Although the 2020-2021 NHL season is still up in the air because of COVID restrictions, the Nashville Predators have some offseason moves they need to make.
They exited early from this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs after expecting a deep run at the championship. With the season over, some glaring gaps need to get filled if the team is going to be competitive.
Several players are free agents, including Craig Smith and Mikael Granlund. The Predators should let them walk, along with everyone else that qualifies. The only exceptions may be Yakov Trenin and Colin Blackwell.
What About Kyle Turris?
When thinking about the players that were an excellent fit for the Predators this past season, Turris is a name that doesn’t seem to belong. He wasn’t the impact player that the team paid good money to receive. Going to the trading block may be a way to create some of the changes needed for a deeper run next season.
Other players who may need to hit the Predators’ trading block are Austin Watson and Colton Sissons. Although Watson stepped up during the qualifiers, these are contracts with low production that require attention.
The Predators have several prospects waiting in the wings. This next season might be the time to let kids like Philip Tomasino get the chance to play. He didn’t make the roster, but he could turn into a dynamic player.
Thoughts About Josi and Ellis
The Predators have one of the best defenders in the league with Roman Josi. When paired with Ryan Ellis, who is easily a top 5 player in his own right, that line is locked down tight. Keeping them happy should be a top priority.
Good defenders want the chance to take the puck, stop odd-man surges, and score goals. The Predators need to supercharge those efforts on the other lines.
Fabbro and Ekholm do a decent job. Tinordi should get more development time before coming back to the NHL. That means calling up Alexandre Carrier should be a priority.
Next season could be a fantastic year for the Predators. It all depends on what offseason moves they decide to make.