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Nashville Predators

Saros and Josi Open as Longshots for 2025 NHL Awards?!

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Roman Jossi, Nashville Predators

The Nashville Predators get no respect.

Last season, Juuse Saros and Roman Josi were strong contenders for the Vezina Trophy and Norris Trophy, respectively. Neither won their award in part because this writer put Josi second on his ballot, but in a show of little voters consider the Predators, both opened as figurative longshots for those awards in the 2024-25 season.

Considering both could have won their award, the odds are a bit ridiculous.

Saros, 29, just signed an eight-year deal to remain between the pipes. Last season, he played a whopping 64 games with a .906 save percentage and a healthy 5.3 goals-saved-above-average, according to HockeyReference.com. His value to the Predators is obvious, so much so his new contract blocked highly sought prospect Yaroslav Askarov, who now figures to be on the NHL trade block as goalie-poor teams try to meet general manager Barry Trotz’s price tag.

Bettors haven’t warmed up, so sportsbooks are posting odds around 16-1. Those who play daily fantasy sports can also find value on the best dfs sites.

Saros finished fifth in the Vezina voting.

On the blue line, Roman Josi made a late charge for the Vezina, scoring more than a point per game. In 82 games, Josi scored 23 goals with 85 points and finished second in the Norris voting to Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche. It was the third time that Josi was a Norris finalist.

The Predators have had quite the offseason charge, too. Not only did they make headlines by plying Steven Stamkos away from the Tampa Bay Lightning with a much better offer. The Predators signed the 34-year-old Stamkos to a four-year deal worth $32 million.

Trotz, who is beginning his second year as the GM, also acquired Brady Skjei from the Carolina Hurricanes to strengthen the blue line. Skjei inked a seven-year deal worth $49 million, which will take him to 37 years old. Skjei figures to skate beside Josi on the team’s top pairing.

Trotz netted the July 1 hat trick in NHL free agency when he signed 2023 Stanley Cup winner (and Conn Smythe winner) Jonathan Marchessault away from the Vegas Golden Knights.

Marchessault, 33, put pen to paper on a five-year deal with a $5.5 million average annual value. The right wing will add a legitimate scoring punch to the top-six forward group. Perhaps Stamkos will center the second line with Marchessault or take the left wing with Tommy Novak in the middle.

Believe it or not, despite the attention-grabbing offseason signings, the Predators remain a 30-1 longshot to unseat the Florida Panthers and win the 2025 Stanley Cup.

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