Craig Smith has signed in Nashville. Five years -- 3.75 / 4 / 4.25 / 4.5 / 4.75— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 20, 2015
OKAY. NOW SIGN COLIN WILSON NOW.
Seriously, this is the good deal that everyone expected. It was closer to what Smith wanted instead of what the Preds started with. But Smith has a nice raise, a good contract, and the Preds have another younger player to build around who hasn't reached his zenith yet.
With Forsberg, and Neal, Smith will keep getting those good matchups on the second line, and that will continue to improve as Nashville's centers finally develop.
I'm Happy. Sarge is happy. Jon? He's happy. I know he is. Alex and Zeke? They're happy. Nick? I suppose he's happy. Caroline? She and her dog are happy too. Anish? Yeah.
Details on this deal will follow. But up next: Wilson.
Update - 3:28 p.m. Central: The Predators have officially announced the signing.
Nashville, Tenn. (July 20, 2015) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced Monday that the club has signed forward Craig Smith to a five-year, $21.25 million contract.
“As evidenced by his back-to-back 20-goal seasons and performance in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Craig Smith is an integral part of our team’s young core and we are pleased to have agreed on a long-term contract that both parties are comfortable with,” Poile said. “With Craig’s durability, work ethic and intensity, we see him continuing the build on his recent production and be a valuable contributor to our offensive attack for the next five seasons.”
Smith, 25 (9/5/89), hit the 20-goal mark for the second consecutive season in 2014-15 (23), tying for second on the team in both goals (23) and power-play goals (6) while also setting a career high in game-winning goals (4). During the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Madison, Wis., native tied for second on the team in points (2g-3a). Two seasons ago, the 6-1, 202-pound right wing led the Predators in goals (24), and ranked third on the team in points (52), setting career highs in both categories and becoming the sixth Preds draftee to hit the 50-point mark for the club. In 277 career games since the 2011-12 campaign, Smith has 144 points (65g-79a).
Nashville's sixth choice, 98th overall (fourth round), in the 2009 Entry Draft, Smith has represented the United States four times at the World Championship since 2011, amassing 30 points (10g-20a) in 29 games and being named one of the United States’ best players at the tournament three times. Prior to joining the Predators, Smith played two seasons at the University of Wisconsin, posting 76 points (27g-49a) from 2008-10, and helping the Badgers reach the 2010 NCAA National Championship Game.