Of the many things that were said, the one overarching takeaway was that both Poile and Hynes agreed that the team was not good enough to go anywhere far this year in the playoffs.
Another one of the statements that caught the attention of many was that Poile said that he will spend to the cap in the best way that the team can.
It certainly makes sense that the Nashville Predators want to make their roster deeper and harder to play against, but spending big in free agency would be a bit odd for a team that is hoping for their youth to get progressively more involved.
How can the Predators use their resources without jeopardizing their future?
Free agency has plenty of options for Nashville Predators
As it stands now, the Predators are sitting at a cap hit of $57,346,411 going into the offseason, per Spotrac. They will obviously spend more than that considering the salary cap is $82.5M for 2022-2023.
In particular, the team hopes to spend a good chunk of their cap space on Filip Forsberg, and it is reported that there is mutual interest between both sides in getting a deal done.
Yakov Trenin and Jeremy Lauzon are expected back, and it is reasonable to assume that at least one of Luke Kunin and Matt Luff will be back on the roster. If all of that happens, the Predators should be looking at a cap hit of $70M-$72M.
That’s somewhere between $10M-$12M in cap space, which is certainly enough to go after one or two guys to give the Predators the secondary scoring that they desperately need.
Even better, there are a few guys out there who could be stopgap options while the youth takes more time to develop.
Possible additions on the open market
Phil Kessel is getting old but has been fairly effective on a terrible Arizona Coyotes team, and could work on the Predators on a short-term deal.
Max Domi is still unproven at this point in his career and will sign for the short-term wherever he goes, but bringing him to the Predators would be a decent risk since he has been unable to find his footing anywhere in the league.
There are other players such as Ondrej Palat, Nino Niederreiter, Reilly Smith, Andre Burakovsky, and Nazem Kadri who would fit what the Predators want, but they are likely to take long-term opportunities elsewhere.
The trade market could also be an option, just as long as they do not give up too many assets in return.
Ultimately, the goal here is to give Ryan Johansen some extra help so he is not on an island as the second line center, and it could help out the youth to give them some breathing room as they get more experience playing together.
That being said, the Nashville Predators absolutely cannot sacrifice the future, and have to make sure that they leave some money to be able to extend Alexandre Carrier and Tanner Jeannot next season.
Speaking of Jeannot, he showed in a limited amount of time that he could hang with the top six, so the Predators may only need one guy in free agency to round out their second line, which gave them fits all through 2021-2022.
As Poile said in the press conference, the team would like to spend to the cap, but must be careful and spend it wisely.