The Nashville Predators re-signed Cody Bass to a two-year, two-way contract Wednesday worth $575,000 at the NHL level and $150,000 at the AHL level in 2016-17 and $650,000 at the NHL level and $150,000 at the AHL level in 2017-18.
Bass, 29, played 17 regular season and six playoff games for the Predators but was scoreless and tallied 19 penalty minutes last season. Most of his time was spent with the Milwaukee Admirals (AHL), where he was the assistant captain and had nine points (four goals and five assists) with 84 penalty minutes in 39 games.
Nashville signed Bass as an unrestricted free agent last summer to a one-year, two-way deal. He did enough this year to be rewarded with another NHL contract.
When Rich Clune was bought out at the end of the 2014-15 season, the Predators were without an enforcer. Bass provided that and much more to the organization at the NHL level and, more importantly, the AHL level.
As the assistant captain and one of the more experienced veterans in Milwaukee, he was a leader in the locker room for many of the young, skilled prospects.
Though Bass notoriously racks up high penalty minutes, the Predators needed him to be more than just an enforcer like Clune. He had to be a smart and effective irritant to the opposition without hurting himself or the Predators.
Bass was most effective in Nashville’s first round playoff series against the Anaheim Ducks, the league’s most physical and undisciplined team. He played a major role in protecting the Preds’ stars from players like Kevin Bieksa, Corey Perry and Chris Stewart. Policing games was his job, and he did it effectively. He even created a few scoring chances on the fourth line.
Unfortunately, Bass’ year came to an end in the first period of Game 6, suffering a lower-body injury on a missed hit to Ducks defenseman Sami Vatanen.
Bass’ role the next two seasons will unlikely change. One-dimensional enforcers are no longer useful in today’s NHL, and Bass is more than just that. He can drop the gloves, deliver hits and be a play-maker whenever called upon. That is why re-signing Bass will prove to be a great move by the Predators.
Colin Fitts is a Nashville Predators staff writer and is a credentialed media member of the Chicago Wolves. From Nashville, Tennessee, Colin majors in journalism and public relations at Columbia College Chicago. Follow him on Twitter, @FittsTHW. Email: 22fitts [at] gmail [dot] com.