Predators sign Tootoo, Sheldon Brookbank, Ramzi Abid
Nashville Predators Executive Vice President/General Manager David Poile announced Friday that the club has re-signed restricted free-agent forward Jordin Tootoo (JOHR-dihn TOO-too) to a two-year contract and restricted free-agent defenseman Sheldon Brookbank (SHEHL-dohn BRUK-bank) to a one-year contract. The Predators also signed unrestricted free-agent forward Ramzi Abid (RAM-zee a-BIHD) to a one-year contract. Additional terms of the deals were not disclosed.
I like Abid as a nice depth pick up for Milwaukee and potential injury call-up.
As long as you're not expecting him to play in Nashville and be even minimally productive. He's nothing more than an AHL'er unless he inexplicably figures out how to go into traffic and dig for loose pucks along the boards. I saw him play in a game in Chicago last year, he instantly made my top 3 "biggest floaters ever in the game of hockey" list. That's how unimpressed I was with him.
Think of it this way: you lost one former high-scoring QMJHL'er in Gamache and got one to take his place in Abid.
I like what I've seen in terms of "depth signings" or "Milwaukee signings" this summer. When I lived in CT and the Wolf*Pack came to town one of the things that the Rangers stated publicly several times was that they were going to field a team that was heavy on veterans because they wanted to develop a winning culture in their minor league system so that players developed in a winning atmosphere. Unfortunately for the Rangers, they lacked many quality NHL prospects at the time and were honestly too stubborn to call up any rookies to fill slots so many players either langished in the minors or moved on to other organizations.
From my observations the Predators have the same philosophy in regards to their minor league system. They have a solid core of prospects each season to play in the AHL and then they fill in the remainder of the roster with quality veteran signings that insure that the team will be successful and none of the rookies will be counted on to perform top line duties until they are ready to assume the position.
We lost a lot of veteran players from last season's team in Milwaukee and I was concerned that they would not be replaced with veterans, but rather that the team was going to struggle with a lot of rookies. Fortunately, it appears that we have made a commitment to Milwaukee and their fans that they will field a solid team of rookies and quality AHL veterans to make another run at the Calder Cup.
As still a newer fan of the organization (three years), I'm very impressed with the commitment to providing a quality product throughout the organization from top to bottom. I believe that the team is headed in the right direction and I can only hope we continue to see the same level of quality for years to come.