Predators go on free agent prowl
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.