How much will the Nashville Predators spend this offseason with a young talented roster already on their hands?
The 2015-16 NHL season was great for the Nashville Predators. They made it to the second round for only the third time in franchise history. They also proved to the rest of the NHL that you should never doubt the Predators. In late December and early January Nashville was not even thinking playoffs but they made it and made the most of what they were given. To make things better, they also grabbed their first ever true #1 center in Ryan Johansen.
This offseason before the 2016 season has a chance to be the biggest ever. Nashville has a really nice team but seems as if they are just one player or piece away from making it into the next round. There are few guys who will be looking to cash in while others will be looking to keep their hockey dreams alive.
Say Goodbye To The Past
The Predators have $9.3 million in cap space this offseason. That is not much to persuade a top free agent to make his way into Nashville. The Preds will look to say goodbye to Paul “Goose” Gaustad and maybe Eric Nystrom. Saying goodbye to Goose will be hard but will saving the team 3.2 million dollars will help signFilip Forsberg.
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Nashville could add to their low cap space if they are able to say adios to
. By relieving them of their duty, the Preds would add $7.25 million to their cap space making a whopping $16.55 million. The case for each player is simple but would be difficult to master all three moves.
Carter Hutton: adds 750K to cap space; good when called upon; time for Marek Mazanec to come up so Juuse Saros can take over as full time in Milwaukee for at least a season before he comes up to Nashville.
Mike Ribeiro: adds $3.5 million; great 2nd line center but proved father time is real when he was a step to slow in the playoffs; Mike Fisher could step back up to the #2 spot or Calle Jarnkrok could go back to center, Vladislav Kamenev will be great one day in the NHL but might be a year or two out.
Colin Wilson is also a forward who might get a look on the trade block. Nashville will not get rid of Wilson now but if he performs next season like he did this season,he will be a castaway at the trade deadline. Keep in mind, Patric Hornqvist would still be in Nashville if the perfect trade didn’t come up. Maybe they will get a good price for Mr. Playoffs.
Anything is possible, but Nashville will have to make some moves because $9 million is just not enough.
Filip Forsberg… hopefully, his jersey number will be in the rafters one day right next to the Stanley Cup Champion banners. Before all that happens, you have to sign him to a long-term deal.
The St. Louis Blues signed star winger Vladimir Tarasenko to a 8 year/ $60,000,000 last offseason. If Tarasenko is getting paid big bucks, you know Forsberg will want his share. If Nashville could get Forsberg for around $6 million a year for 8 years, it would be gold. Forsberg was near invisible in the playoffs. But, pulling the muscles in your back will mack anyone obsolete in any profession.
Calle Jarnkrok is also looking for his payday as well. Calle will not receive as much as Filip but he deserves every penny. The Preds will also have to keep in mind that Ryan Johansen’s contract ends in two seasons and so does Game 6 OT winning hero Viktor Arvidsson.
The Future and Free Agency
The Milwaukee Admirals are one of the best AHL teams around right now. Luckily, all that talent belongs to the Nashville Predators. Nashville has a chance to bring some of their talent up next season depending on how they do in the development camps.
The future of the Preds looks bright with Kevin Fiala, Vladislav Kamenev, Pontus Aberg, Juuse Saros, Jack Dougherty, Yakov Trenin and Justin Kirkland. That’s a lot of names but a lot of raw moldable talent. The Preds must keep these players in mind when resigning people to long-term deals.
If Nashville could add to their cap space and entice a free agent, I believe they would. Steven Stamkos looks like he may be out in Tampa Bay and enjoys playing LW. Just Imagine Stamkos, Johansen, and Neal on the first line next season or alongside Filip Forsberg and Craig Smith. Milan Lucic of Los Angeles has the grinding physical mentality that Nashville likes so keep an eye on him.
At the trade deadline, Nashville was a finalist for Boston Bruin Loui Eriksson so he could be a factor for a contract too.
Just about anything is possible this offseason, so expect the unexpected.