If you can beat them, join them? That’s Nick Bonino’s philosophy, as the former Pittsburgh Penguins forward is joining the Nashville Predators, whom he helped beat in the Stanley Cup Finals. Darren Dreger of TSN.ca reports Bonino is going to Nashville on a four-year deal.
Confirming Nick Bonino is going to Nashville. 4/5 year term.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) July 1, 2017
Overall, this is an effective depth signing by Nashville. The 29-year-old is by no means a top-line forward, but the center will fit perfectly in the club’s middle-six alongside up-and-coming stars Viktor Arvidsson and Filip Forsberg. Bonino is coming off a solid season in Pittsburgh, where he tallied 18 goals, 19 assists and 37 points in 80 games. Ideally, he’ll fit on the Predators’ second line behind Ryan Johansen and ahead of Calle Jarnkrok on the depth chart.
Clearly, Bonino’s success against the Predators in the Stanley Cup Finals didn’t deter them from bringing him aboard. In Game One of the Cup Finals, Bonino scored twice on the Predators in a 5-3 victory. Bonino didn’t finish out the series after Game Two, as he suffered a broken tibia. The injury happened after Bonino blocked a slap shot from P.K. Subban (OUCH). Bonino isn’t expected to miss further time due to the injury.
Bonino is a two-time Cup winner and an average-to-above-average goal scorer, and he can fill a variety of roles for Nashville. On a four-year-deal, the Predators are betting Bonino can contribute for years to come—and there’s little reason to believe he can’t. He’s no All-Star, but he’ll make the Preds immediately better down the middle.