NHL: Nashville Predators being sold, plus recent signings

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The Nashville Predators are in the process of being sold to former Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam.

According to a report from Sportico, he will become the majority owner of the Preds over a not yet specified time period. ESPN reported that period to be three years with Haslam not purchasing the shares of the 16 other minority owners.

The Predators in a statement confirmed that Fritch will sell the majority of his stake to Haslam, with the former governor transitioning from minority to majority owner “within the next few years, through a multi-phased purchase transaction.” Haslam is expected to acquire his minority stake in the next few months, pending organization and NHL approval.


Nashville Predators sale

The Predators joined the NHL for the 1998-99 season as the 22nd expansion franchise in history. They were sold by its founder, Craig Leipold in 2007 for $175 million to a group led by Herbert Fritch.

Potential new owner Haslam is 63 and was the Tennessee’s governor from 2011-19. The family knows something about owning sports teams as his brother Jimmy owns the Cleveland Browns of the NFL.

According to Sportico the Predators’ franchise is worth $680 million. Forbes estimates Bill Haslam’s net worth at $2.3 billion.

NHL Signings

sammy blais acl
Oct 18, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Rangers forward Sammy Blais (91) shoots the puck during warm up before a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

New York Rangers sign Sammy Blais

The New York Rangers saved a few dollars by getting Sammy Blais to sign an extension for a little less than his qualifying offer of $1.6M.

According to CapFriendly, both sides agreed to a 1-year extension at $1.525M for the 2022-2023 season. It is a one-way contract which means Blais would earn the same salary in the AHL and must clear waivers. The deal was done on Thursday but announced by the team on Friday.

This will also take the gritty forward to unrestricted free agency the following summer.

Blais, 26, was part of the return from the St. Louis Blues in an unpopular trade for Pavel Buchnevich. Unfortunately, he only got to play in 14 games with the Rangers after tearing his ACL back in November. He registered 4 points (all assists) last season.

Blue Jackets sign Liam Foudy

On Friday, the Columbus Blue Jackets announced the signing of forward Liam Foudy to a two-year contract extension. It is a two-way deal in 2022-23 and a one-way deal the season after. Terms of the deal per CapFriendly has him at $762,500 AAV.

“Liam got off to a solid start last season in Cleveland and was playing well before he was injured and missed the final three months of the season,” GM Jarmo Kekalainen said in a news release. “He is an elite skater. He’s worked very hard to solidify the other areas of his game and we believe Liam has a very bright future with our club.”

Foudy, 22, was drafted 18th overall in the first-round in 2018. He has 5 points (all assists) in 27 games.