The Predators are in last place in the Central Division with a 2-5-1 record and have scored just 20 goals. Greg Johnson has been solid as the first-line center, totaling one goal and eight assists, but the team's other three centers -- Darren Turcotte, Jeff Nelson and Sebastien Bordeleau -- have combined for two goals and three assists.
"This is a deal that helps us now and down the road," said Predators general manager David Poile. "Cliff Ronning adds speed to our lineup and is a highly skilled playmaker able to play in all situations -- power play, penalty-killing and even strength. Richard Linter is another young defenseman that we believe can develop into an NHL performer as we continue to build our system and depth."
The 33-year-old Ronning had two goals and five assists in the Coyotes' first seven games. He had 11 goals and 55 points in 80 games last season for Phoenix and will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. Overall, the 12-year veteran has 198 goals and 566 points in 702 games.
Linter had one assist in seven games playing for the Springfield Falcons of the American Hockey League. A native of Slovakia, the 20-year-old was a fifth-round pick in the 1996 draft.
© 1998 SportsLine USA, Inc. All rights reserved