From July 16-Aug 16, we’ll be profiling all 30 NHL teams by recapping what they did this offseason and previewing their upcoming campaigns.
48-26-8, 104 points. Second in the Central Division, fourth in the Western Conference. Lost in the Western Conference Semi-Finals to Phoenix (4-1).
Mike Moore, Chris Mason
Ryan Suter, Alexander Radulov, Jack Hillen, Tyler Sloan, Francis Bouillon, Jordin Tootoo, Kyle Wilson, Anders Lindback, maybe Shea Weber, likely Andrei Kostitsyn (who is still an UFA)
Didn’t have a first-round pick. Took Pontus Aberg with the 37th overall selection and Colton Sissons with the 50th pick.
This has been a rough summer for the Predators. After a disappointing end to their playoff run, Nashville watched a number of players go, including Ryan Suter. On top of that, Shea Weber agreed to a massively frontloaded 14-year, $110 million offer sheet with the Philadelphia Flyers.
Predators GM David Poile took Suter’s decision hard. Among other things, he said that he “will never, ever” understand why Suter would choose to pass on the opportunity to spend his career playing alongside Weber.
After Suter left, Poile said, “[Weber] believes in us, sees himself as the leader of our hockey club, and I think he, a lot like us, is disappointed with the outcome with Ryan.”
Poile then turned his attention to signing Weber to a long-term contract, but obviously that hasn’t gone the way he hoped either.
First and foremost, the Nashville Predators need to either match Philadelphia’s offer sheet or let him play with the Flyers and accept the draft picks as compensation. If they chose the latter option, they might then trade some or all of those picks back to Philadelphia for established players or prospects.
Either way, that won’t be the last thing Nashville does this summer. Sergei Kostitsyn has an arbitration date set for Aug. 2. On top of that, Nashville is still well under the salary floor, so they’ll probably make a move to address that issue.
Their blueline will be an obvious concern next season, but for a team that just lost Ryan Suter and maybe Shea Weber, the situation isn’t quite as dire as one might suspect. They do have some promising young defensemen Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis, and Jonathon Blum that are expected to play bigger roles next season.
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