The trade deadline is less than two months away, and one factor into how you deal with the trade deadline is the consideration of dealing off pending free agents who have a low probability of being re-signed.
The Predators mostly have their veteran core signed through next season, but they also have key depth players who will be hitting unrestricted free agency. They currently have six forwards, two defensemen and one goalie who will be UFAs this offseason. That's not even including the restricted free agents, which brings the total number of 2024 free agents to 12.
Even with the NHL salary cap expected to be raised by $4.2 million, and the Predators having the fourth-most projected cap space right now, it's still going to be difficult to keep everyone that you want to keep.
The NHL salary cap has seen little growth since the pre-pandemic season of 2019-20. This has really hampered teams from making a lot of bold moves on the trade market or retaining players that want to keep.
With that said, let me rank my top-5 highest priority free agents that the Nashville Predators need to get re-signed. If they're not on this list, it means that I have a high likelihood this player is lost either through a trade or in free agency this summer.