Predators Sign Eeli Tolvanen To Three-Year Contract

Eeli Tolvanen. Photo: Courtesy of the Nashville Predators

The Nashville Predators continue to re-sign their key players this offseason, Eeli Tolvanen being the latest as he signed a three-year $4.35 million contract on Monday (Aug. 30.) Tolvanen, 22-years-old, posted 22 points (11 goals, 11 assists) in 40 games for the Predators in 2020-21, his first full NHL season. His 11 goals were the fourth-most on the Predators and were the most scored by a Predators rookie since Filip Forsberg netted 26 in 2014-15.

The forward also challenged two rookie franchise records this past season. His six power-play goals were tied for the second-most and his six-game point streak (3 goals, 6 assists) from March 21-30 was tied for the second-longest. Among NHL rookies, Tolvanen was tied for first in game-winning goals (4); tied for second in power-play goals; third in power-play points (12); 10th in goals; and 12th in points (22), helping him earn votes for the Calder Trophy.

Originally drafted by the Predators in the first round (30th overall) of the 2017 NHL Draft, Tolvanen has played in 47 career NHL contests, seven of which came prior to the 2020-21 campaign. After playing in his first NHL game at 18 years, 343 days–the fifth-youngest player to debut with the Predators–on March 31, 2018 vs. Buffalo, Tolvanen then appeared in two more games in 2017-18 and four in 2018-19, where he recorded his first two career NHL points (1 goal, 1 assist) on Dec. 1, 2018 vs. Chicago. He is also a veteran of 121 career AHL contests, all coming with the Milwaukee Admirals from 2018-20, tallying 36 goals and 71 points.

Before signing with the Predators on March 29, 2018, Tolvanen played for Jokerit of the KHL, posting 36 points (19goals, 17 assists) in 49 games during the 2017-18 campaign and establishing league records for goals and assists in a season by a teenager

The Predators Sign Extension With ECHL Affiliate Florida Everblades

Nashville Predators has agreed to an affiliation extension with the Florida Everblades of the ECHL. Through the agreement, the Everblades will continue to function as a developmental affiliate for the Predators and the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals, their primary developmental affiliate.

Based in Estero, Florida, the Everblades are one of the most successful franchises in ECHL history, having qualified for the playoffs in all but one of their 23 seasons. Florida claimed the Kelly Cup as ECHL champions in 2012 and has reached the league’s final on four separate occasions, the most recent coming in 2018.

“We look forward to seeing our prospects develop with the Everblades and continue their rich history of winning at the ECHL level,” says President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile. “We feel this is a partnership that will continue to benefit the Predators, Admirals and Everblades moving forward.”

In the 2020-21 season, fifth-year head coach and Director of Hockey Operations Brad Ralph led the Everblades to a 42-19-8 record and the top spot in the ECHL’s Eastern Conference in the regular season. Among the players signed by the Predators who helped Florida secure a playoff spot included forwards Tanner Jeannot, Cole Smith, Patrick Harper and Tommy Novak and goaltender Devin Cooley. Jeannot and Smith both went on to make their NHL debuts with Nashville during the 2020-21 campaign.

In addition to Jeannot and Smith, among the Everblades alumni to move on to the NHL after playing for the team include Dallas Stars goaltender Anton Khudobin, Detroit Red Wings goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic, Carolina Hurricanes forward Steven Lorentz and former Predators players Matt Hendricks, Shane Hnidy and Jason Morgan.

Predators Single-Game Tickets For November & December On Sale Now

The Nashville Predators have announced that single-game tickets for the November and December games at Bridgestone Arena are on sale to the general public now.

Currently, Season Ticket Citizens can purchase single-game tickets to the entire slate of Predators home games during the 2021-22 season and preseason, and the general public can purchase single-game tickets to all preseason and October home games. Single-game tickets will be available in multiple price levels but are subject to availability by game and by price level.

“After offering our Season Ticket Citizens the opportunity to purchase single-game tickets for the entire 2021-22 season and then releasing single-game tickets for October home games to the general public, we’re excited to release single-game tickets for November and December home games to all fans starting tomorrow,” says Nashville Predators SVP of Ticket Sales, Premium Sales & Youth Hockey Nat Harden. “In the coming weeks, we will continue announcing additional single-game ticket on sales and look forward to seeing the best fans in sports inside Bridgestone Arena very soon.”

With 10 home games scheduled during November and December, three of those games–Nov. 24 against the Vegas Golden Knights, Dec. 2 against the Boston Bruins and Dec. 4 against the Montreal Canadiens–have been designated as Gold Games. These games will only be made available for purchase to fans who reside in the Nashville Predators television viewing area through single-game ticket on sales and ticket package purchases.

