NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Deryk Engelland signed a one-year contract extension with the Golden Knights on Monday. But it may not be the veteran defenseman’s last.
Engelland, 35, is thinking long term. Even if it means going a year at a time.
“If you go back years, I’d probably be done by now,” he said Tuesday at Bridgestone Arena prior to the Knights meeting the Nashville Predators. “I try to keep improving, play well and be a good teammate. It has gotten me to where I’m at now and I want to go as long as I can go.”
The extension is worth $1.5 million.
“For a one-year deal, it is what it is. You’ve got to come in and perform every year and you use that as motivation all summer long when you’re training. It pushes you to give a little extra,” Engelland said.
Engelland’s health and performance will determine whether he gets another contract offer. But he has kept himself in excellent shape and he is playing as well as he ever has in his nine-year NHL career.
“Since I’ve been with PSI (Philippi Sports Institute), I think I’ve trained relatively the same,” Engelland said. “We’ve tweaked a few things but not a whole lot. You see what you need to work on from the year before and you talk to your trainer and you go from there.”
Eakin, Leipsic sit
The Knights’ third line had a different look to it Tuesday after center Cody Eakin and left wing Brendan Leipsic did not dress.
Both players skated in the morning but were held out by coach Gerard Gallant. Ryan Carpenter took Eakin’s place at center while Oscar Lindberg replaced Leipsic at left wing.
James Neal, who missed Monday’s practice with an undisclosed illness, was in the lineup against his former team.
Defenseman Jon Merrill signed a two-year, $2.75 million contract extension that will keep him in a Knights uniform through 2020. His average annual value salary will be $1.375 million.
Merrill, 25, was selected by the Knights from New Jersey in the expansion draft. He has one goal and one assist in 14 games this season and is currently on injured-reserve with a lower-body injury suffered Jan. 4.
Defenseman Jason Garrison was recalled from the Chicago Wolves and is expected to join the Knights for Wednesday afternoon’s practice in Tampa.
Garrison began the season with the Knights and played four games with one assist before being reassigned to the American Hockey League on Oct. 28. In 31 games with the Wolves, Garrison led all defensemen with 18 points (four goals, 14 assists).
Predators back from bye
The Predators returned from their bye week with bad news as left wing Viktor Arvidsson was placed on injured reserve retroactive to Jan. 9 with a lower-body injury. Arvidsson participated in Tuesday’s pregame skate less than 24 hours after being helped off the ice during Monday’s practice.
Coach Peter Laviolette is well aware of the struggles of teams coming off their bye. But he was confident the Predators would be ready.
“I would expect our team to play well,” Laviolette said. “We came into it the right way (with two wins). Now we have to come out of it the right way.”
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