Toronto in the summer is a great destination, but not when the main purpose of the trip is an arbitration hearing.
David Poile, president of hockey operations/general manager for the Nashville Predators; and Mike Santos, director of hockey operations, spent part of the day Monday in an arbitration hearing with defenseman Ville Koistinen.
“The good news is that Koistinen is signed,” Poile said by telephone from the Toronto airport. “We just don’t know the amount.
“We both made our cases. The arbitrator will decide. We should have a decision in two or three days. And we will abide by what is decided. That is what the process is set up for.”
Poile would not comment on how far apart the two sides were in the matter.
Poile has both goaltenders, Dan Ellis and Pekka Rinne, signed. He also has seven defensemen, Dan Hamhuis, Ryan Suter, Shea Weber, Greg Zanon, Kevin Klein, Greg de Vries and Koistinen in place.
In training camp Poile also expects prospects Cody Franson, Jonathon Blum and Alexander Sulzer to get long looks as well.
At the forward spot Poile has 13 signed, but there is room for change there as well.
The most frustrating aspect of the roster for Poile is the status of Alexander Radulov. He is training with Salavat Yulaev Ufa, a team he has signed a contract with in the Continental Hockey League (KHL) in Russia. Radulov has one year remaining on a contract with the Predators.
“We have to get some closure on whether Radulov is coming back or not,” Poile said. “I don’t have an answer on that today. I haven’t talked to Radulov since he signed over there.”
The NHL is dealing with the KHL on Radulov’s status as well as several other players. There is no specific deadline for a ruling.
“I have no idea when we will know anything,” Poile said. “It is a tough situation. The KHL is investigating Radulov’s contract and the other contracts. Hopefully, the NHL and the KHL will give us an answer that we will like before too long.”
Forward Steve Sullivan remains a question mark as he continues rehabilitation work on his back. Sullivan missed all of last season.
“Sullivan is supposed to be coming back to Nashville this week,” Poile said. “Hopefully, we will have more of an update after he sees our doctor by the end of the week.”
Another forward, Jed Ortmeyer, is dealing with his recovery from surgery in March to repair an ACL injury that he sustained Feb. 23.
“Jed is doing well,” Poile said. “He is on blood thinner. He is on track to be 100 percent by training camp.”
Poile likes the competition level at both the defense and forward spots heading into training camp. He expects newcomer Ryan Jones and prospects Patric Hornqvist and Antti Pilhstrom as possible additions.
“I think we have some depth and competition,” Poile said. “We played well in the last part of the season last year. That bodes well to have everyone in shape and ready for camp. There is always the chance of someone coming in and surprising us.”