Reported: NHL To Allow Teams To Put Advertisements On Game Jerseys

Photo: Courtesy of Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp

The NHL will begin to allow teams to put advertisements on jerseys starting the 2022-2023 season, according to a report by Sportico. The NHL Board of Governors unanimously voted in favor of the decision, as stated in the report.

They will not be the first league to let teams put ads on jerseys as the NBA started doing the same in the 2017-28 season. The ads for the NHL must fit a rectangle 3 inches by 3.5 inches, making them slightly bigger than the patches seen in the NBA. The NBA generated an astounding $150 million in revenue in 2019, according to an article by NBC Sports. The WNBA and MLS also leave advertising space open on jerseys while Nashville SC’s main jersey sponsor is currently Renasant Bank.

Helmet ads were introduced in the NHL for the 2021 season which helped create $100 million in revenue, helping teams recoup money lost from the pandemic, according to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. The Nashville Predators sported a Bridgestone logo on their helmets as their advertisement this past season.

The NHL has not made an official statement regarding jersey ads for the 2022-23 season.

Predators & Juuse Saros Agree To Four-Year, $20 Million Deal

Juuse Saros. Photo: Courtesy of the Nashville Predators

The Nashville Predators have committed to goalie Juuse Saros, re-signing him to a four-year, $20 million deal. Saros was the Preds No. 1 goalie this past season and will continue to be after Pekka Rinne‘s recent retirement announcement in July.

Saros, 26, posted the best statistical season of his five-year NHL career in 2020-21, going 21-11-1 in 36 games. Saros established career highs in several categories, including wins (21), starts (35), goals-against average (2.28), and save percentage (.927) which helped him finish sixth in Vezina Trophy and 11th in Hart Trophy voting. Among NHL goaltenders who played in at least 25 games, Saros finished in the Top 10 in save percentage and goals-against average, as well as wins and shutouts.

“Juuse has proven himself as one of the best young goaltenders in the NHL, and we are very pleased to have him remain our No. 1 goaltender for years to come,” says Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile. “While being mentored by Pekka Rinne, he has spent the last several seasons growing and taking steps physically and mentally to become a top goalie in this league, as evident by his spot on the NHL’s All-Rookie Team in 2017-18 to finishing near the top of Vezina Trophy voting this past season. Juuse gives our team a chance to win in every game he plays, and we feel confident that with him leading the tandem we’ve established with David Rittich, our goaltenders will be a large part of our success in 2021-22.”

The Forssa, Finland native’s play in the second half of Nashville’s season helped propel the team to its seventh straight postseason berth. In his last 26 games of the campaign, dating back to Feb. 27, he went 18-6-1 with a 1.88 goals-against average, .941 save percentage, and three shutouts while allowing two-or-fewer goals in 20 of those starts. Saros, who was named the NHL’s Third Star of the Week for the week ending March 28, also won nine of 10 starts from March 23-April 13 and posted career highs in saves (49) and shots faced (55) on April 27 vs. Florida.

Saors was drafted by the Predators in the fourth round of the 2013 NHL Draft and 99th overall. He owns a career record of 76-47-17 in 139 starts and has won at least 17 games in each of his last three seasons. Saros has also tallied 14 career shutouts, the most among active NHL goalies his age or younger. Saros was named to the NHL’s All-Rookie Team in 2017-18 after leading all first-year goaltenders in goals-against average (2.45), save percentage (.925) and shutouts (3) and followed that up with a .915 save percentage and three shutouts in his sophomore campaign in 2018-19.

Predator Single-Game Tickets For October On Sale Now, Launch New ‘Gold’ Games

Photo: Courtesy of Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp

Single-game tickets in October for the Nashville Predators are now available for general purchase while the full slate of contests at Bridgestone Arena during the 2021-22 season are now on sale to Season Ticket Citizens. Remaining single-game tickets will be released in the coming weeks. Single-game tickets will be available in multiple price levels but are subject to availability by game and by price level.

With six home games scheduled during the month of October, two of those contests–Opening Night on Oct. 14 against the Seattle Kraken and Oct. 21 against the New York Rangers–have been designated as Gold Games. As a result of input from Predators Season Ticket Citizens, Gold Games were introduced to keep Preds games Gold and maintain a home field advantage that the players and fans have come to expect.

Gold Games will only be made available for purchase to fans who reside in the Nashville Predators television viewing area through single-game ticket on-sales and ticket package purchases. By restricting the sale of tickets for these games, it is guaranteed that Preds fans receive the best opportunity to attend some of the biggest games of the season.

“As our excitement for the 2021-22 season grows, we are thrilled to begin the process of offering our fans the opportunity to purchase single-game tickets for some this year’s biggest matchups,” says Nashville Predators SVP of Ticket Sales, Premium Sales & Youth Hockey Nat Harden. “While the best way to guarantee a spot in Smashville is by joining the Loyal Legion, we look forward to providing our fans with the flexibility of single-game ticket purchases and cannot wait to fill Bridgestone Arena with 17,159 of the best fans in sports again!”

