A busy day of signings continues today. The Nashville Predators announced they’ve extended defenseman Jeremy Lauzon to a four-year contract worth $8MM in total, carrying an average annual value of $2MM.
Nashville acquired Lauzon at the Trade Deadline this season from the Seattle Kraken in exchange for a second-round pick (49th overall in the 2022 draft). He was Seattle’s expansion draft selection from the Boston Bruins.
Strictly a bottom-of-the-lineup player, Lauzon tallied two goals and seven points in 66 games combined between Seattle and Nashville this season. While he was in the lineup more consistently in Nashville, he often found himself as a healthy scratch with the Kraken. He averaged 17:40 of ice time per game this season, only a few seconds above his career average.
The veteran of 142 NHL games has some serious career stability now. He is decent defensively at even strength but has struggled on the penalty kill when used there, making more an ideal complementary player to a more high-end, offensively-inclined defenseman. If all goes well, he could end up being a good, cheap solution to partner with Roman Josi, but that’s assuming he maintains his solid defensive play post-trade. He’s known to be inconsistent at times, which raises a few red flags around the four-year term for this deal.
However, Lauzon is still just 25, and will still likely be in his prime at age 29 when the deal expires in 2026. It’s somewhat of a risky deal since the $2MM isn’t fully buriable in the minors, but it could just as well work out just fine. Lauzon was slated to become a restricted free agent with arbitration rights this offseason, and he’ll be an unrestricted free agent at the contract’s end.
Even if he is a fine player, I dont think its ever wise to commit so many years to guys who are just rounding out the roster. Theres going to be a ton of Jeremy Lauzon’s who end up signing for a similar amount on one or two year deals over the next four years.
You know David Poile better than I do. But it feels like the four years was his idea. If he offers $2 million per for 2 years I think Lauzon signs it. It feels like Poile thinks this is another instance of him locking up a young player at what will be a value contract and wanting to make sure he got term to maximize that value. I’m not sure I agree with him. But I’m pretty sure he did it on purpose and wants four years instead of two or three.
I think I signed Lauzon to that same deal on my NHL ‘22 franchise mode. Tip: go to “edit player” and add “truculence”. He earned it playing for the kraken! And really, I do like that guy and wish him well! Hope he’ll get to develop that Top 4 D potential he showed with Seattle and get some time with Josi as well. Contract is definitely a little kooky for sure.
The fact that Poile values a 6/7 Dman like Lauzon this much tells you all you need to know about why the Preds are the one round and done bubble team that they are. What other team gives out 4 year contracts for 3rd pairing (at best) Dmen?
But I guess when you throw away a 2nd round pick like DP did for Lauzon, you gotta give the impression it was worth it.
He must see something in this player that most people don’t. Just a depth guy to me, good for Jeremy!
Eh, this is the same guy who gave a 2nd rounder for Lauzon, where you’d be hardpressed to find anyone who’d think one would need more than a 4th. Lauzon is a perfectly serviceable bottom-pairing defenseman, but you do not give them $2MM AAVs and you do not give them four years. There are three dozen guys in the AHL just like him who’ll be happy to play for half that money and year-to-year.
Sure, Nashville has cap space NOW, but watch that go bye-bye if they resign Forsberg — that’ll be north of $9MM AAV — Kunin, Trenin and Cousins (all of whom’d be looking for raises), and go out and get a decent backup goalie. That’s somewhere north of, say, $17MM AAV right there. It only leaves a few million for actual roster upgrades, and they can’t waste money paying Jeremy-F’n-Lauzon twice what he’s worth.
I was amused by the bits retweeted by the Athletic: “Jeremy Lauzon, signed to a 4x2m extension by Nashville, for reasons best known to themselves” and “anytime you can lock up a replacement level defenceman for four years you gotta do it.”
Poile sees something others don’t. Just as he saw something in Ekholm before others did. Its a risky move, but I think a Calculated one. Lauzon could be the “Ying” to Josi’s “Yang” as it were. Myers I think will get bought out (or dealt to Toronto??)
Cousins ain’t coming back. Kunin, based on his stats last season, shouldn’t be getting a raise and could be Trade Bait, possibly in a deal back to Minni for Fiala? Minni can’t afford Fiala, but could get something for him at the draft instead of holding up their cap with a QO which would prevent them from making any other deals of significance until he either Signs or gets his Arb hearing late this summer.
Forsberg I think will get done…but not 10mil like many seem to think. Johnnie Hockey will get 10+. Forsberg isn’t in that category, 9 sounds about right.
Trenin will get a raise. Ingram will be the back up this season (I think he more than earned it if you watched any of the 1st round), I have a nagging thought that one of the unsung heros, up front, will be going as well to make room for another splash for the 2nd line.
Poile won’t go right to the ceiling….but will be in the ceiling fan area by the time this team goes to camp. And I think there will be a ton of movement between now and opening day if he does what he said needed to be done at the year end press conference.
Lauzon just robbed the franchise with this deal.
Now now, Luzon was a former second round pick of Boston’s legendary GM Don Sweeney.
LOL! Lauzon is better than Forbort or Moore who the Bruins are/were paying.