With the bottom six forward group becoming overcrowded, the Nashville Predators should move on from Nick Bonino and his $4.1 million contract.
The Nashville Predators essentially became the deepest offensive team in the NHL after the signing of Matt Duchene, pushing Kyle Turris down to the third line and essentially leaving Nick Bonino without a critical role on the team, which is why they need to move on from him.
With players like Colton Sissons, Calle Jarnkrok and Rocco Grimaldi who could man the fourth line center spot for a cheaper cap hit, there is no reason why the Predators shouldn’t consider moving on from Bonino.
After all, he would be one of the highest-paid fourth line centers in the league and there is no shot he would be able to replicate his production from last year with a very minuscule amount of playing time.
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He had 17 goals and 35 points this year, which is definitely not bad for a guy in his role, but he would be a much better fit on a team that is desperately looking for center depth, such as the New York Islanders or Chicago Blackhawks, who would probably give up a second or third round pick to take his contract off of the Predators hands.
Next offseason will be a difficult one for the Predators, as players like Mikael Granlund, Craig Smith and Roman Josi become free agents, so letting go of Nick Bonino would make maneuvering all of these pieces under the salary cap ceiling so much easier.
Roman Josi especially is looking for a raise, as he is currently on a $6 million cap hit and is possibly looking for a pay raise to rival the cap hits of some of the best defensemen in the league, as he deserves, which could mean a $3-6 million pay raise for the captain.
Letting go of such a hefty contract that could be easily replaced by cheaper pieces from within would most likely be the best way for the Nashville Predators to deal with retaining all of their big pieces next season.
Getting rid of Bonino would almost help the Nashville Predators more than hurt them, which is why David Poile should pull the trigger and get it done.