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NHL Rumours: Nashville Predators Hopeful About Deal with Goalie

NHL Rumours

It’s time for another round of NHL rumours. We’re two games deep into the Stanley Cup Final, but there are plenty of things to discuss on the hot stove. The 2024 NHL Entry Draft and the start of free agency on July 1st is closing in upon us. We’ve got general managers trying to figure out the next course of action with their teams before the free agent frenzy starts. The Nashville Predators were a surprise outfit and looking to cash in on that improvement. This edition of NHL rumours looks into the continued contract talks with a large part of the team’s success.

All NHL rumours come from the original source and are subject to change.

NHL Rumours

Nashville Predators Hopeful on Goalie Contract Talks

Rumour: Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek gave a progress report on the contract talks between the Predators and Juuse Saros.

Analysis: It’s been a while since we updated everyone on the Saros situation. However, the news has been coming out pretty much on a daily basis. A previous edition of 32 Thoughts had that Saros would wait on what the New York Rangers would give goalie Igor Shesterkin for a new deal. However, there were some in the organization that were annoyed with Friedman’s reporting.

One of those people said everyone involved is optimistic about a new contract being reached. Saros has one more year left on his deal, but can sign a contract extension anytime from July 1st onward. Any player entering the last year of a contract can ink his next deal starting next month.

Coming to Terms

The person that reached out to the insider said that both sides are likely to work out the next deal. Saros is on the last year of a deal that currently sees him make $5 million. The Finnish goalie was a large part of the team’s surprise post-season appearance this season. General Manager Barry Trotz would love to figure out something so he can concentrate on filling other organizational needs this offseason.

He will be 30 years old at the end of his current contract and is looking for a nice raise. Saros has kept the lineage of strong Predators’ goaltending going since the retirement of fellow Finnish goalie Pekka Rinne. The goalie market could get crowded with Shesterkin also slated to be a free agent next summer. Some think the two goalies might see what the other gets for a new deal.

The Pipeline

One thing to also remember is that Nashville might have another top-level goalie waiting in the wings. Russian netminder Yaroslav Askarov had a great season in the AHL with the Milwaukee Admirals. The Ads reached the Western Conference Final with Askarov’s strong play in net a key factor. Nashville usually does a good job at not rushing goalies to the show. It’s been a deliberate process since the days that Rinne was blossoming in the minors.

What does Trotz do knowing that Askarov could challenge for the starting job a few years from now? How he handles the Saros talks could provide a glimpse into the future on the succession plan for the Predators. Will this plan come into play when it comes to the Saros talks this offseason?

There had been chatter that Saros could have been on the trade block had the Predators struggled last season. However, the team’s solid season may have dug up more questions than answers. Good goaltending is hard to come by, but the Predators have been pretty fortunate when it comes to that department. These talks may provide an answer of where the future in goal is going in the Music City.

Main photo by: Christopher Hanewinckel – USA TODAY Sports


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