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Nash Daily: Potential Landing Spots Dwindling For Predators Goalie Juuse Saros



Photo of Juuse Saros by David Russell/Nashville Hockey Now

Nashville Predators general manager Barry Trotz has made it clear he prefers to keep Juuse Saros beyond the goaltender’s 4-year, $20 million deal that expires following the 2024-25 season.

Trotz said as much during the team’s end-of-year press conference on May 7.

“Juice wants to be here, and he’s been a big part of (our success). I’d like him to be here,” Trotz said. “We’re going to work hard at getting something done with him.”

More of the doubt may have been removed Wednesday thanks to a pair of trades involving goalies. The Los Angeles Kings acquired Darcy Kuemper from the Washington Capitals and the New Jersey Devils added Jacob Markstrom from the Calgary Flames in separate deals to fill their openings at the position.

Both Los Angeles and New Jersey had reportedly expressed interest in Saros at various points over the past year. Other teams – such as the Toronto Maple Leafs – still have goalie question marks, but with two potential suitors off the board, it’s becoming increasingly likely the Predators retain Saros past next season.

Saros, 29, is eligible for a contract extension starting July 1. He’s due a significant pay raise after posting a 106-72-15 record, .915 save percentage and 2.73 goals-against average as Nashville’s full-time starter over the last three seasons.

One possible complication to the Predators finalizing a deal with Saros is the rise of Yaroslav Askarov, who was named the American Hockey League’s top goalie prospect last week. The 22-year-old appears to be ready for at least a backup role in the NHL after going 30-13-1 with a .911 save percentage and 2.39 GAA for the Milwaukee Admirals this season.

Since each side has plenty to consider, a Saros extension may not happen right away in July. Trotz alluded to that idea last month and NHL insider Elliotte Friedman recently reiterated it during an interview with 102.5 The Game.

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The Predators have multiple openings on their blueline after trading Ryan McDonagh back to Tampa Bay and with Tyson Barrie and Alexandre Carrier set to hit free agency. Chris Rydburg offered three defensemen Nashville could target on the open market.

Speaking of pending free agents, notable names like Philip Tomasino, Juuso Parsinnen and Spencer Stastney are due qualifying offers by July 1. Clay Brewer gave his predictions for how much those deals might be worth.

Zachary L’Heureux, Fedor Svechkov and Ryan Ufko were among the Predators prospects who performed well in the Calder Cup Playoffs. Here’s what each player did to inch closer to the NHL.

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Follow Russell Vannozzi on X/Twitter @RussellV_MSP.

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