Predators: Looking at the Biggest Unrestricted Free Agents Next Offseason

NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 19: Craig Smith #15 of the Nashville Predators skates against the Winnipeg Jets at Bridgestone Arena on November 19, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 19: Craig Smith #15 of the Nashville Predators skates against the Winnipeg Jets at Bridgestone Arena on November 19, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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Mikael Granlund

It hasn’t been what you would call smooth sailing for Granlund since coming here via trade last season. He has’t lived up to the expectations most had for him when being acquired from the Minnesota Wild in return for Kevin Fiala.

Granlund is making $5.75 million this year at age 27. He’s still in the prime of his career and is a former 67 and 69-point scorer. If the Predators decide to keep him, they’re rolling the dice that he can become that player again, and soon. He has just 16 points in 42 regular season games for Nashville going back to last season.

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There’s a lot of time left to change my mind, but I don’t see the Predators retaining him. He’s going to want a long-term contract, and a big investment from whichever team he ends up with. Someone will want him more than the Predators want him.

I will say that if he hits a hot streak and becomes a big piece to the Predators climbing back into the thick of things, then he could earn his way back in. Judging off of his productivity to this point, I don’t see him returning. He’s currently day-to-day with a lower body injury that forced him to miss his last game.