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Preds add blueline depth, sign Anton Volchenkov

Anton Volchenkov DEVILS (Bridget Samuels)

The Nashville Predators have added a veteran presence to their young blueline today. General Manager David Poile has signed free agent defenseman Anton Volchenkov to a one-year deal worth $1 million.

The 32 year-old Russian doesn’t impact the scoresheet very often but he is a solid stay-at-home defenseman. Immediate reaction has him as the safety net of the second pairing with the offensively talented Seth Jones. Conventional logic, however, has him on the bottom pair with Ryan Ellis or Mattias Ekholm. Or perhaps he could even rotate as the seventh defenseman with Victor Bartley.

With no prospects in Milwaukee ready to make the leap to the parent club, the addition of Volchenkov makes sense considering Kevin Klein‘s departure and the decision not to qualify restricted free agent Michael Del Zotto (who came over in the trade late last season for Klein). This buys Poile and the Predators one good year to see if any of the young Admirals can be ready by 2015-16.

Volchenkov’s career high is 19 points (2006-07) and he amassed only eight points in 56 games for the New Jersey Devils last season.

This will be just his third NHL team and first in the Western Conference. He was a first round pick by the Ottawa Senators back in 2000.


PHOTO CREDIT: Bridget Samuels (used with permission)