The Nashville Predators have gotten stronger depth wise over the past six months or so and I am wondering about the future of the Nashville Predators.
Looking at our current roster that will probably start this year.
24 man roster
We have $2,661,191 in Cap space left.
The following list is the years players will be UFA or RFA.
2014 Legwand, Hutton Spaling,Beck,Ellis,Ekholm
2015 Fisher,Cullen Wilson,Smith,Bourque,Watson,Hellberg
2016 Gaustad,Clune,Bartley Forsberg,Jones
I see our team looking something like this in a few years
With Players like Aberg,Sissons,Leipsic,Salomaki in the system our forwards will only get better as the years go bye.
What will we do about the huge whole at the #1 center position. Will it take a trade or will we hope to draft one or will the right free agent finally come to Nashville again like Kariya(I know he is not a center before anyone says it) did?
Are we willing to spend 20+ Million on our top four on Defense if everything goes as planned with Jones and Ekholm?
Do we have Rinnes replacement in the system now?
What year in Free agency Scares you the most?
Final question has nothing to do with the topic but I found it interesting watching the Lindros story on the NHL network that no big free agents ever wanted to go to Quebec, does this scare you as a current Preds fans seeing how it seems each time we get out-done by the bigger cities teams on free agents?
I still think Wilson will be a center and hold out hope still for Smith. It's funny how the crowd has turned on Smith. If he adds strength he's a player.
Other than a short stint Smith has not shown nothing to indicate he is a serviceable NHL player. In fact he has taken a downward spiral. With increased ice time last season he was outperformed badly. Spaling was better even SK. As a young defenseman Josi had more goals and assists. Rich Clune had the same number of goals and 3 less a total points. Hali had one more goal than Smith and 1 less point. If anyone thinks that Smith will get a bigger role under this system now your going to be disappointed. The lone bright spot Smith had was in the shootout, but as a one trick pony its hard to imagine he is retained. I feel sure that DP has shopped him and has had no takers, he would unload him for a pick most likely at this point. The one way 2 mil contract has bit the front office in the butt. Everyone thinks Spaling will the be the one left out but in my thinking its going to be Smith. Spaling will have a spot otherwise they would not have signed him.
I would love to trade for Stastny but from what I have heard they are trying to sign him to an extension. They are heavy at center but they plan to move O'reilly to wing so that frees up a spot.
We can dream though. He would fit in perfectly with the Preds system as well as he plays a strong all around game. He would be our best forward instantly.
ROR is a natural center, and I think his move to wing is a temporary thing until they can trade him, 1 year after they matched his OS. If I had to guess, he is the odd man out, not Stastny, but who knows? Either one would be great.