You cannot lose Forsberg in free agency
By choosing to keep Forsberg at the trade deadline, Poile now has to live with the likelihood that he will have to overpay to keep his prized superstar forward.
While it’s totally understandable why Poile chose not to trade Forsberg and derail the Predators’ season back in March, but also at the same time, for what? A first-round sweep?
So now Poile has to pull out all the stops to get Forsberg re-signed, even if that means paying him more than he would like. Forsberg has all the leverage at the negotiating table.
In the end, I’m remain fairly optimistic that Poile retains him and Forsberg shows some loyalty to the only franchise he’s logged NHL minutes for. He’s the all-time leading goal scorer and is still in the prime of his career.
The question remains if Forsberg truly feels the Predators are building a Stanley Cup contending team and believes in this front office’s vision. With his next contract likely being a long-term variety, I’m sure it’s weighing heavily on his mind. This is something we can only speculate on until free agency fires up and teams begin emerging.
This piece from Lyle Richardson of Bleacher Report lists some landing spots for Forsberg if Nashville can’t retain him, and the Calgary Flames raised my eyebrows the most.
If the Flames don’t hold onto pending UFA Johnny Gaudreau, then they’ll be an aggressive suitor for Forsberg and that would be an enticing alternative for Forsberg.
Unequivocally, the Nashville Predators will be worse in 2022-23 if Forsberg isn’t re-signed and a real rebuild, not a retool, will be a reality.
Final Thoughts on Nashville Predators Offseason
The Nashville Predators just can’t get out of being average. This is what the front office is tasked with addressing this offseason. How do they get this franchise back over the first round hump.
These aren’t all instant fixes, but the Predators have a solid, young nucleus mixed with a few seasoned veterans to make a big jump forward in 2022-23 only if they have an effective 2022 offseason.
Continuing to develop your youth, having another strong draft class, being aggressive in free agency to fix some offensive woes, and re-signing Forsberg are four ways that this team will get better this summer.