With the roster needing to be trimmed down to 23 players by Monday, the Nashville Predators announced six players that will hit waivers and need to clear for the team to retain the rights.
Leading that list of six is Connor Ingram, who many will always remember the heroic performance he put up against the Colorado Avalanche last May in Game 2. He has been such a positive presence for the Nashville Predators and the Milwaukee Admirals since arriving with the organization in 2019.
Ingram made 49 saves on 51 shots faced as the game went into overtime. To add onto that, Ingram came in relief of David Rittich in Game 1 and made another 30 saves on 32 shots faced. A two-game run against the eventual Stanley Cup champs in their building where he made 79 saves for a .951 save percentage.
The Avalanche eventually overpowered the Predators, and Ingram struggled the remainder of the series for the sweep. It still felt like he did enough to be the backup going into 2022-23, until the front office saw it differently by acquiring Kevin Lankinen over the offseason.
Ingram needs to have all of the Nashville Predators faithful in his corner to get signed somewhere else that needs a goaltender and is going to give him the chance to get NHL starts.
Will Ingram clear waivers or be claimed by another team?
This is the hardest part of the business for the front office, and I’m sure this wasn’t an easy decision for David Poile. At the same time, clearly he didn’t have enough confidence Ingram to move forward as Saros’ full-time backup:
I’ll be surprised if Ingram doesn’t get claimed considering there are plenty of goalie starved teams out there who will take a flyer on Ingram and hopefully give him some starts this season.
Others that hit waivers from the Predators were Jimmy Huntington, Jordan Gross, Roland McKeown, Kevin Gravel and NHL veteran Mark Jankowski.
Jankowski was signed to a two-way contract over the offseason and was somewhat of a surprise to make the team out of training camp, but ended up being a healthy scratch for the regular season games in Prague.
Gravel was another two-way deal addition over the offseason, but at defenseman there’s just not much room for him even on the AHL level.
I’m sure the Predators are hoping Gross isn’t claimed. I’d like to see him stick around in the system. At age 27, he’s at a crossroads in his journey to get NHL playing time. He’d be a nice addition to the Admirals if he clears.
McKeown and Huntington both played solid at the development camp and Prospect Showcase, but again, there’s not room to take chances on these prospects when you’re talking about a Predators roster that’s built to win now.
The Nashville Predators got 2022-23 off to a blazing start by winning both games over the San Jose Sharks at the NHL Global Series from Prague. They’re returning home and will have a four-day break before taking on the Dallas Stars from Bridgestone Arena on Thursday.