Most of the 2023 offseason for the Nashville Predators is going to be centered around their 13 draft picks they possess in June’s NHL Entry Draft, but two crucial contracts remain needing to be addressed.
Cody Glass and Alexandre Carrier enter the offseason as Restricted Free Agents, and both are arbitration eligible. Additionally, both are players that the Nashville Predators front office should badly want back for 2023-24.
Glass really broke out in his first full season of getting regular playing time on the NHL level. The Predators took a chance on him when they participated in a three-team trade in the summer of 2021, sending the beloved Ryan Ellis away, and in return acquiring Philippe Myers and Nolan Patrick.
The Predators then sent Patrick to the Vegas Golden Knights and in return got Glass. At the time it was viewed as a bit of a gamble and more of just moving away from Ellis more than anything else. But Glass is on a trajectory based off of 2022-23 of being a huge home run acquisition out of this three-way deal.
As for Carrier, he is homegrown being drafted by the Predators all the way back in 2015 in the fourth round. He has put in the work on the long road to the NHL, playing 70-plus games in three consecutive seasons for the AHL Milwaukee Admirals, and another 55 games for the Admirals in 2019-20.
Carrier’s injury held him to just 43 games and nine points, so we can’t accurately measure the path he was on in his second full season with the Predators. However, the front office needs to do everything they can to negotiate a deal to keep Carrier in Nashville.
Let’s break down each player’s situations going into an RFA offseason.
Glass has to be Top Priority on the Offseason To-Do List for Barry Trotz
It’s Barry Trotz’s first offseason as General Manager of the Nashville Predators, the franchise that gave him his first head coach gig in the NHL back in 1998.
Glass is the top priority right now to get a new deal done first. The Predators finally have a chance to have a young and dynamic top-six center grow with the organization. You invested in him after Vegas did not.
At just 24-years-old, Glass navigated through a season for the Nashville Predators where they sold massively at the trade deadline and dealt with injury after injury. Glass could’ve just folded after losing veteran talent around him, like some younger players would do understandably, but instead he just kept plugging along.
Glass put up 35 points in 72 games on a team that drastically struggled to produce offense. They were working on the fly throughout the ladder part of the season, working out different line combos and trying to make progress on the power play. Glass was right in the center of all of that work-in-progress.
At age 24, that’s a lot to ask of a young player. That’s what the front office needs to be thinking about when negotiating a new deal for Glass. He’ll be in your top-six next season on opening night, and your other top-six center will have to be addressed as well. Not so sure it’s Ryan Johansen anymore.
Glass undoubtedly gets a deal this offseason with the Nashville Predators, and hopefully it doesn’t even take arbitration hearings.
Carrier Contract Negotiation a Little More Complicated
The injury makes this difficult, but I still think the Predators needs to put the fullcourt press on retaining Carrier. You’ve invested so much in his development while spending four years with the Admirals, and you don’t want to lose a promising, homegrown defenseman with a two-way element to his game over an RFA negotiation.
The Predators have a lot of questions surrounding their d-core for 2023-24. Sure, they have plenty of options, but if you take Carrier out of the mix, things get dicey. We saw that down the stretch of the regular season.
I’ve already been adamant that if the Predators don’t lose Roman Josi so late when they’re pushing for a miracle postseason berth, then they get in over the Jets. I’ll double down and say without question that if you throw Carrier in there as well, they’re a lock to get in.
Now, what the Predators would’ve done in the first round of the playoffs against the likes of Vegas or Colorado is a whole other topic. They probably get bounced rather easily again, but it just goes to show you how important Carrier is to the lineup.
Carrier moves the puck in transition, plays smart defensively, and against has that two-way game that should keep evolving at age 26. Prime of his hockey career.
In the end, I’m expecting the Nashville Predators to re-sign both Glass and Carrier. Glass should probably get a more lucrative deal, while Carrier might take a lot more back-and-forth to come to an agreement.
The unfortunate circumstances surrounding how Carrier was lost was due to his first NHL fight with Logan Stanley back on January 24 against the Winnipeg Jets.
Currently the Nashville Predators have a final cap space total of $3.16M with Glass and Carrier being the major RFA’s on the books. They also have these RFAs, and one UFA in
The Predators most recently re-signed Kiefer Sherwood and Michael McCarron both signed 1-year, $775,000 contracts earlier this week.
Trotz did say in media availability that he wants to get “faster” and add more skill, obviously to address the offensive woes the team dealt with even before the rash of injuries.