The Preds will also offer fans a wide variety of single-game ticket promotions, such as MTSU Military and First Responder specials, Student Rush Nights for Golden U Members, Preds Golden Tickets for last-minute ticket deals and more. Full details on these promotions and a robust schedule of giveaways and theme games will be announced at a later date.

Predators Re-Sign Dante Fabbro To A Two-Year $4.8 Million Deal

Dante Fabbro. Photo: courtesy of the Nashville Predators

The Nashville Predators have re-signed defenseman Dante Fabbro to a two-year, $4.8 million contract. Fabbro, 23-years-old, established career highs in points (12), assists (11) and average time-on-ice (19:19) during his second full NHL season in 2020-21, despite appearing in just 40 games.

In 2019-20, he averaged 19:02 of ice time, the fifth-most among NHL rookie defensemen (min. 41 GP) while tying for the fourth-most goals (5) and games played (64) in a single season among rookie blueliners in Predators history. Since making his NHL debut on March 30, 2019, following a three-season career at Boston University, Fabbro has appeared in 108 contests for Nashville, recording 24 points (8 goals, 16 assists).

The Vancouver native was drafted in the first round (17th overall) of the 2016 NHL Draft by the Predators. He played 111 games for the Terriers from 2016-19, posting 80 points (22 goals, 58 assists) and being named a Hockey East Second Team All-Star both as a sophomore and junior.

Fabbro has represented Canada multiple times at the international level, most recently at the 2018 Spengler Cup where he was named to the All-Tournament Team. He served as an alternate captain and won the Gold Medal with Canada at the 2018 World Junior Championship, earned silver at the 2017 edition of the tournament, and led all defensemen at the 2016 U-18 World Championship in assists with eight in seven contests.

SS&E Announce New F&M Bank Arena To Open In Clarksville

The Predators newest venture, Sabertooth Sports and Entertainment LLC (SS&E), have announced that the new event center being built in Clarksville, Tennessee will be named F&M Bank Arena. This comes after SS&E and Clarksville-based F&M Bank entered a multi-year naming rights agreement on behalf of F&M Bank Arena in May.

“We can finally put a name on the vision Montgomery County Mayor Jim Durrett has had for this region for such a long time–F&M Bank Arena,” says Nashville Predators and SS&E President and CEO Sean Henry. “Seeing the next chapter in this venue’s life be written by a dynamic, local organization like F&M Bank, led by President and CEO Sammy Stuard, with meaningful input from Mayor Durrett, City of Clarksville Mayor Joe Pitts and Austin Peay State University Athletic Director Gerald Harrison, is proof of what can happen when passionate, creative individuals collaborate for the greater good of their communities. While we didn’t call it the hippodrome–one of my personal favorites–seeing the name F&M Bank Arena attached to an event center that will be used and enjoyed for generations to come marks another milestone on the way to creating something special in Clarksville.”

Construction continues at F&M Bank Arena’s downtown location of First Street and College Street. Ground broke on the facility in November 2020, and the venue is scheduled to open during the 2022-23 season under SS&E management. SS&E will be responsible for F&M Bank Arena’s day-to-day operations and will be charged with booking the facility to bring the venue to life and make it flourish. F&M Bank Arena will hold approximately 6,000 fans for concerts; 5,500 for basketball game; and 5,000 for hockey games.

“It is exciting to finally be able to say the name out loud… F&M Bank Arena!” says Stuard. “We look forward to actively promoting the brand, not only as an investment in our downtown area, but also as an expression of F&M Bank’s commitment to economic development.”

F&M Bank Arena’s primary tenant will be Austin Peay State University, whose men’s and women’s basketball teams will call the facility home. In addition to the facility’s main event space, which will be able to host sporting events, concerts, banquets, conventions, trade shows and other events, the multi-level venue will feature a separate sheet of ice to be used for youth and adult hockey leagues as well as figure skating. The main arena bowl will also be able to add an ice surface, giving it the ability to host hockey tournaments and attract larger on-ice events or competitions much like the existing Ford Ice Centers in Antioch and Bellevue. Using these ice sheets, the Predators will offer a variety of learn-to-skate programs at F&M Bank Arena, continuing their mission to expose and grow hockey to more Middle Tennessee residents.

The F&M Bank Arena will also contain luxury suites, premium seating, private hospitality space, party rooms, and common areas that will have full access to the arena bowl. The Austin Peay men’s and women’s basketball teams will move their coaches’ offices and training facilities into F&M Bank Arena, which will also house their practice court.