The Nashville Predators made a move to add some offensive punch by claiming winger Marek Svatos on waivers today (first tweeted by Darren Pang, then confirmed by Josh Cooper). The St. Louis Blues had signed him to an $800,000, two-way contract yesterday, but since Svatos has been playing in the KHL this season, he had to go through waivers before joining an NHL team. The added boost here is that the Preds are also keeping him off the roster of a division and conference rival who will battle them for a Western Conference playoff spot.
Yesterday, I opened the question of whether landing Svatos might be the kind of low-risk, high-reward move the Preds should make right now, and sure enough, David Poile jumped on it. Well done, sir... Svatos does qualify as "proven, NHL-level talent."
Jun 17, 1982
Follow after the jump for a scouting report, look at his career stats, and more...
Your first chance to watch Marek Svatos on home ice comes when the Columbus Blue Jackets visit on Sunday, January 2nd, part of just 3 home games the entire month. So get your Nashville Predators tickets right here and save with the OTF Discount!
David Driscoll-Carignan of Mile High Hockey, SB Nation's Colorado Avalanche blog, had this to say about Svatos:
Short answer - really fun to watch. not much of a stickhandler, but he has
great hands, very potent shot from the slot. unfortunately, he's pretty
small for a guy who needs to make his living in the high traffic areas and
he doesn't do much else offensively. paired with someone who can feed him
the puck in front of the net, he's deadly (he had good success back in the
day with Pierre Turgeon, for example). When he has to do more of the heavy
lifting, it's not as pretty and that's where he ran into trouble with the
coaches who would move him to the 4th line, where he's of no value at all.
I loved watching Svatos because he's extremely feisty for a little guy -
when he got checked, he had no problem chasing down the guy who did it to
return the favor, no matter how large the other guy was.
Perhaps the size or the feisty play or dumb luck, but he was very injury
prone. Scored some big goals for us over the years and I would have absolutely
loved for him to become a star but it just never happened.
He also shared his report card on Svatos' last season with Colorado.
While this isn't a cure-all for the Preds' offensive woes, it's a very legitimate pickup and comes at basically no cost in terms of hockey assets.
Stay tuned for further developments!
Here's the press release from the Predators:
Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has claimed forward Marek Svatos (MAIR-ehk SVA-tohs) on waivers from St. Louis.
Svatos, 28 (6/17/82), has played 316 career NHL games - all with the Colorado Avalanche - between 2003-10, amassing 164 points (96g-68a) and 207 penalty minutes. The Kosice, Slovakia native is a two-time 25-goal scorer, amassing career highs in goals (32) and points (50) in 2005-06. The 5-8, 187-pound right wing began the 2010-11 campaign with Avangard Omsk of Russia's Kontinental Hockey League, posting eight points (3g-5a) in 19 contests before signing a one-year contract with the Blues on Tuesday. Svatos was originally selected 227th overall (seventh round) by the Avalanche in the 2001 Entry Draft.