Updated: Tuesday, July 24, 2:21 p.m.
While everyone appeared focused on the looming deadline involving Shea Weber, the Nashville Predators took care of one piece of business well in advance of when they needed.
Sergei Kostitsyn signed a two-year, $6 million contract Monday, more than a week before his scheduled arbitration hearing.
He was one of 16 players who filed for the process this offseason, and his hearing, which no longer is necessary, was set for Aug. 2. The sides had the option to negotiate all the way up until the point that an arbitrator ruled on the case, which typically is a day or two after the hearing.
Also Monday, the team also agreed to a one-year, two-way deal with forward Jack MacClellan, who following the completion of his college career spent the latter part of last season and the playoffs with Nashville. The coming season will be his first as a professional.
Franchise officials declined comment, through a team spokesperson.
Kostitsyn filed for arbitration each of the last two years but both times came to terms on a new deal prior to his hearing. Last summer he agreed to a one-year, $2.5 million deal days after the July 5 filing deadline.
His new deal marks the first time he has signed for multiple years since he agreed to his entry-level contract with the Montreal Canadiens.
He was Nashville’s leading goal scorer in 2010-11 while playing on a one-year, $550,000 pact. That season he set career-highs with 23 goals and 50 points. He was fourth among Nashville forwards last season with 43 points (17 goals, 26 points) in 75 games.
He is now one of six forwards scheduled to earn $3 million or more in salary during the 2012-13 season.