5. Yakov Trenin: 2024 UFA, $1.7M Current Cap Hit
This is a case of possibly trading a player not because they haven't been valuable for your team, but simply because the money just might not make sense. Trenin is going to expect a decent pay raise, and I'm not sure the Predators can manage it without losing some other free agents that have higher priority for me.
Now, obviously the trade deadline can change all of this. If an unforeseen sell-off of assets happens at the deadline, it could free up more money to re-sign Trenin. However, as of now without knowing of any trades in the works, I find it hard to make the math work to keep Trenin in Nashville.
Trenin is a grinder. He works his tail off for the bottom six, and you can never underestimate that importance. It's also more easily replaceable that replacing pure offensive skill players.
My inclination is that Trenin is going to expect upwards of around $2.5M per year on the open market, and he deserves that with the right team who needs a player like him, and there are plenty who do.
Will the Predators be willing to give Trenin around three years at that price tag? I'm skeptical, which is why shopping Trenin on the trade market now makes sense. He would be a very cheap rental for a playoff bound team to add grit and tenacity to their bottom six. You need grinders in the playoffs.
Trotz may not want to trade Trenin because he has playoff hopes of his own in 2024, but he has also hinted that he realizes the Predators are still a couple years away from realistically competing deep into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Maybe they make the numbers work and Trenin is willing to take a team friendly deal to stay with Nashville, but I remain very doubtful.