It was a busy Day 2 of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft for the Nashville Predators, including a buyout from a bad contract that’s been a dark cloud for a while.
In what was probably a big shock to some, the Nashville Predators and GM David Poile figured out a way to buyout Kyle Turris‘ contract and free up cap space. They placed him on unconditional waivers on Wednesday during the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.
There’s just not much flexibility this offseason with the flat cap, so getting this done is a necessary move for Poile as he tried to leave himself room to land another free agent and make this team younger for the future.
Poile messed up bad by signing Turris to the original contract, but he’s at least trying to minimize the damage with this move. Bringing Turris back for another season just didn’t make sense anymore.
Free agency officially opens up on Friday, and the list of players that are likely not returning to the Predators next season keeps growing. The Turris contract is widely considered one of the worst contracts Poile has handed out as GM of the Predators.
The Turris buyout frees up $4 million of cap space, while they’ll only owe an annual $2 million for the final four years left on the contract, per CapFriendly:
A necessary move from Poile
It’s fair to say that Turris never got a fair shake in Nashville. He was thrown into a bad situation from the start, and was constantly moved all over the lineup. Chemistry was never built, and now both sides appear to be parting ways.
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However, there’s a slim chance that the Predators could re-sign Turris to a cheaper deal and bring him back. I don’t think Turris’ time as a quality bottom-six player has passed him by. I’d welcome Turris back for a team-friendly and low-risk deal.
With that said, I don’t expect it to come to that. I’m expecting a more desperate team to take Turris for a longer deal that would entice Turris more than what the Predators maybe would offer.
If Turris is truly done in Nashville, then he’ll finish his three seasons with the Predators with just 29 goals and 96 points. Almost half of that point total came in his first season when the Predators were still considered viable Stanley Cup contenders.
This leaves plenty of room for the Predators to move up more prospects into the lineup for next season, and possibly get more aggressive in the free agent market.
There’s reports that the Predators are in the sweepstakes for Taylor Hall, per The Athletic, so we’ll have to keep an eye on that as Friday approaches:
This sends a clear signal from Poile that he’s not pleased with what’s happened in the few seasons since going to the Stanley Cup Final in 2017, and massive changes are needed.
As hard as it is to see a classy player like Turris go, this move had to be done. It frees up cap space and also frees up roster space for prospects to prove themselves on the NHL level.
Next season figures to be an exciting one, even the Predators aren’t a top contender, because we’ll get to see new faces in the lineup and carry that underdog role once again.