Nashville Predators Leave Us Wanting More on Day One of Free Agency
Maybe we were sold a false bill of goods by the Nashville Predators on their free agency plans, or maybe we should all just show a little more patience.
The Nashville Predators entered the 2022 NHL free agency signing period with money to spend, and room to make not one, but a couple additions to the roster. The most obvious need being a player to fill out their top-six forward group.
With the departures of Luke Kunin and Nick Cousins, the Predators have some holes to fill. Cousins was an expected loss, but it was never a foregone conclusion that Kunin would be traded this offseason.
Nashville Predators sitting idly on busy free agency day
It has been a hectic first day of NHL free agency, but the Predators have largely stayed on the sidelines with the exception of adding some minor league depth. They got deals done for forward Jimmy Huntington and goaltender Devin Cooley:
The #Preds have signed forward Jimmy Huntington and goaltender Devin Cooley to one-year contracts:https://t.co/huSfpCwi2x
— Nashville Predators PR (@PredsPR) July 13, 2022
Later in the day, the Predators made a modestly effective addition by signing defenseman Kevin Gravel, who has over 100 games of NHL experience and can hopefully provide support on the penalty kill in a rotational role.
Other than that, it’s been a pretty quiet day for the Nashville Predators to open free agency, despite the rest of the NHL having plenty of seismac moves.
It was even thought the Predators would be active players in a couple of these major moves, including Max Pacioretty who ends up going to the Carolina Hurricanes for basically nothing in return to the Golden Knights.
This doesn’t mean that the Predators are done. In fact, they’re almost certainly not done adding to this roster. There’s more out there to shop for, but the shelves are getting bare like the last day of a “Going Out of Business” sale.
One interesting possibility that’s gaining steam is a trade for Patrik Laine now that the Columbus Blue Jackets have emptied out the wallet for Johnny Gaudreau.
A play for Laine would instantly make the Predators a viable deep playoff contender, and they have the means to pursue this. It’s worth keeping on your radar in the coming days.
Another high profile name still floating around suprisingly is Ondrej Palat. I’d be floored if he ends up with the Predators, but you can never count out anything in this crazy sport we call hockey.
The Predators have to do something. They have to find answers for solidifying their top-six, and if it doesn’t come from an outside addition, then you have to look inward. Do you give Eeli Tolvanen another shot to produce on that level, or does Tanner Jeannot get a promotion?
If you do either one of those, you still have to move someone up now that Cousins is also gone. Maybe someone emerges in training camp that you move up, like Egor Afanasyev.
Hopefully the Nashville Predators have another impactful move up their sleeve, because right now it seems like a wasted opportunity to make this team significantly better from last season if they fail to make another addition to the top part of their forward group.