Predators finally sign a free agent from another team

Tuesday, July 14, 2009 at 10:50am

Two weeks since the start of free agency, the Nashville Predators finally signed a player from outside the organization.

Ben Guite, a 30-year-old forward, agreed to a one-year, two-way contract, the team announced Tuesday morning.

“He can play a checking role on a third or a fourth line,” general manager David Poile said. “He has good size, he plays a physical style and he’s a veteran presence.”

Guite played 168 games for Colorado over the past three seasons and had 19 goals, 26 assists and 93 penalty minutes. He also appeared in 10 playoff contests following the 2006-07 season.

A 6-foot-1, 211-pound center, he led the Avalanche with a plus-2 rating and won more than half his faceoffs (51.5 percent) last season.

“We’re looking to add size overall,” Poile said. “That’s what we’ve tried to do in the draft. In free agency, we re-signed Steve Sullivan, who is a very, very skilled player but who does not offer much in terms of size.”

Originally a seventh-round choice (172nd overall) in 1997 by Montreal out of the University of Maine, he made his NHL debut with Boston in 2005-06.

His contract with the Predators is for an NHL salary of $550,000 and an AHL salary of $105,000.

“Obviously, players like this want one-way contracts,” Poile said. “At the point, the market is more in line with what we’re willing to offer.

• Also on Tuesday, restricted free agent forward Ryan Maki agreed to terms on a one-year, two way deal, which will pay him $500,000 in the NHL and $52,500 in the AHL.

A fifth-round draft choice (176th overall) in 2005, the 6-foot-2, 202-pound right wing had career-highs of 12 goals, 13 assists and 25 points in 65 games with Milwaukee last season.

• The Predators will host what they are calling a “Skate of the Union” event, 5-9 p.m., July 23.

Doors will open at 5 p.m. at which time used equipment will be on sale, select Predators’ players will be available for autographs and season ticket plans will be available for purchase.

At 7 p.m., chairman David Freeman, general manager David Poile and president of business operations Ed Lang will address fans and answer questions in a town hall-style meeting.