Report: Predators, Ellis 'still not close' in contract negotiations

Aug 30, 9:52 AM

As the calendar gets set to turn to September, it appears as though the Nashville Predators and restricted free agent defenseman Ryan Ellis are no closer to reaching an agreement on a new contract.

Ellis, 23, scored six goals and added 21 assists while averaging a touch over 16 minutes of ice time in 80 games this past season. The 11th overall pick in the 2009 Draft ranked second among Predators defensemen with a 50.3 Corsi For rating, and first with an average of 1.04 points per 60 minutes at even strength (via Stats.HockeyAnalysis.com).

As per Capgeek, Nashville has almost $12 million in available cap space, so clearly the money is there to get a deal done; differences in term and valuation are likely holding up the proceedings, with the club presumably needing to see more from the young defenseman before diving in too deep in regards to both.

Sep 25, 7:03 PM

Predators sign Ryan Ellis to 5-year contract reportedly worth $12.5M

Sep 25, 7:03 PM

The Nashville Predators finally came to an agreement with restricted free agent Ryan Ellis, signing the defenseman to a five-year contract Thursday.

Ellis is expected to arrive in Nashville on Friday, ending a contract dispute that lasted the entire offseason. The deal covers the remainder of Ellis's years as a restricted free agent and keeps him with the Predators until 2019, when he will be 28.

The deal could end up being a great bargain for Nashville, which selected Ellis 11th overall in 2009. The diminutive blue-liner recorded 27 points in his first full NHL season and was effective on the power play, hinting at the offensive potential that could raise his value well above his $2.5 million cap hit.

Feature photo courtesy of Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

Sep 20, 12:58 PM

Predators GM on Ryan Ellis negotiations: 'It’s a difference of dollars'

Sep 20, 12:58 PM

The Nashville Predators are into their second day of training camp and restricted free agent Ryan Ellis, the club's third highest scoring defenseman last season, has yet to report to camp due to a contract dispute.

"It is a typical negotiation that unfortunately has gone past the time that we needed to have something done, meaning having him here for training camp," explained Predators general manager David Poile, per Kristopher Martel of the accredited Predatorial blog. "There’s nothing really much to go into, it’s very simple, it’s a difference of dollars.

"We’ve talked shorter term contracts and we’ve talked longer term contracts," explained the veteran Predators executive. "Unfortunately, at this time, we have not agreed yet what they think and what we think is fair compensation. We both totally realize that the sooner we get it done it’s better for us and it’s better for Ryan."

The 23-year-old Ellis, a first-round pick of the Predators at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, appeared in 80 games for Nashville last season. The offensive-minded blue-liner managed to score six goals and 27 total points, leading all Predators defenders in relative shot attempt differential in the process. 

While his counting statistics and underlying numbers were strong, Ellis only logged third-pairing minutes at even strength and faced tertiary competition. In light of his modest usage and favorable deployment, it would be understandable if the Predators were leery about overcompensating the puck-moving defender. 

Feature photo courtesy of USA Today/Dennis Wierzbicki

Sep 18, 7:14 PM

Predators' Ellis not at training camp; contract negotiations still stalled

Sep 18, 7:14 PM

The Nashville Predators began training camp on Thursday and were without one of their defensive stalwarts as restricted free agent defenseman Ryan Ellis is still in negotiations for a new contract.

Ellis' agent told rinksidereport.com via email that no progress has been made towards a deal. Predators general manager David Poile said that negotiations are ongoing and the sooner an agreement can be reached, the better.

Nashville invited blue-liner Brian Lee to training camp on a tryout, perhaps as a possible replacement for Ellis.

On-ice practice sessions start on Friday and the Predators open their six-game preseason schedule on Tuesday against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Sep 16, 6:50 PM

Report: Negotiations between Predators, RFA Ellis 'not going well at all'

Sep 16, 6:50 PM

According to TSN's Bob McKenzie, the Nashville Predators remain at an impasse with 2009 first-round pick Ryan Ellis, with the situation only getting worse.

Ellis played 80 games with the Predators in the final year of his entry-level contract, but ranked seventh among team defensemen in average ice-time. He was a fixture on Nashville's second power-play unit, recording six power-play assists and ranking third among blue-liners with 123 shots.

Cap space isn't an issue for the Predators, who have nearly $12 million remaining under the limit.

Feature photo courtesy of USA TODAY Sports/Brace Hemmelgarn

Aug 13, 7:55 PM

Predators, Ryan Ellis still working toward contract extension

Aug 13, 7:55 PM

It's been a busy offseason for the Nashville Predators, but there's still a little housework that remains outstanding. 

Restricted free-agent defenseman Ryan Ellis is the Predators' last roster player who remains unsigned - a situation general manager David Poile hopes to resolve sooner rather than later.

"Like 99 percent of negotiations that aren't done at this time we just don't agree exactly on what the dollars should be," Poile said via Josh Cooper of the Tennessean. "Hopefully it will be done by training camp. That's what our target is."

Ellis' offensive style has undermined his ability to flourish under Barry Trotz's ultra-conservative system since being drafted in 2009, but the 23-year-old should be unleashed this season. 

Peter Laviolette has a propensity for including his defensemen on the attack, a style that will surely play to Ellis' strengths - assuming the two sides do indeed reach common ground. 

Feature photo courtesy of USA TODAY Sports/Brace Hemmelgarn