The Nashville Predators did not wait around once the NHL’s free agent signing period opened Friday. Within hours, general manager David Poile and his staff added four forwards and a goalie to the roster.
The rest of the league was not in nearly as much of a hurry to add those who played for Nashville last season.
Center Chris Mueller on Monday became the first to get a deal when he agreed to a one-year pact with the Dallas Stars. Primarily a minor leaguer during his four seasons with Nashville, Mueller was Milwaukee’s captain in 2012-13.
Notable veterans such as defenseman Hal Gill and Jonathon Blum, goalie Chris Mason and forwards Brandon Yip and Matt Halischuk remain available to any team.
Mueller appeared in a career-high 18 NHL games for the Predators last season, scored his first goal and finished with five points (two goals, three assists). In 37 appearances for Nashville over the last three seasons he had a total of eight points (two goals, six assists).
Officially, T.J. Brennan became the first former Predator to sign elsewhere this offseason when he agreed to a one-year, $600,000 deal with Toronto last Friday.
Brennan, though, never played for Nashville. He was acquired last month in a trade with Florida for forward Bobby Butler, but the team opted not to make the necessary qualifying offer to keep him.