Nashville Predators keep one of their own, Alexandre Carrier not leaving

It looked like Carrier would be lost in free agency for nothing after the Preds gambled on not trading him in March.
Jan 13, 2024; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Nashville Predators defenseman Alexandre Carrier (45) celebrates with teammates after scoring the game-winning goal during the third period against the New York Islanders at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 13, 2024; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Nashville Predators defenseman Alexandre Carrier (45) celebrates with teammates after scoring the game-winning goal during the third period against the New York Islanders at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports / Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
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Alexandre Carrier isn't a super flashy player or one that's going to grab a lot of highlight reels, but the Nashville Predators clearly saw how important he was to hold onto.

The Predators have managed to keep Carrier in Nashville with a three-year, $3.75 million AAV. That's coming off a one-year prove it deal that was signed in the 2023 offseason for $2.5 million. So Carrier gets a decent raise and more of a commitment now from the Predators, who just had a wild day of NHL free agency.

After taking the risk of not trading Carrier at the 2024 trade deadline in the midst of a unexpected push for playoffs, the Predators faced the possibility of losing their 2015 fourth-round draft pick for nothing.

Predators' defensive corps looks rock solid after retaining Carrier

This really solidifies the Predators' defensive corps for 2024-25, and likely keeps the very successful Carrier/Jeremy Lauzon pairing intact. These two played 730 minutes together per MoneyPuck, which was the most on the team among defensive pairings.

Pretty much every defensive pairing Carrier was on had strong defensive metrics when looking at Expected Goals Against Per 60. On a pairing with Lauzon, the duo gave up 2.41 Expected Goals Against Per 60.

Carrier was really impressive in the defensive zone. He blocked 137 shots, third on the team behind Josi and McDonagh, and the offensive upside is still there. He's a puck mover and that's the next step forward in his game is generating a little more offense.

The AAV of $3.75 million is very fair for both sides. I'm sure Carrier had plenty of interest, but how much, who knows. Perhaps as things unfolded, Carrier's camp circles back and decided that staying in Nashville with their fair offer made the most sense.

Sorting out the Predators defensive corps now and the possible starting six on opening night, first let's look at the left side with Josi, Brady Skjei and Spencer Stastney. Lauzon can also play both sides.

Carrier is a right shot defenseman, as is Dante Fabbro and Luke Schenn. With an over-abundance now of defensemen, Fabbro could be moved which would leave your starting six as Josi, Skjei, Carrier, Lauzon, Schenn and Stastney.

To keep the highly effective Lauzon and Carrier combo together, you'll have to have someone switch from their natural side. So perhaps what might happen is Carrier moves to the top pairing with Josi initially and Skjei plays on the right side with Lauzon.

Be sure to check out our 2024 Nashville Predators Free Agency Tracker below for the full recap.

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