Sign Ellis or trade him
It is no secret. The Nashville Predators’ plans this offseason start with Ryan Ellis. He is one of the best defensemen in the NHL. Take a look at his statistics, and those of defensemen with more than 700 minutes on ice this year. Ellis ranks seventh in CorsiFor (55.63), second in goals for percentage (64.29), and finished in the top 50 in total points during 5v5 situations. And, he finished the season with a +25 rating, seventh best among defensemen.
Let’s not forget, Ellis only played in 44 games.
Next season is the final year of Ellis current contract, making only $2.5 million in salary. The contract ranks 115th among NHL defensemen according to CapFriendly. The case can be made that Ellis deserves a better contract.
Teammate Mattias Ekholm makes $3.75 million per season, while captain Roman Josi has a $4 million average annual value. The Predators are speaking with Ellis about an extension, but no figures have been released. If you compare Ellis to other players, a 6 year, $6 million contract is not out of the realm of reality.
Nothing else can happen until this contract is completed. If the Predators can agree with Ellis on July 1, they will have time to take care of other desires. However, if they cannot come to terms before the season, David Poile could consider trading the star defensemen. It is not ideal, but it will be more difficult to negotiate after the season should Ellis perform as we expect.