After cutting ties with some key players, the Nashville Predators have given themselves some cap flexibility to pursue a big free agent or two.
It’s totally understandable that Nashville Predators fans are getting reservations about the front office possibly pursuing another big free agent contract
This time the big name is Taylor Hall, the former league MVP. As much as he would change the lineup and give it more of a scoring punch, this thought makes you anxious due to the past contracts that have gone wrong.
Added on top of those departures is the somewhat surprising trade of Nick Bonino to the Minnesota Wild for a much younger center in Luke Kunin, along with draft picks going to both sides of the trade.
With all of this free agency action, the Predators likely aren’t done as they’re in the sweepstakes for Hall, per multiple sources including Adam Vingan and Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic:
The writing is definitely on the wall with what Predators GM David Poile is trying to accomplish by dumping so much salary. But does he really want to sign another mammoth contract that’s no guarantee to work out?
Then you have this latest update from Darren Dreger calling the push from the Predators as “strong”:
Poile has to tread lightly here in my opinion. There’s nothing wrong with exploring the options as Hall is such a dynamic player, but he can’t get in too deep, which I’m afraid that’s what it’s going to require to win Hall.
Let’s hope they fall short
The Predators may be inquiring in the deal, but I just don’t see this coming to fruition. I could be totally wrong because I’m not behind the scenes obviously, and Poile has pulled off unexpected moves in the past.
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However, I don’t think this fits the strategy of what the Predators are trying to do, which is build a new foundation of younger players rising the ranks, while also continuing to keep their top players at the top with Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis, Filip Forsberg, Ryan Johansen, Viktor Arvidsson and Matt Duchene.
Aside from those top stars of the team, the roster gets much more open for new faces to come in. So if a superstar player like Hall comes aboard, he would no doubt transform the offensive prowess into a strong one for the Predators.
What you would have to worry about is it would actually slow down the growth and development of the rest of the team.
Not to mention more players would depart, and draft picks might also be a part of the deal. Combine that with another long-term and hefty salary and it gives me major pause.
In the end I’m hoping Poile resists and another team wins the deal. With this said, the Coloardo Avalanche are another team that are reportedly interested. I’d rather not see a player like Hall end up in the Central Division and join a team that’s already stacked with talent.
Hall joined the Arizona Coyotes during last season, and he didn’t really take off there like some would’ve hoped. He had a decent postseason, including four points in four games against the Predators in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers.
Just resist the urge on this one. I realize it’s enticing, but the Predators need to go another route to get back to relevancy. It starts with building up your prospects, which many of them just had a solid seasons in the AHL, and making more sensible low-risk free agency moves.
For instance, I actually really like the trade for Kunin as much as I’ll miss Bonino and his leadership.
Free agency is officially opening today, and we’ll keep you updated with news and reaction to all of the moves that the Predators make.