The Nashville Predators signed Miikka Salomaki to a two-year deal this morning. This contract means that Salomaki and the Predators avoid an arbitration hearing scheduled for next week.
Salomaki is set to earn $750,00 each year for the next two years. This is a $1.5 million contract total and a very reasonable deal for a fourth-line grinder.
Now 25 years old, Salomaki never really broke into the NHL in the same way that he lit up the AHL with the Milwaukee Admirals. He scored 8 points (2 goals, 5 assists) in 58 games last season. He had 34 penalty minutes.
His 299 hits over four seasons are the fourth-most in Predators history. Salomaki can be counted on to lay down big hits, but his puck awareness is often lacking. He has played on the 4th line with combinations of Austin Watson, Colton Sissons, Frederick Gaudreau, and Mike Fisher.
After an injury-plagued 2016-2017 season, Salomaki looked incredible in the preseason of the 2017-2018 season. Fans didn’t exactly see that brilliance translate to the regular season. Perhaps he can rediscover some of that preseason magic and contribute some points.
Salomaki plays the bulk of his minutes at even-strength. Hopefully his penalty minutes decrease as he enters his fifth NHL season. He takes most of his face-offs in the defensive zone and puts in plenty of work in front of the Preds’ net. As a physical player, Salomaki isn’t exactly who you’d call when you need a goal. He’s not particularly fast, but he can be counted on as a reliable fourth liner.
The Predators now have 23 of 23 contracts signed for this upcoming season. By avoiding arbitration with Salomaki, the Predators signed all three qualified RFAs to new deals this offseason.