Long list of Nashville Predators' free agents to challenge Poile

Will Jordin Tootoo be a Nashville Predator in 2012-2013?

Part of the "all in" mentality that surrounded the 2011-2012 Nashville Predators was driven by the fact that so many players on this team are headed towards free agency. A combination of long-time homegrown players and trade deadline rentals were supposed to give this team their best hope yet to make a deep run, but now general manager David Poile faces the complicated task of determining which free agents he should try to keep, and where he needs to begin retooling for the 2012-2013 season.

Follow after the jump as we look at the guys who have a chance to hit the market this summer...

All salary figures below are courtesy of the lovey & talented NHLNumbers.com.

Restricted Free Agents


Sergei Kostitsyn

#74 / Left Wing / Nashville Predators

6-0

207

Mar 20, 1987

Regular Season: 75 GP, 17 G 26 A = 43 Pts, +8 16 PIM 97 Shots

Playoffs: 10 GP, 1 G 1 A = 2 Pts, -3 4 PIM 7 Shots

2011-2012 Salary: $2.5 million

He still refuses to shoot the puck enough, and utterly disappeared in the playoffs for the second straight season. A qualifying offer would at least have to match last season's $2.5 million, but does he warrant much more than that?


Colin Wilson

#33 / Center / Nashville Predators

6-1

214

Oct 20, 1989

Regular Season: 68 GP, 15 G 20 A = 35 Pts, +5 21 PIM 114 Shots

Playoffs: 4 GP, 1 G 0 A = 1 Pt, +1 0 PIM 7 Shots

2011-2012 Salary: $875,000


Until he got benched in the playoffs, Wilson could have eyed James Van Riemsdyk and his 6-year, $25.5 million contract as a comparable, but the lack of opportunity to prove himself in the playoffs will likely undermine that argument.


Alexander Radulov

#47 / Right Wing / Nashville Predators

6-1

200

Jul 05, 1986

Regular Season: 9 GP, 3 G 4 A = 7 Pts, +3 4 PIM 21 Shots

Playoffs: 8 GP, 1 G 5 A = 6 Pts, +2 4 PIM 13 Shots

2011-2012 Salary: $984,000


The big question here is, does Alex want to stay in the NHL? If so, then the Preds have to decide how much to weigh Rads' ill-considered Saturday night out in Phoenix during the playoffs, and whether or not he can be relied upon to play a leading role on a team with championship aspirations.


Shea Weber

#6 / Defenseman / Nashville Predators

6-4

232

Aug 14, 1985

Regular Season: 78 GP, 19 G 30 A = 49 Pts, +21 46 PIM 230 Shots

Playoffs: 10 GP, 2 G 1 A = 3 Pts, -1 9 PIM 33 Shots

2011-2012 Salary: $7.5 million


Another Norris Trophy nomination (and possible win?) give him all the leverage as Shea faces another summer of restricted free agency. How much more than $7.5 million could the Preds pay him and still address other areas of the team?


Jack Hillen

#38 / Defenseman / Nashville Predators

5-10

190

Jan 24, 1986
Regular Season: 55 GP, 2 G 4 A = 6 Pts, +6 20 PIM 51 Shots

Playoffs: 2 GP, 0 G 0 A = 0 Pts, +1 2 PIM 1 Shot

2011-2012 Salary: $650,000


Barry Trotz seemed to have confidence in Hillen as the 7th/8th D on the roster, and it's possible that he could continue in that role next season. Given his 2011-2012 salary, any qualifying offer would have to include at least a 10% bump from the Preds.


Anders Lindback

#39 / Goalie / Nashville Predators

6-6

203

May 03, 1988

Regular Season: 16 GP, 5-8-0 .912 Sv% 2.42 GAA

Playoffs: No action

2011-2012 Salary: $738,000


Is Lindback ready to compete for a starter's job elsewhere? I'm not sure how much trade value is here, but that's an option if the Preds wanted to bring up Jeremy Smith to serve as the backup.

Jonathon Blum - Dispatched to Milwaukee after 33 games, there's still time for him to get another chance at the NHL.

Chris Mueller - Served as a useful emergency center when called upon (just 4 games this year), and led the Admirals in scoring.

Zach Stortini - Played just one game with the Preds as they picked up Brian McGrattan to chuck knuckles instead.

Jeremy Smith - At 23 years of age, is he ready to back up Pekka Rinne, or does he need more seasoning in Milwaukee?

