FanPost

If I were David Poile


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If you were to be the Nashville Predators GM this offseason, how would you handle it? Would you try to simply sign as many players as you have on the roaster now and maybe fill a few gaps left by departing players? Would you go out looking to make a big impact in free agency? Would you trade away some of those RFA’s for draft picks? With the Nashville Predators looking to spend more money I can see them doing all of the above to some extent.

If it were me put into this position this offseason, this is how I would handle it…

Let’s start by looking at the numbers for next season and who is locked up now and what kind of cap space we are looking at. I’m going to list the players that are locked up in the position I would have them in for next season.

Starting Forwards

First line

LW:

C: Fisher

RW: Erat

Second line

LW:

C: Legwand

RW: Hornqvist

Third line

LW: Bourque

C: Spaling

RW: Smith

Fourth Line

LW:

C:

RW: Halischuk

Starting Defensemen

Pairing one

RD:

LD:

Pairing two

RD: Klein

LD: Josi

Pairing three

RD: Ellis

LD:

Goaltending

Starter

Rinne

Backup

With the players listed that are under contract we will have $32,330,833.00 in cap space to fill out the roster. Let’s start off by dealing with the most pressing issue we have all been thinking about all season long. Weber and Suter. I would sign them both to long term (5-6 year) contracts giving Weber 7.750 Million a year and Suter 6.5 Million a year. While this lowers our available cap space down to 18,080,833.00, it locks up the core of our team long term. After that I would look at locking Wilson up to a 4 year deal in the 2 million range per year. He would remain a RFA at the end of the contract and I don’t think it would cost to much more than this to lock him up for those 4 years. I would also Get Yip signed to a one year deal for 800K. For that kind of money I think he makes a Solid 4th liner. I would also sign Lindback to another 1 year deal with a little raise putting his cap number at an even 1 million. I would also look at signing Hillen to a 1 year deal around 750K. I would try to keep Gaustad as well for around the same cap number he is at now. 2.3 Million. After this flurry of signings the team would start to take shape looking something like this.

Starting Forwards

First line

LW:

C: Fisher

RW: Erat

Second line

LW: Wilson

C: Legwand

RW: Hornqvist

Third line

LW: Bourque

C: Spaling

RW: Smith

Fourth Line

LW: Yip

C: Gaustad

RW: Halischuk

Starting Defensemen

Pairing one

RD: Weber

LD: Suter

Pairing two

RD: Klein

LD: Josi

Pairing three

RD: Ellis

LD: Hillen

Goaltending

Starter

Rinne

Backup

Lindback

Now we have that big hole at LW on the starting line and Hillen may not be the answer starting at LD on the third D pairing. We still have Radulov and S. Kostitsyn as RFA’s to deal with. Here is where the real work starts though. With Weber, Suter, and Rinne locked up long term and taking up just over 21 million a year in cap space we have to consider what some of the player will cost in the future that are signed right now. Then there is Fisher’s contract ending after next years and Legwand/Erat the year after. We want to look at the free agent market but need to consider Josi and Klein’s contracts after next season is up and how to work them into the mix down the road. We do not want to lose either of them. This is when you sign Bouillon to another 1 year deal for 1.35 million again.

So after all this we sit with 9,880,833.00 left under the cap. At this point I would look at trading S. Kostitsyn and Radulov’s signing rights before the draft and look to get as many future draft picks as I could get for them. I just felt an earth quake under me as people read this. I’ll explain why so people don’t implode.

Radulov

While he is a dynamic player that has amazing skill I just do not see him fitting into the Predators system all that well. Watch Ovechkin and then watch Dustin Brown play and tell me who would be a better fit in Predator gold? Radulov plays the game a lot like Ovechkin does aside from Ove is far more physical. To me this style of play does not lend itself to the way the Predators play and as a GM it is your job to give the head coach the best pieces to work with that fit the system. So Radulov goes.

Kostitsyn, Sergei

This would be a very tough call for me. The guy really does seem to like it here in Nashville and plays well on the PK. His offense is where I have issues with him. His puck handling is average. His passing is strong at times. He has a nice shot if he would take more of them. My main issue is playoffs. He just isn’t strong enough on the puck. When he gets the puck I know the play is almost surely dead as he gets knocked off it very fast. He just isn’t a top line forward and with some of our young players we have I just do not see a spot for him on the line he should be playing on (2nd line).

Now we come to the real reason you do not even look at signing S. Kotitsyn or his brother A. Kostitsyn or even Radulov. I am going to go after Parise. Parise made 6 million last year and will be looking for a raise. How much of a raise? Well, last season he put up 69 points with 31 of them being goals. The year before that he was hurt almost the entire season. He had his best season in 08-10 putting up 94 points and 82 points in back to back years. Parise would do well in the Predators system as he plays a very strong 2 way game and can work the PK very well along with the PP. I think Parise is going to get somewhere around 7.5 Million a year and a 27 year old with this much talent along with the fact going after and getting him would be one of the main reason you were able to sign Suter in the first place make him well worth this kind of money. It also keeps the Wings from getting him or any other team in our division for that matter and we can control where Radulov or S. Kostitsyn goes as they are RFA’s. So you can keep those players out of the Central and probably look to send them to the East even. Now let’s see what the roster I was able to put together looks like.

Starting Forwards

First line

LW: Parise

C: Fisher

RW: Erat

Second line

LW: Wilson

C: Legwand

RW: Hornqvist

Third line

LW: Bourque

C: Spaling

RW: Smith

Fourth Line

LW: Yip

C: Gaustad

RW: Halischuk

Starting Defensemen

Pairing one

RD: Weber

LD: Suter

Pairing two

RD: Klein

LD: Josi

Pairing three

RD: Ellis

LD: Bouillon

Backup D-man

Hillen

Goaltending

Starter

Rinne

Backup

Lindback

That leaves you with 2,380,833.00 Million under the cap to allow for movement and for a couple forwards that look good in camp. To me this would set the team up for the future as well as next season. If the team really is looking to go to the cap and spend this kind of money this is the route I would take. What would you do?

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This FanPost was written by an OTF reader, and does not represent the views of the editorial staff. Got something you'd like to share? <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/admin/entries/new?community_id=208&entry_type=FanPost" target="new">Post your own</a>!

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