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CRAIG SMITH TO LEAVE PREDATORS AFTER ALMOST A DECADE

After nine seasons of playing for the Nashville Predators, the team that drafted him in the fourth round in 2009, Craig Smith is looking for a new home. His agent, Kevin Magnuson, told The Athletic his client will be testing free agency.

"A three-year deal is our goal,” Magnuson said. “I think the number, because there are eight to 10 teams that have decent cap space, I think we won’t be too far off at the end of the day. He’s not going to be signing any blockbuster deals, but at the same time, he’s going to be in the market or a little bit above it, I think.”

Evolving Hockey predicts Smith will land in the vicinity of $4.42 million per season. He's coming off a five year contract that had an average annual value of $4.25 million.



The 31-year-old American centre has had a solid career so far, recording 330 points (162 goals, 168 assists) in 661 NHL games. He's had five seasons with 20+ goals and was on pace to hit the 20 goal mark again this year before the league suspended play in March. He took part in four games in the playoffs but was held off the scoresheet.

The Predators scored 72.5 percent of the goals (29-11) when Smith’s line with Nick Bonino and Rocco Grimaldi was on the ice this season, the highest percentage among lines with at least 400 minutes of playing time, according to MoneyPuck.


TIM TUCKER
SEPTEMBER 25, 2020  (13H03)