Juuse Saros Looks to Propel Nashville Predators with Summer Uncertainty Looming

The Predators were rumored all season that Juuse Saros might get traded, and that rumor will swirl up again after the Stanley Cup Playoffs end.
Apr 23, 2024; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN;  Nashville Predators forward Ryan O'Reilly (90) and
Apr 23, 2024; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Nashville Predators forward Ryan O'Reilly (90) and / Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

Enjoy it while we can, because we still don't know for sure if this is the last ride we get with Juuse Saros in a Nashville Predators sweater. He was clutch when he had to be in the Game 2 win on Tuesday against the Vancouver Canucks.

With Thatcher Demko now possibly out for the rest of the series against the Predators, we're finding out real quick how vital a franchise goalie is even to a team that nearly won the Western Conference in the regular season.

Saros was nearly unloaded leading up to the 2024 trade deadline, but the Predators kept on winning out of nowhere en route to an 18-game point streak, squashing those rumors pretty fast.

Saros' Future Remains Uncertain after Playoffs are Over

At the very least, General Manager Barry Trotz was entertaining the idea to trade the franchise goalie, and the New Jersey Devils were the most popular trade partner. The Devils missed the playoffs as one of the more disappointing team in the NHL this season.

Saros has just one more year left on his current bargain of a contract at $5 million AAV, making him all the more enticing for prospective trade partners. He was extremely valuable this past season because he was potentially giving his new club two playoff runs to work with. Now it's only one before getting his new contract and well-deserved pay raise.

Trotz still has a lot of power in this. He's kind of in a win-win scenario. If he trades Saros this offseason, he'll get an enormous return that he dictates the terms on. If nothing comes across his desk he likes, then he simply signs his franchise goalie to a new deal and everyone leaves satisfied except for the goalie starved teams who need a guy like Saros badly.

Also, if Trotz trades Saros then he has top goalie prospect Yaroslav Askarov waiting to get his full-time NHL call up, and he could always re-sign Kevin Lankinen to a cheaper deal to hold down the fort until we're confident that Askarov is ready to be the primary NHL starter. We don't know that now, as high as his potential is.

The Devils will be picking up that phone and hitting Trotz on speed dial as soon as the offseason shenanigans get underway. But they won't be the only team calling Trotz on Saros. Reports indicate that the Devils intend to shop for a new starting goaltender this offseason, but Saros isn't the only commodity to shop for.


Bleacher Report has Saros as one of their top eight players that could be traded this offseason, along with other fellow goalies Jakob Markstrom, Linus Ullmark and Elvis Merzlikins. So we could be in store for a lot of high profile goalies on the move this offseason.

The question you have to ask yourself is if Trotz's price tag for Saros will come down this offseason, and how much will how the Predators perform during this playoff run affect that? If the Predators bow out in the first round again, perhaps Trotz becomes mroe inclined to bring in a new chapter and cash in on Saros with a trade.

Next. Preds. 3 Factors that Led to Preds Game 2 Win vs. Canucks. dark

On the flip side, if Saros rallies his team to go past the first round and comes close or even advance to the Western Conference Finals, then Trotz might be ready to reward Saros for the long-term in Nashville.

Right now we really just don't know what will happen with Saros, and when July gets here the noise will get loud surrounding Saros. For now, he is in the midst of being the main catalyst again to propel the Predators deep into the playoffs. Somewhere they've rarely been in the 25-year history, and haven't been past the first round in six years.