July 1st marks the opening of the NHL's Free Agent shopping season, so in the interest of giving a team-level overview of where the Nashville Predators stand, here's how things look today:
Pending Unrestricted Free Agents
Radek Bonk, Vernon Fiddler, Scott Nichol, Steve Sullivan, Joel Ward, Jed Ortmeyer, Ville Koistinen, Greg de Vries, Greg Zanon.
Pending Restricted Free Agents
Ryan Jones, Cal O'Reilly, Antti Pihlstrom
Salary cap situation
Currently the team has ~$33.6 million committed to 16 players. They need 8-9 more under contract, with the NHL salary cap at $56.8 million for next season. To take full advantage of revenue sharing, however, the Preds need to remain below the midpoint between the salary cap and the salary floor, so their "soft cap" is $48.8 million.
A winger capable of 20+ goals is needed for each of the top two lines, and completely new 3rd line will be needed (likely made up of the young RFA's like Jones & O'Reilly). On defense, either a power play specialist or all-around reliable veteran will be needed, depending on the development of younger players like Kevin Klein and Alexander Sulzer.
Steve Sullivan and Joel Ward are the key UFA's to re-sign, while Mike Knuble, Jason Williams, Francois Beauchemin and Marc-Andre Bergeron might make interesting acquisition targets. Mirtle has a list of the top forwards available, who would you go after?
What our rivals want
Chicago Blackhawks (Second City Hockey), Columbus Blue Jackets (The Cannon), Detroit Red Wings (Winging It In Motown), St. Louis Blues (St. Louis Game Time)
Expect these summaries across the SB Nation network of hockey sites, and for all the in-depth coverage, check out the NHL Free Agency hub: