his way into the mix as well.

Conceivably the team could ice a 4th line of Nystrom, Gaustad and Matt Hendricks at a cap hit of nearly $8 million. I don't think this is what many fans had in mind for a summer spending spree, is it?

Here's the team's press release:

Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has signed forward Eric Nystrom to a four-year, $10 million contract. He will make $2 million in both 2013-14 and 2014-15 and $3 million in 2015-16 and 2016-17.

Nystrom, 30 (2/14/83), has spent the last two seasons with the Dallas Stars, posting 11 points (7g-4a), 61 penalty minutes and ranked among the League leaders in hits (122) while playing in all 48 games in 2012-13, and 21 points (16g-5a) in 74 games during his last full campaign in 2011-12. Since his rookie season with the Calgary organization in 2005-06, the 6-1, 193-pound left wing has 83 points (46g-37a) and 306 penalty minutes in 408 NHL games.

Calgary's first selection, 10th overall (first round), in the 2002 Entry Draft, the Syosset, N.Y., native posted 11 points (56g-55a) in 160 games at the University of Michigan from 2001-05, winning three CCHA titles and being named the conference's top defensive forward while captaining the Wolverines in 2004-05. He has represented Team USA on the international stage on five occasions - the 2010 World Championships, the 2002 and 2003 World Junior Championships, the 2001 World Under-18 Championships and the 1999 Under-17 World Hockey Challenge. His father, Bob Nystrom, played in the NHL for 14 years with New York Islanders, having his No. 23 retired by the them after helping the team claim four Stanley Cup titles.

Nystrom is on Twitter @enystrom23.

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