Free agency is starting on July 13, and with each passing day that goes by, they are running out of time to keep their star forward from hitting the open market.
They are also losing significant leverage in negotiations as time goes by, putting the team in a dire situation either way you put it. To make it even worse, this was completely avoidable.
General Manager David Poile and the Nashville Predators were taking a giant risk by not trading or signing him at the March trade deadline, and it is looking like a costly mistake. The fears of the best forward in team history walking are starting to become reality.
Just recently though, we got more clarity on the situation. And honestly, it is nothing that should make the fans feel better.
Nashville Predators are botching the Forsberg situation
According to Nick Cole, who is reporting news from TSN’s Frank Seravalli, Forsberg is actually looking for a team friendly deal from the Predators. And the money on the contract would not make him close to the highest paid player per year.
David Pagnotta from The Fourth Period also mentioned that money is not the holdup in contract discussions, and it has more to do with clauses and bonuses.
A catastrophic mistake for the Predators front office
All of these reports suggest one thing — Poile is showing to be more and more unfit for his job as Predators’ general manager. It is bad enough for the situation to even have gotten to this point, as the Predators had no realistic chance at a deep playoff run in this past year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs.
To let the contract clauses be enough of a scare to bring back Forsberg is inexcusable in multiple different ways. Number one, if these reports are true, he is helping the Predators out by not taking up as much cap space as he realistically could demand.
For someone like that who genuinely seems to want to stay in Nashville, Poile should do Forsberg a favor in return and be willing to compromise on the clauses and bonuses. Him doing that would also be doing the team a favor in the locker room and on the ice, as certain players may not be the same if he is not around.
Number two, speaking of leverage, what if Forsberg one of these days decided to up his asking price and cost the Predators more money? He likely will not, but he could, and you could not blame him if he did.
With all of this news being released, it is beyond embarrassing for Poile to have let this situation drag out past the trade deadline, let alone this point.
Even if Forsberg does ends up ultimately re-signing, which very much could still happen, it is hard to trust Poile to lead the Predators anywhere near a Stanley Cup. Bluntly speaking, he is horribly mishandling a move that would be the worst in his entire tenure.
If this all ends up with the franchise’s all-time leading goal scorer walking for nothing despite very reasonable contract demands, then it should be the last straw for Poile keeping his job.
Look at how Forsberg’s buddy, NFL star tight end George Kittle, is spamming the Predators’ social media telling them to re-sign him. That would not be happening if he really did not want to come back.
However, if the right opportunity is not there, Forsberg will walk, and it does not have to be that way at all. Even for someone who came into the offseason with a clear path to regain some trust, he is blowing that opportunity, and it is all his fault.