Waiver eligibility sets up a training camp battle in Nashville

As we look ahead to training camp in September, there appear to be a number of battles shaping up for roster spots with the Nashville Predators, and one factor that could play a role is the waiver eligibility of various players. For young guys on the brink of making an NHL roster, waivers can allow them a chance elsewhere in the league if the Predators instead want to send them back to the minors.

Follow after a jump for an updated list of waiver-eligible players in the Nashville system, and what it means for the Opening Night lineup...

Just to clarify - the players listed here must go through waivers if the Predators wanted to send them down to their AHL affiliate in Milwaukee, allowing any other NHL team to claim them instead.

UPDATE: After receiving this list initially from the Predators, I was just advised that Mike Santorelli and Cody Franson were inadvertently left off initially. The text below has been amended (7/22/2010).

UPDATE 2: Mike Santorelli traded to Florida (8/5/2010).

UPDATE 3: Added Aaron Johnson (9/8/2010).

Forwards

Player

Height

Weight

Shoots

2009-10 Team

Wade Belak

6-5

222

R

Nashville (NHL)

J.P. Dumont

6-1

205

L

Nashville (NHL)

Martin Erat

6-0

200

L

Nashville (NHL)

Marcel Goc

6-1

202

L

Nashville (NHL)

Patric Hornqvist

5-11

188

L

Nashville (NHL)

Sergei Kostitsyn

6-0

210

L

Montreal (NHL)/Hamilton (AHL)

David Legwand

6-2

204

L

Nashville (NHL)

Jamie Lundmark

6-0

197

R

Calgary (NHL)/Abbotsford (AHL)/Toronto (NHL)

Matthew Lombardi

5-11

195

L

Phoenix (NHL)

Cal O'Reilly

6-0

187

L

Nashville (NHL)/Milwaukee (AHL)

Michael Santorelli

6-0

189

R

Nashville (NHL)/Milwaukee (AHL)

Jerred Smithson

6-3

206

R

Nashville (NHL)

Steve Sullivan

5-8

161

R

Nashville (NHL)

Andreas Thuresson

6-1

212

R

Milwaukee (AHL)/Nashville (NHL)

Jordin Tootoo

5-9

197

R

Nashville (NHL)

Joel Ward

6-1

218

R

Nashville (NHL)

Kelsey Wilson

6-1

214

L

EC Salzburg (Austria)

While Kelsey Wison and Jamie Lundmark are likely low-risk options to send through waivers on the way to Milwaukee, this still leaves 15 players competing for what the Predators usually reserve for 13 active roster spots. One of those is also assuredly held for Colin Wilson, who could theoretically be sent to the AHL by the Preds, but should be a major force on the team. In addition, there are guys like Jonas Andersson and Linus Klasen who have been signed this summer and will compete for jobs. In particular, Andersson boasts a one-way contract, so if the Preds did send him to Milwaukee, they'd pay him a $675,000 salary while there.

In the background, there also lurks Mike Santorelli (an as-yet-unsigned restricted free agent), who made an unsuccessful run at an NHL job early last season. Blake Geoffrion will also draw a great deal of attention during training camp, but given the number of players here and the adjustment he'll need to make coming out of college, it seems likely that he'll start off in the AHL.

Defense

Player

Height

Weight

Shoots

2009-10 Team

Francis Bouillon

5-8

198

L

Nashville (NHL)

Cody Franson

6-5

213

R

Milwaukee (AHL)/Nashville (NHL)

Aaron Johnson

6-1

208

L

Calgary/Edmonton (NHL)

Kevin Klein

6-1

201

R

Nashville (NHL)

Teemu Laakso

6-1

209

R

Milwaukee (AHL)/Nashville (NHL)

Brett Palin

6-2

203

R

Abbotsford (AHL)

Ryan Parent

6-3

198

L

Philadelphia (NHL)

Alexander Sulzer

6-1

204

L

Milwaukee (AHL)/Nashville (NHL)

Ryan Suter

6-1

198

L

Nashville (NHL)

Shea Weber

6-4

234

R

Nashville (NHL)

Again, Brett Palin is a guy the Preds can probably send down without fear of him getting claimed, but after Palin this list leaves us with 8 defenders (compared to 7 typically carried on the active roster) before considering the chance that Jonathan Blum, Roman Josi, or Ryan Ellis could win a spot. Cody Franson and Ryan Parent are restricted free agents and still have to agree on new contracts.

Goal

Only Pekka Rinne requires waivers here. He ain't going anywhere!

Let the battle begin!

As you can see, there should be some pretty fierce competition in training camp for NHL opportunities, and as we've seen with examples like Joel Ward and Dan Ellis in recent years, guys can truly come out of nowhere to shake up the depth chart.

Who do you think has a chance to do that this fall?

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