Preda­tors go on free agent prowl

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - SPORTS -

the new Ve­gas fran­chise.

“Our No 1 goal was to re­place James Neal in our top nine for­wards and we did that with the sign­ing of Bonino,” Poile said.

“I re­ally think with our cen­ter po­si­tion, we’ve re­ally strength­ened an area that a lit­tle less than two years ago was in my mind a lit­tle bit of a weak­ness.

“Now with Ryan Jo­hansen, Nick Bonino, (Colton) Sis­sons, (Calle) Jarnkrok and still Mike Fisher un­de­cided, I think we re­ally are strong down the mid­dle. For the first time in a long time, this might be as good at cen­ter ice as we’ve had.”

Hart­nell spent his first six sea­sons in Nashville af­ter he was drafted No 6 over­all in 2000.

He went on to play for the Philadel­phia Fly­ers for seven sea­sons, be­com­ing a first-time All-Star in 2012 while play­ing for Peter Lavi­o­lette, who is now be­hind the bench in Nashville.

“Ab­so­lutely love the guy,” Hart­nell said. “How do you not love his in­ten­sity? He’s so well spo­ken. He gets the boys go­ing. For our Stan­ley Cup run in Philadel­phia, it was 100 per­cent be­cause of Lavi­o­lette.”

Hart­nell spent the past two sea­sons with the Colum­bus Blue Jack­ets, scor­ing 13 goals and adding 24 as­sists last sea­son.

He has 314 ca­reer goals and 683 points.

Nashville also added goal­tender depth, sign­ing Anders Lind­back and Matt O’Con­nor to a one-year deals that will pay them $650,000 if they play in the league or $75,000 if they play in the AHL.

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