Predators Sign G Kevin Lankinen to 1-year, $1.5M Deal

The former Blackhawk will presumably be Juuse Saros’s backup in 2022-23.

In his first major move to address the Nashville Predators’ NHL roster in free agency, David Poile made a somewhat surprising signing, inking former Blackhawks goaltender Kevin Lankinen to a one-year contract worth $1.5 million.

In two seasons in Chicago, Lankinen posted a 25-29-11 record with two shutouts and a .901 save percentage. The 27-year-old finished last season as the Blackhawks’ starter following Marc-Andre Fluery’s trade to Minnesota. However, the results weren’t exactly great; Lankinen allowed three goals or more in seven of his final eight starts of the season.

Lankinen may have better luck playing behind a defense that isn’t orchestrating a blatant tank job. But it’s still a curious signing for the Predators. It appeared Connor Ingram did enough to earn a chance at backing up Juuse Saros next season. It now looks like this move would relegate Ingram back to the Milwaukee Admirals, but with the addition of Yaroslav Askarov and the return of Devin Cooley (who the Predators just re-signed this week), there could be a log-jam for AHL minutes.

The other theory is that Ingram could become a trade asset in a market where teams have proven to be desperate for reliable goaltending.