Ondrej Palat, Tampa Bay Lightning
Previous Cap Hit: $5.3M
And now one of the top prizes on the free agent market, Mr. Playoff Clutch goal scorer himself, Ondrej Palat.
Obviously Palat did himself a lot of good on the open market by how he performed in the playoffs for the Lightning. He scored 11 goals during the Lightning’s playoff journey that ended in the Stanley Cup Final. Three of those 11 goals were game-winners.
Palat is going to be difficult for the Predators to afford as he’s almost certainly the most expensive player on this list. However, it’s not impossible if the Predators decide to be really bold.
This proposition does scare me some becauase Palat is 31-years-old, and I’d prefer the Predators to target younger players. However, I can’t really deny how beneficial Palat would be to this lineup that lacks enough scoring threats to be a deep playoff contender.
There’s still an outside chance he takes a cheaper deal to remain with Tampa Bay, but I have my doubts on that. He’s going to get a huge payday, and the Predators are a team that could spend right up to the cap to get him. Not a high probability, but don’t completely rule it out.
The addition of Palat, which would be the second Lightning player to switch to the Predators this offseason, would definintely raise some eyebrows on the Predators becoming a contender again. It wouldn’t come without tying up a considerable amoung of money into a player that’s moving into the back nine of his career.
Honorable mention for the Nashville Predators to look at
The following players have a decent chance to also be looked at by the Nashville Predators, but for different reasons I just don’t think they’re as good of fits as the five on my list.
For purely selfish reasons, and not practical necessarily, I would love to see Kessell in a Predators uniform for pure entertainment value.
I also really like Trocheck’s game, but as a center it’s just not the biggest position of need. The Nashville Predators need another winger more so than another center for their top-six.