With Vladimir Tarasenko signing a one-year, $5 million deal with the Ottawa Senators, the last bona fide UFA possibility that Nashville Predators fans have been advocating for the team to sign has been taken off the board.
Nashville Hockey Now’s Michael Gallagher wrote about the possibility of Tarasenko and Nashville’s interest last week stating, “it wouldn’t be surprising if Nashville Predators general manager Barry Trotz made one more splash” this summer with Nashville still holding roughly $7.9 million in cap space. But the Predators didn’t appear to be one of the teams too actively involved towards the end.
It appears no more splashes will be made by Trotz until at least September when rookie camp opens with training camp following shortly after. Cap space is a commodity in a hard cap era, and there’s no reason for the Predators to shake things up too much until they know what they have on the ice and not just on paper.
According to Puckpedia, the UFA market is dwindling as few, if any, impact players remain with household names like Patrick Kane, Phil Kessel, and Tomas Tatar likely becoming more of a contributing player late in their careers. (And no, the Suter on the list is not Ryan).
The top scoring remaining UFA F's include:— PuckPedia (@PuckPedia) July 31, 2023
Full list on PuckPedia Player Dashboard presented by @NorthStarBet https://t.co/ptoFNx0DWL
Nashville appears to have already done its culture shopping this summer, opting to save its available cap space for any future opportunities that may appear. The front office is likely to sit tight and take the current contracted players to training camp to see who can earn a spot the opening-night roster. Trotz and head coach Andrew Brunette have no easy task ahead, but looking for talent outside the organization has likely subsided for now. The Milwaukee Admirals are loaded with several players who are close to NHL ready, and they may prove to be better, cheaper options not only in the interim but long-term as well.
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