NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Nashville Predators wasted no time attacking the free-agent market in an attempt to boost their anemic offense.
As the NHL free agency period opened Friday, Nashville added forwards Viktor Stalberg, Matt Cullen, Matt Hendricks and Eric Nystrom. The Predators also signed goaltender Carter Hutton to a one-year, two-way contract worth $550,000 at the NHL level and $100,000 at the AHL level.
Nashville scored just 2.27 goals per game last year to match the Florida Panthers for the lowest average in the NHL. The Predators have invested heavily to avoid a repeat performance.
Stalberg signed a four-year, $12 million deal, Nystrom earned a four-year, $10 million deal, Hendricks will receive $7.4 million over the next four years, and Cullen signed a two-year contract worth $7 million.
The 27-year-old Stalberg had nine goals and 14 assists in 47 games for the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks this season. He appeared in 19 playoff games and had three assists.
Stalberg, a four-year veteran, had 22 goals and 43 assists for the Blackhawks in 2011-12. His contract will pay him $2.5 million each in 2013-14 and 2014-15 and $3.5 million each in 2015-16 and 2016-17.
Nystrom, 30, had seven goals and four assists for Dallas this season. He also had 61 penalty minutes in 48 games. Nystrom had 16 goals and five assists in 74 games in 2011-12. He will make $2 million each of the next two seasons and will receive $3 million each in 2015-16 and 2016-17.
The 36-year-old Cullen had seven goals and 20 assists in 42 games for Minnesota this season. He has totaled 202 career goals and 360 assists in 1,073 regular-season NHL games since 1997-98. His contract will pay him $3 million in 2013-14 and $4 million in 2014-15.
Hendricks, 32, had five goals and three assists in 48 games for Washington this season. He led the Capitals with 73 penalty minutes and ranked third on the team in face-off efficiency (56.8 percent). Hendricks has 27 goals and 31 assists in 263 career games. He will receive $1.85 million annually over the next four years.
Hutton, 27, played one game for the Blackhawks this season and 51 games for Rockford of the AHL. He had a 2.72 goals-against average and a .909 save percentage with the IceHogs.