According to multiple sources, the contract situation between the Nashville Predators and top prospect Eeli Tolvanen is not as simple as it may have appeared. Last week it was reported that the Finnish KHL sniper would join the Preds in short order after his team, Jokerit Helsinki, was officially eliminated. While that has now happened, Tolvanen is still no closer to joining the Preds, reports TSN’s Bob McKenzie and Finnish hockey insider Pekka Jalonen:
The hold up here is that Tolvanen and Jokerit must agree to terminate or buy-out the rest of the player’s contract before he’s free to sign with the Preds. Of course, then there’s immigration issues and lineup issues to consider before Tolvanen can join the Preds full-time.
KHL insider Aivis Kalnins however is reporting that both sides, Tolvanen and Jokerit, are working towards a contract termination this weekend.
Hopefully this kid can get a deal signed and get into the lineup before the playoffs start. It would be beneficial for him to get a taste of the NHL before things really ramp up in the postseason. By all accounts though, the 18 year old native of Nummela, Finland is ready for the NHL. The 30th overall pick from last June’s 2017 NHL Entry Draft had a remarkable 21 goals and 38 points in 51 games with Jokerit this season and was a threat to score everytime he hit the ice. While it remains to be seen if he can translate those kind of statistics to the NHL, keep in mind that he’s just 18 years old and putting up big numbers in the world’s second biggest professional league. Pretty impressive stuff.
Laviolette gets ejected after absolutely losing it on the refs
In case you missed it, Nashville Predators head coach Peter Laviolette was ejected from last night’s 4-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild after Laviolette lost his cool on the referees.
Here’s how it all played out:
Preds forward Scott Hartnell absolutely DRILLED Wild forward Joel Eriksson-Ek before getting dumped by three Wild players, including tough guy Nick Seeler. There was no call from the referees on Hartnell’s original hit, but someone he ends up in the penalty box. Laviolette assumes, incorrectly, that his team is about to get a power play for the beatdown that Hartnell receives and is absolutely incensed when he finds out that Hartnell is in fact the perpetrator.
The refs sort it out, drop the puck but then immediately have to blow the play down because of Laviolette. The veteran head coach is STILL giving it to the refs all the way from the bench and what he said must have been truly awful because at that point he gets tossed from the game.
Here’s the entire sequence:
Peter is fired up! Maybe it was the play, or maybe Laviolette is just frustrated after dropping two straight games? NHL fans and analysts have been picking Nashville as a Stanley Cup favorite since the offseason but the powerhouse team has begun to show signs of cracking lately. It could be that Laviolette’s frustration is just boiling over. Or, it could be that he’s trying to motivate and inspire his team a bit? Whatever the case, the Preds will need to sort things out in short order because they take on the surging Winnipeg Jets tonight in a HUGE Central Division matchup.