Develop young talent
So, if they Nashville Predators have $12 million in cap space, but three RFA’s to sign. That does not leave room for much after the fact, though. Maybe $7 million overall. The Nashville Predators’ roster has 19 positions claimed, leaving 4 open. Well, three of those four are potentially filled by the RFA’s. Therefore, essentially, there is on place open on the everyday roster.
The question remains who could fill that roster position. There are certainly a few players the Predators could call upon. Of course, everyone will want to see how Eeli Tolvanen would do playing on a regular basis. The young forward took the world by storm during the KHL season and Olympics. There is no doubting his scoring ability, but can it translate to the NHL?
The area the Predators may look for help is on defense. Given the top four players are healthy when the season begins, there is no reason to think coach Peter Laviolette will separate them. But, the bottom pair could see a fresh look. Matt Irwin played 50 games last season, and showed grit and energy down the stretch. Can he do that for a full 82? Or at least 60? Yannick Weber and Anthony Bitetto are solid depth pieces, but maybe not everyday players.
Do not be shocked if Alexandre Carrier or Dante Fabbro gain consideration. Carrier had a solid season with the Milwaukee Admirals last season, earning 28 points and performed well in a few games in 2016-17. Fabbro’s sophomore season at Boston was a huge step forward, increasing his scoring by 11 points. However, Fabbro will serve at the team’s captain next year. After his season, he could sign with the Predators and add late-season depth.
These three items remain the focus for David Poile and his staff. There is little reason to expect a large signing or a trade. The team in place now is solid enough to contend. The Predators just need to bring consistency and energy to every game.