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Predators avoid arbitration with Nick Spaling, where does he fit in?

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Jul 21, 2013


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Earlier today, Darren Dreger broke news that Predators forward Nick Spaling and the team had avoided arbitration, with Spaling re-signing for a one-year, $1.5 million dollar deal:

With Nick Spaling being added to the fold, it causes a bit of a dilemma for a Nashville lineup that is now forward-heavy. Currently, here’s a list of the forwards that will be in the active roster or will be vying for a spot in the lineup:

Taylor Beck
Gabriel Bourque
Rich Clune
Matt Cullen
Mike Fisher
Filip Forsberg
Paul Gaustad
Matt Hendricks
Patric Hornqvist
David Legwand
Eric Nystrom
Craig Smith
Nick Spaling
Viktor Stalberg
Colin Wilson

Immediately, in that list, there are a few wild card names that stick out in my mind as players on the bubble or players that may be in or out of the lineup on a nightly basis.

Taylor Beck did admirably for the Predators as an injury call-up late this past season, playing in 16 games while recording three goals and four assists. However, will he fit into Nashville’s plans for Game 1? The same could be asked about Filip Forsberg. The young 18 year old forward from Sweden could definitely use a little time in Milwaukee before he gets to Nashville, just to make sure he’s a bit seasoned before throwing him into the fire.

Could Rich Clune and Eric Nystrom be two question marks as well? Both signed new contracts with Nashville over this off-season and both provide certain elements to the game of hockey that Nashville has needed for a couple of seasons. They could both easily solidify the bottom lines, but who’s the odd man out?

There’s also the possibility of packaging some of these forwards up to deal them off in return for a Top Six forward, however I don’t believe that will be something to happen in the near future.

Regardless, Nashville has a problem on their hands, one that could prove more difficult to deal with as we slowly edge closer to training camp and opening night.

Photo Credit: Sarah Fuqua