Cap Space Wanted
The Nashville Predators have always seemed to work wonders with the salary cap. They very rarely have made a bad deal. They had no choice. The Predators are a small market team that until recently, did not have the okay to spend up to the top of the cap. That all started to change when the Nashville Predators matched the Philadelphia Flyers offer sheet for Shea Weber in 2012, making him the second highest paid player in the league at that time.
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Since the infamous offer sheet debacle, the Predators have been willing to spend money. However, they have remained focused on making as many team-friendly deals as possible along the way to lock in its core players. That was eventually going to catch up to them. You can’t have every player under contract and expect to have cap space. Well, here we are. This summer is the first off-season I can remember the Nashville Predators have almost no room to make any serious free agent moves.
The Predators project to have roughly $6 million in cap space next season if the NHL salary cap bumps up to the expected $83 million. The following players are free agents this summer: Brian Boyle, Wayne Simmonds, Rocco Grimaldi, Colton Sissons, Cody McLeod, and Zac Rinaldo.
Who Should Be Resigned
Undoubtedly, the Predators won’t (and shouldn’t) have any interest in resigning Simmonds, McLeod, or Rinaldo. So, that leaves the Predators with $6 million to sign Boyle, Sissons, and Grimaldi. A lot of fans and analysts believe they should sign Boyle. He played the best out of any of their trade deadline acquisitions and gave the Predators the extra leadership it was longing for all season long.
According to Evolving Wild’s contract predictor tool, Boyle will command somewhere around $1.25 million on a 1 year deal. That feels a little low to me given everything Boyle has to offer for the Predators. Nonetheless, we will go with that number.
The Predators are almost guaranteed to resign both Sissons and Grimaldi as well. Sissons has continued to improve his play, year over year, and is a vital part of the organization. Adam Vingan of the Athletic gave Sissons a B grade for his season this year. Vingan also gave Grimaldi an A for his play this season. Grimaldi and Sissons both put up career years this season and deserve new contracts.
Looking at the same contract predictor, Sissons is looking at a 3 year deal with at $2.9 million per. Grimaldi should garner about $850,000 for 2 years. I would venture to guess Poile works a little magic and can convince Sissons to take a 3 or 4 year deal worth $2.5 million per. Either way, to sign all three players will cost the Predators around $5 million. That would leave them with just $1 million in space to offer a few league-minimum contracts to fill out their system depth.
That is not enough space, however, to land any big time free agent forwards this team so desperately need. So, follow me fellow armchair GMs as it is now time to make trades to bolster the roster!