Predators pickup Dumont
Perhaps I spoke too soon when I said this morning that nothing was becoming the norm for NHL news. (Still, when J.P. Dumont signing in Nashville is big news, you know things are a little lean.)
Dumont receives a two-year deal at $4.5-million, which seems about market value these days.
To tell you the truth, I'm surprised the Predators thought they needed help upfront, as with Jason Arnott and Josef Vasicek coming in, the team's brass seemed confident they had enough forward depth when they shuttled out guys like Scott Walker and Adam Hall.
Still, the Predators lost more players to free agency than perhaps any other NHL club in the off-season: Greg Johnson, Danny Markov, Yanic Perreault, Mike Sillinger, Brendan Witt and Mark Eaton.
Given that three of those 'losses' are defencemen, I would have thought GM David Poile would be more concerned about his blueline. Youngsters Shea Weber and Ryan Suter are pegged for big roles next year, RFA Dan Hamhuis remains unsigned and the No. 6 slot could go to any number of unheralded options (Mikko Lehtonen, Nolan Yonkman, Kevin Klein, Greg Zanon or Ryan Parent come to mind).
If Nashville struggles to compete in their division with Detroit, their backend will likely be the reason why. Adding yet another 20-goal, 55-point winger doesn't change much — and it remains to be seen whether Dumont can keep up the scoring pace he put up last year riding shotgun with Daniel Briere.
One wonders if this move comes as a result of the team not being as sold on its young talent upfront as some pundits have been. The Predators have three young forwards at right wing that are all capable of stepping in — Alex Radulov, Scottie Upshall and Jordin Tootoo — but Dumont will likely now bump one of them to Milwaukee.
Personally, I would have given Radulov, who had 61 goals and 152 points in 62 games in junior hockey last year, a shot at playing on a scoring line and picked up another veteran for the blueline.