The news out of Nashville has been interesting at best and deflating at worst. After listening to Josh Cooper who covers the Predators for the Tennessean on 102.5 the Game yesterday, the pessimists glass is whole-heartedly half-empty and in danger of drying out entirely.
Coupled with the news of Bouillon’s services coming to an end and Tootoo hitting the open market on July 1st it has been a train out of town for many mainstays in the Predators organization. With the uncertainty of Suter (Josh Cooper is not optimistic at all about Ryan Suter’s return), what are the Predators going to look like next season and beyond…
Here is the cold water being thrown on you as if there wasn’t enough to be nervous about…after this season, so far, there will be only 4 Predators under contract..FOUR! Martin Erat, David Legwand, Ryan Ellis and Pekka Rinne.
The Predators had one of the youngest teams in the league last year and by the looks of it, they may still be in the greenhorn category for the 2012-2013 season. Here is the rundown of positions and what the Predators have for next year…
Josi/Gill (negotiations are positive)
Pekka Rinne and ?
So, who fills in the gaps? And what about next year when Fisher, Klein and Yip are all UFA’s.
Jeremy’s Picks on the UFA market:
Jiri Hudler – LW
Jay McClement – C
PA Parenteau – RW
Brad Boyes – RW
Carlo Colaiacovo – D
Sheldon Souray – D
Jonas Gustavsson – G
Johan Hedberg – G
Who would you go with for a #2 defensive partner for Weber, a 3rd/4th line center since not much has been coming out of the Gaustad camp (and it’s more than likely he’ll go back to Buffalo) and a back-up goalie for Rinne? Would you add a veteran presence in the forward ranks for the youngsters on the 3rd/4th lines. Do the Predators once again need some scoring punch up front with a LW or RW to mix it up a bit? On defense, since no one can truly replace Suter, is there a diamond in the rough on the UFA market?
If you were Poile….who is on your radar? Feel free to comment below on who you think will benefit the Predators most and how you are honestly feeling about the upcoming season. Follow us on Twitter @ThePredatorial or @Preducated.