Roman Josi: Talented, mature, offensively creative, intelligent, Roman Josi has a bright future on the blue line for this Nashville team as a top four d man, but is it too early for him to be playing 25 minutes a night against a strong Western Conference including the likes of Joe Thornton (a particular menace for non-physical defencemen, and for the Preds in general [see: 2006-07 playoffs]), Pavel Datsyuk, the Sedins,
Jiri Hudler Olli Jokinen and Roman Cervenka ? At any rate, it's a lot to ask from a 22 year old, regardless of his potential to be a multiple all star and Switzerland's best ever defenceman (with all due respect to Mark Streit). Even if Josi is capable of this, there is little question that this team dearly needs another D-man, hopefully someone who can man the point on the Powerplay along side Ryan Ellis and munch the minutes a la Gill and Klein.
Carlo Colaiacovo: The former maple leafs draft pick has proven he can play in the NHL as a top four defenceman over the past four years, culminating with his large role last year on one of the better defensive teams in recent history. He could log some penalty kill time, play around 20 minutes a night and contribute on the power play. At a cap hit of around 2.5 to 3 M$ Colaicovo would be a solid signing with tremendous upside, being only 29 and a former first round pick.
Chris Campoli: In my opinion, one of the more underrated D men in the league in terms of providing offense, outlet passes and power play potential. In the right situation (*ahem* alongside Shea) Campoli could score 40 points and contribute defensively (he has averaged more than a blocked shot per game throughout his career). Adding Campoli to the league's best powerplay from 2012 at a cap hit of likely less than 2 M $ could be revolutionary, the exact situation that could finally launch the career of this dynamic 28 year old.
(Rather fitting that Nashville would again potentially sign former Toronto and Montreal players, and have them become useful players on a playoff team. Sergei Kostitsyn, Steve Sullivan, Gill, Bouillon, the list goes on... )
Czech out these candidates!: Michal Roszival, Pavel Kubina, Jaroslav Spacek, Radek Martinek and Mark Eaton (well, he's not Czech but he fits in snugly with this rag tag group) are all capable of eating up minutes, providing a decent veteran presence to a young group of D men and Martin Erat could have his first native room mate since... Jan Hlavac?! From the strong Power Play abilities of Kubina and Spacek to the tenacious shut down defense and penalty killing prowess provided by Martinek and Roszival (while it pains me physically to reference the second round series against Pheonix, Michal was a key factor in Nashville's offensive impotence and has shown he can be a valuable playoff performer). Meanwhile Mark Eaton is... uh... well he's pretty good at everything and would sign for cheap and he played for the Preds for a few seasons. God bless him especially! In conclusion, this group offers a plethora of tangible rewards for a decent price all around (likely from 4 M$ for Kubina to 1.5 M$ for Eaton) and would fit in to the line up seamlessly and without a great deal of Ego to properly coagulate the potential of this years' Defence Corps in Music City.
Ryan Ellis: Just kidding, maybe in 3 years, but just imagine Ryan and Shea manning a rather frightening power play.
The Nashville Predators have many options at the moment, from standing pat and letting Roman Josi blossom as one of the best young d men in the league, to paying a 38 year old Jaroslav Spacek 3.5 Million to play 15 minutes a night, mostly on the PP (erm, hold on a second... ). The real necessity is another top four d man who be a productive special teams performer on a D core that will feature 3 players under the age of 23 next year. Chin up, Shea Weber!