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Predators re-sign Paul Gaustad to a 4 year/$13 million contract


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News broke a few hours ago that the Nashville Predators re-signed faceoff specialist Paul Gaustad to a four year, $13 million dollar contract. The signing of the deal came less than 24 hours before the NHL’s free agency kicked off, where Gaustad would have been most likely pursued by his previous employer, the Buffalo Sabres.

Paul Gaustad was acquired by Nashville from Buffalo during the stretch run this past season in return for the Predators first-round pick in the recent draft and a fourth-round pick in 2013.

Gaustad had a total of 21 points over 70 games last season (including 4 assists in 14 games for Nashville), while adding 1 goal and 1 assist in 10 playoff games as well. His big-bodied presence and ability to take ambidextrous faceoffs will no doubt help the Predators over the course of an 82-game season.

Long-term, this is a great investment for Nashville over the course of the 4 year contract. Some might be a little touchy over paying $3.25 million a year for a bottom 6 centerman, however ultimately this move will no doubt pay off high dividends in the long term. Finding a player that fills the exact roles that Gaustad does, and especially with his stout frame, is quite difficult to do.

As soon as we procure the press release from the team, we’ll drop it in below.

Stay frosty in your air conditioning and we’ll bring you all the news of Free Agency as it starts tomorrow

UPDATED WITH PRESS RELEASE BELOW:

“Nashville, Tenn. (July 1, 2012) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has signed forward Paul Gaustad to a four-year, $13 million contract.

Gaustad, 30 (2/3/82), has finished no lower than seventh in the NHL in face-off efficiency in each of the past three seasons, and ranked ninth among League forwards in average shorthanded time on ice in 2011-12 (2:45). Acquired from Buffalo along with a fourth-round pick in the 2013 Entry Draft from Buffalo for a first-round pick in the 2012 Entry Draft on Feb. 27, 2012, the 6-5, 212-pound center posted four assists in 14 regular-season games for the Predators, completing his seventh NHL campaign with 21 points (7g-14a) and 76 penalty minutes in 70 regular-season games between Buffalo and Nashville. The Portland, Ore., native also appeared in all 10 of Nashville’s postseason games, posting a pair of points (1g-1a) – including its first goal of the postseason – in addition to ranking seventh in postseason face-off efficiency (60.1 percent).

Buffalo’s sixth selection, 220th overall (seventh round) in the 2000 Entry Draft has appeared in 493 career regular-season games, amassing 185 points (71g-114a) and 591 penalty minutes and 48 playoff contests, posting 10 points (1g-9a) and 42 penalty minutes.”