By Ron Wynn
NASHVILLE, TN — The reshaping of the Nashville Predators got underway in major fashion last Friday as they announced the signings of two free agent defensemen. The main signing was Mark Boroweicki, who is now on board for two years at four million dollars. The other is defensman Matt Benning. He also signed for two years, but for two million. They are both expected to add depth and toughness to the defensive corps, but are only part of the general makeover of the organization after a very disappointing loss to the Arizona Coyotes in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
“One of our objectives at the start of free agency was to improve our depth at defense,” Predators General Manager David Poile said to USA Today Network – Tennessee. “Mark’s signing goes a long way toward accomplishing that. He adds an element of toughness that we were missing on the back end, as well as being a natural leader and a strong penalty killer.”
Since the end of the season the Predators have had Yannick Weber become a free agent who won’t be re-signed and Dan Hamhuis retire. Boroweicki is 31 and Benning 26. Boroweicki had seven goals and 11 assists for the Ottawa Senators last season, while Benning had one goal and seven assists for the Edmonton Oilers.
Those weren’t the only changes on the team’s roster. Kyle Turris signed a two-year deal with the Oilers for $3.3 million after the Predators bought out the final four years of his contract. That will cost then $2 million against the cap through the 2027-28 season. Colin Blackwell has signed a two-year deal with the New York Rangers. Mikka Salomaki has joined the Colorado Avalanche on a one-year deal. More changes will no doubt be coming as the Predators are now ready and willing to make big changes in their lineup and approach.