Keep a solid young trio
There are three players who are up for contract renewals as well. The positive part is they are all restricted free agents. Each one is valuable to the Nashville Predators. And, all three received qualifying offers.
Juuse Saros is the starting goalie in waiting. There is no doubting that after the season he just completed. With a .932 save percentage and 10.28 goals saved above average, Saros played himself into a good contract. Could he make over $2 million? Maybe.
Ryan Hartman brought cheers and jeers from Predators fans during his time in Nashville. His hard-nosed play and constant energy proved important during tough games but also landed the team on penalty kills. Hartman did not score goals like he did with Chicago, and that must change. Still, he plays an important role with the team. It would not be outside rational thought for him to be offered $1.5 million a season.
The third member of this trio is Miikka Salomaki. The young forward is not known for his scoring but does bring effort and a physical presence to the forward lines. His 8 points were not a career high, but any offensive contribution from him was welcome. However, even being deployed in the defensive zone nearly 70% of the time, Salomaki earned a CorsiFor of 50.6. And, his expected goals-for percentage was on-par with Austin Watson, Colton Sissons, and Viktor Arvidsson. Another $1.5 million contract is not outlandish.
Is this trio worth $5 million? Maybe more? You can make the argument, but anything more would handicap the Predators.