Given how much they spent to acquire him, it’s no surprise the Nashville Predators want to keep Paul Gaustad.
And according to The Tennessean, Gaustad would like to stay.
That’s the word on Friday as Josh Cooper spoke to Gaustad’s agent, Michael Gorman, about what the future has in store for the soon-to-be-UFA.
“We have spoken with the team. Both parties are interested and looking at options for the future,” Gorman said. “I know that Nashville is interested in keeping Paul and Paul definitely enjoyed his time in Nashville, so it’s our intention to see if we can get something done, and there’s still plenty of time for that.”
Gaustad, 30, was acquired from Buffalo at the deadline for a 2012 first-round pick and, while effective, didn’t exactly play a huge role with the Preds. He only averaged 13:31 of ice time (down from 15:05 in Buffalo) and was often centering the fourth line. That said, Gaustad did win 58 percent of his faceoffs with the Predators in the regular season (60 percent in the playoffs) and scored two points in 10 playoff games.
Looking ahead, it appears Gaustad has the opportunity to play a more prominent role in Nashville. The Preds have already severed ties with Alex Radulov and could lose a number of other players up front. While Gaustad’s unlikely to surpass top two centers Mike Fisher and David Legwand on the depth chart, he could slot in nicely as a third line guy.
Gaustad’s in the final season of a four-year, $9.2 million deal signed with the Sabres in 2008.