What Will Happen with Predators Free Agent Defensemen?
Alexandre Carrier will be an unrestricted free agent in the 2024 offseason and the Predators need to decide if they're ready to give him a multi-year commitment.
Judging off purely defensive metrics, Carrier has overall been pretty solid in the first half of the season. He leads the team in blocks with 78 and has also paired well with Ryan McDonagh.
The Carrier and McDonagh pairing ranks 13th-best among defensive lines in Expected Goals Against Per 60, giving up just 1.91. For perspective, Roman Josi's first appearance ranks his pairing with Dante Fabbro at 64th at 2.4 Expected Goals Against Per 60. (Per MoneyPuck).
Carrier's offense hasn't taken off like you would prefer to see from him considering he does have offensive upside, but the Predators should have a long-term plan that includes Carrier on this team.
The Predators also have two other free agent defensemen to decide on with Barrie, who will likely be traded in the next two months, and Fabbro as a restricted free agent.
Could it come down to a decision between Carrier or Fabbro in the offseason? The Predators do have the fourth-most projected cap space according to CapFriendly, sitting with roughly $7.769M. But it's widely established that the Predators aren't going to be able to keep everyone, considering they also have eight free agent forwards and have to figure out what to do with Kevin Lankinen as a free agent.
I can see it being very tricky to retain both Carrier and Fabbro past this upcoming offseason. One of them could be traded before the trade deadline, so keep that on your radar. It's a really tough decision to make between Carrier or Fabbro, but I would choose Carrier.