Ryan Thang - Production was very similar to last season, hopefully his development hasn't peaked.

Brodie Dupont - At age 25, it looks like there's little upside left here.

Unrestricted Free Agents


Jordin Tootoo

#22 / Right Wing / Nashville Predators

5-9

199

Feb 02, 1983

Regular Season: 77 GP, 6 G 24 A = 30 Pts, -5 92 PIM 136 Shots

Playoffs: 3 GP, 0 G 0 A = 0 Pts, Even 4 PIM 2 Shots

2011-2012 Salary: $1.35 million


Put up career-best offensive numbers, but his game seemed to deteriorate over the last two months. Couldn't crack the playoff lineup consistently ahead of Brandon Yip, who filled a similar role.


Andrei Kostitsyn

#46 / Right Wing / Nashville Predators

6-0

214

Feb 03, 1985

Regular Season: 72 GP, 16 G 20 A = 36 Pts, -1 26 PIM 122 Shots

Playoffs: 8 GP, 3 G 1 A = 4 Pts, +3 2 PIM 12 Shots

2011-2012 Salary: $3.25 million


Acquired in exchange for a 2nd-round pick (along with a conditional pick from the Hal Gill deal) from Montreal, AK46 was probably viewed already as strictly a rental player, and I can't imagine that his late-night escapades did anything to change that.


Brian McGrattan

#23 / Right Wing / Nashville Predators

6-4

235

Sep 02, 1981

Regular Season: 30 GP, 0 G 2 A = 2 Pts, -1 61 PIM 10 Shots

Playoffs: No action

2011-2012 Salary: $600,000


The Predators seem to always reserve a roster spot for an enforcer, and McGrattan seemed very popular in the locker room and with the fans, so I'd bet on him coming back.


Paul Gaustad

#28 / Center / Nashville Predators

6-5

212

Feb 03, 1982

Regular Season: 70 GP, 7 G 14 A = 21 Pts, -1 76 PIM 75 Shots

Playoffs: 10 GP, 1 G 1 A = 2 Pts, -1 5 PIM 6 Shots

2011-2012 Salary: $2.5 million


While he's superb at the role he specializes in (faceoffs and penalty killing), his price tag is likely too high to justify sticking with Nashville. A fun player to watch, though.


Brandon Yip

#18 / Right Wing / Nashville Predators

6-1

195

Apr 25, 1985

Regular Season: 35 GP, 3 G 4 A = 7 Pts, +1 28 PIM 41 Shots

Playoffs: 10 GP, 1 G 1 A = 2 Pts, -1 6 PIM 11 Shots

2011-2012 Salary: $750,000


He went from being put on waivers by Colorado to playing in every postseason contest for the Predators, so it looks like Barry Trotz may have taken a shining to him as a 4th-line plugger.


Ryan Suter

#20 / Defenseman / Nashville Predators

6-1

198

Jan 21, 1985

Regular Season: 79 GP, 7 G 39 A = 46 Pts, +15 30 PIM 134 Shots

Playoffs: 10 GP, 1 G 3 A = 4 Pts, -3 4 PIM 30 Shots

2011-2012 Salary: $3.5 million


He's the top dog on the free agent market and should be able to pretty much choose his team and salary. I just don't see him staying here.


Francis Bouillon

#51 / Defenseman / Nashville Predators

5-8

198

Oct 17, 1975

Regular Season: 66 GP, 4 G 7 A = 11 Pts, -4 33 PIM 38 Shots

Playoffs: 10 GP, 0 G 3 A = 3 Pts, +7 2 PIM 8 Shots

2011-2012 Salary: $1.5 million


With the young talent coming up through the pipeline, it may be time for The Cube to move on.


Hal Gill

#75 / Defenseman / Nashville Predators

6-7

244

Apr 06, 1975

Regular Season: 76 GP, 1 G 12 A = 13 Pts, -3 37 PIM 49 Shots

Playoffs: 5 GP, 0 G 0 A = 0 Pts, +2 0 PIM 3 Shots

2011-2012 Salary: $2.25 million

An injury suffered in the penultimate regular season kept him out of the Detroit series, and overall I thought he played well against Phoenix. Do the Preds keep him around as the old hand to mentor all the kids on the blueline?

Tyler Sloan - Brought in as a veteran hand for Milwaukee, who knows whether they'll need him there next season.

So what are your thoughts on this list? Who are the keepers, and who should be let go?

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