Some actual news to write about. From the Nashville Predators PR group…
PREDATORS SIGN DEFENSEMAN RYAN ELLIS TO EIGHT-YEAR CONTRACT
27-year-old has sixth-most points by blueliner in franchise history
Nashville, Tenn. (August 14, 2018) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the team has signed defenseman Ryan Ellis to an eight-year, $50 million contract that will see him remain in Nashville through the 2026-27 season. Ellis will earn $6.25 million per season beginning in 2019-20. He has one year remaining on the five-year, $12.5 million contract he signed on Oct. 5, 2014.
“Ryan is a huge part of our team on and off the ice and we are happy to have his leadership remain in our locker room for the foreseeable future,” Poile said. “We have talked about wanting to keep the core of our team together, and this is another opportunity to help us do so while continuing to compete for a Stanley Cup. Ryan is entering his prime and is one of the reasons why we feel this team has a chance to win every time we step on the ice.”
Ellis, 27 (1/3/91), set career highs in assists (23) and plus-minus (+26 rating) last season despite playing in only 44 games due to recovery from offseason knee surgery. His +26 rating tied for fifth among all NHL blueliners and was the highest by a defenseman and second-highest overall in Predators history. Ellis posted the 11th-most points by an NHL defenseman from his season debut on Jan. 2 to the end of the campaign with 32 (9g-23a), and his nine goals were tied for the third-most in a season in his career. He also posted seven goals and 18 assists when the Predators were trailing or the game was tied and recorded two game-winning goals.
In 396 career NHL contests – all with the Predators – Ellis has tallied 55 goals and 118 assists for 173 points, the sixth-most by a defenseman in team history. Since making his NHL debut on Dec. 26, 2011, he has recorded the 11th-best plus-minus among League blueliners at +76, which also stands as the franchise high. A veteran of 58 career playoff games, Ellis sits second in Predators history in postseason assists with 22 and is tied for third in points with 27.
Originally drafted by the Predators in the first round (11th overall) of the 2009 NHL Draft, Ellis spent parts of two seasons with the American Hockey League’s Milwaukee Admirals from 2011-13 before jumping to Nashville. He won two Memorial Cups, two Ontario Hockey League titles and 13 individual awards with the Windsor Spitfires from 2007-11, including the 2011 CHL Player of the Year and 2011 OHL Most Outstanding Player. When he completed his junior career, Ellis joined Rick Corriveau (329) and Denis Potvin (330) as the only defensemen in OHL history to record 300 career points (73g-241a). Internationally, Ellis is a three-time World Junior Championship medalist, helping Canada win gold in 2009 and captaining the 2011 squad that took home silver. He and the Canadians also won gold at the 2016 World Championship and the 2008 Under-18 World Championship.
Holy schnikees… I can only say one thing… in my best Hagrid imitation…
“Yer a wizard David…”
Ryan Ellis is signed for terms of 8 years at $6.25 million a year. It probably means that Ryan Ellis is a Nashville Predator for his entire career. It’s a stunning contract for one to the top blueliners in the game. After the contracts I have seen given out… I expected the AAV of this deal to start with a 7. The fact that it doesn’t include a no move or no trade clause is even more astounding. It appears to be a mark of the leadership and caring that Ellis shows that he accepted less than he would obviously get on the open market. This quote says it all…
”I wanted something that was fair, but I didn't want to break the bank so we could absolutely keep all these guys together. Obviously, I hope the organization is happy with it, and I'm definitely happy with it. Going forward, hopefully it gives us a chance to continue to keep this core group together and continue the success we've had and hopefully build on it."
The top four defensemen for this team is now set for the next few seasons, and now… due to the reasonableness of this contract, there is plenty of room to extend Roman Josi next summer with cash left over for Kevin Fiala.
David Poile has turned into a brilliant cap manager. I broke down a reasonable cap strategy in my “Ryan Ellis and Cap Math” piece last week. I set the Ellis cap number at $7 million, happy to be wrong there… A hallmark of Poile's strategy is that key players come up for contracts at different times. Pekka Rinne is a UFA at the end of this season. The captain is due for a contract extension next off-season, along with Josi... Kevin Fiala is an RFA. In the summer of 2020, it’s Craig Smith as as UFA, in 2021 Eeli Tolvanen hits his RFA year along with Juuse Saros along with a potential extension for PK Subban and Mattias Ekholm.
That means that the Core Four on defense are signed for the next two seasons… an extension for Josi extends that out for at least four seasons. The JoFA line is locked in for the next four seasons as well. This core of this team is set for quite awhile. The room is close, the talent is there and you can consider the Nashville Predators a contender for the foreseeable future.
David Poile deserves a boatload of credit for expert cap management and building a culture that has players wanting to be here, and stay here. It looks like the summer business is done… there will be a presser with Poile and Ellis on Thursday.
Let’s drop the puck already!
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