When Nino Niederreiter went to bed Wednesday night, he had all but decided to sign with the Anaheim Ducks.
But around approximately 12:30 a.m. Swiss time, according to a report from Swiss-German newspaper Blick, Niederreiter received a text from Nashville Predators captain Roman Josi inquiring about the 29-year-old forward’s bottom-line salary.
It wasn’t long after that the Predators extended an official offer to Niederreiter, who signed a two-year, $8 million contract with Nashville on Thursday morning.
"Nashville was definitely very high on my list," Niederreiter said during his introductory press conference. "Knowing Josi and a bunch of the other guys made it a lot easier.
"[Josi] keeps telling me how great a group of guys the Preds are. And I think that's something that's very important if you want to go all the way. … Obviously, knowing Josi for quite a lot of time made it very easy to come.”
Josi and Niederreiter have been close friends for more than a decade. The two played together on Switzerland’s national team in the IIHF U18 World Championship in 2008, the IIHF World Junior Championship in 2010, the World Cup of Hockey in 2016, and the IIHF World Championship in 2010, 2012, 2013, 2018, and 2019 — winning a silver medal in both 2013 and 2018.
The 6-foot-2, 211-pound winger is a strong two-way forward in the mold of Colton Sissons and Tanner Jeannot, and he’s often rewarded for his peskiness around the net both in goals and penalties. Niederreiter drew 18 penalties last year — fourth-most among Hurricanes players — and 16 of his 24 goals last year came from within three feet of the crease.
"For my particular style of play, I think I'm very good around the net,” Niederreiter said. “And I think that's something that was a little bit missing in the past. I think that's something I can bring to the table."
Niederreiter’s addition gives the Predators’ second line two things it was missing last year: physicality and goal-scoring ability. Niederreiter ranked third on the Hurricanes last year in goals and fourth in hits (118), and his five game-winning goals were tied for third-most on the team.
"I think I'm going to fit in perfectly," Niederreiter said. "That's the way they play, I think, exactly the way I like to play. It's that physical game, but at the same time, it's trying to bring the finesse when there's a chance to do so, and I think that's a big reason why I chose this team."
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