It sounds like the Nashville Predators and forward Craig Smith used the arbitration hearing as their way to negotiate a new deal, as the two sides came together to agree upon a 5-year deal, which works out to be $4.25 million per season.
In an arbitration ruling, either side would have expected to see a 1-year deal, but with the player looking for $4.75 million for that year and the team offering $3 million, the hearing was destined to happen.
Last season, Smith was good for 23 goals and 44 points in all 82 games with the Predators, which ranked him 149th overall in pool scoring. His best season was the year before, where he had 24 goals and 52 points in 79 games, setting the bar fairly high, it would seem.
The Central Division is going to be a difficult one to play in this coming season and with some teams around the division getting stronger, it may hurt some of the numbers on a Nashville team, which wasn't exactly flashy last year.
Nashville isn't exactly a team that most poolies get excited about, unless you're looking for a top end defenseman or a starting goalie, so my projections for the forward aren't glowing at this point, but they are not terrible either. I am thinking he'll still be in the 40-point range and could be a bargain, if you were to get him around there.