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2015 NHL Free Agency: Players the Predators should maybe think about pursuing

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Free agency is right around the corner. Not many of the available names get us excited at the possibility of them joining the Nashville ranks, but there still might be some guys to pick up.

Nashville should look into bringing a player like P.A. Parenteau.
Nashville should look into bringing a player like P.A. Parenteau.
Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images

David Poile admitted during the 2015 Music City Sports Fest that the Nashville Predators would be quiet during free agency. Looking at the pending UFAs, it's hard to be upset with that rationale. This year's crop looks to be the worst in years, with hardly a must-have name to be found.

Nashville is deep on defense, their situation in net isn't changing, and their wings are, for the most part, set. They desperately need a top-six center or two, but no one available really fits that bill. Still, as of original publish the Predators have over $26 million in salary cap space, per General Fanager. That's without re-signing Craig Smith, Colin Wilson, Gabriel Bourque Calle Jarnkrok, Taylor Beck, and the other various RFAs in the minor leagues. But even if they give raises to everyone, there will still be room left over to add a piece or two if Poile decides he wants to fill out the roster.

As we did last year, we'll look at some of the options that could fit on the Preds' roster. However, unlike last year, none of the names mentioned we'll be chomping at the bit to sign. Thanks, Colorado.

Yes, Please

These players need to get out of our dreams and into our jerseys.

Keep on scrolling.

Eh, Maybe

These guys could help the team, but the Preds should think long and hard before offering a contract.

Antoine Vermette

Position Age GP (2014-15) G A P CF% / Rel Prev. AAV
Center 32 76 13 25 38 47.1 / -3.0 $3.75 mil

Well... at least it couldn't cost them a first round pick. Ok, admittedly not off to the best start, but Vermette would bolster the bottom end of the center depth. That is, until such time as Poile trades for Alex Galchenyuk or something.

After actual examination, no Vermette. Throw him into the "No Thanks" pile. I'll just leave this here as a testament to how awful this year's free agent class is.

Eric Fehr

Position Age GP (2014-15) G A P CF% / Rel Prev. AAV
Center 29 75 19 14 33 51.2 / -0.9 $1.5 mil

One of the few smart things Adam Oates ever did as a coach was transition Eric Fehr to center. The former 1st-Round pick reinvented himself after the position switch, and enjoyed two 30-point seasons there for the Washington Capitals.

That gives him flexibility to play in a few different areas of the ice, but he would be best served as a checking 3C with a penchant for timely goals. A player like Fehr could help the secondary scoring Nashville had a problem with all of last year.

Unfortunately, he comes with a major injury concern. Fehr has missed tons of time in his career due to nagging shoulder injuries. He also sat out 10 of Washington's 14 playoff games this spring, courtesy of a Kyle Okposo hit. In addition to his injuries, Montreal and Boston are likely to throw money at him so one of them has a guaranteed goal in the 2016 Winter Classic.

Michael Frolik

Position Age GP (2014-15) G A P CF% / Rel Prev. AAV
RW 27 82 19 23 42 56 / 3.6 $3.3 mil

A solid scoring forward with a great set of underlying stats. The wings are a bit crowded, but if Peter Laviolette was going to do something as bold as move Filip Forsberg or Colin Wilson to center full-time - or someone wasn't on the roster, hint hint - Frolik would be a nice addition to replace them.

The type of term and payday Frolik is looking for likely wouldn't jive with the roster crunch he'd be involved with in Music City.

P.A. Parenteau

Position Age GP (2014-15) G A P CF% / Rel Prev. AAV
RW 32 56 8 14 22 48.1 / 2.5 $4 mil

One of the themes this free agency is finding someone to relieve the top line from doing all of the scoring. Parenteau was put on unconditional waivers this weekend, and will be bought out from his current contract from the Canadiens. He had a terrible season, thanks to injuries and poor Sh%, but that doesn't mean he isn't still a useful player.

In fact, Habs fans hate the fact that Marc Bergiven got rid of a player like Parenteau when the team is starving for offense. A bounce-back season by him could do wonders for improving the Preds. Let Neal, Smith, and Forsberg do the heavy scoring, and have Parenteau come in to relieve them when their sticks get tired.

Andrej Sekera

Position Age GP (2014-15) G A P CF% / Rel Prev. AAV
D 29 73 3 20 23 50.9 / 3.1 $2.75 mil

The Los Angeles Kings were trying to re-sign him, but acquiring Milan Lucic (and his cap hit) from the Boston Bruins put those hopes to bed. That is, until they terminated Mike Richards' contract, and find themselves free of his contract and cap hit.

The biggest problem with Sekera comes with the fact that he's going to be a highly coveted left-handed defenseman. Teams are going to pony up some big bucks in order to procure his services, and that $2.75 million price tag will skyrocket. While he may indeed be a nice addition to be a steady presence next to Seth Jones, it will get way too expensive to be paying a 6th defenseman so much money. Don't hold your breath for him, even though it would absolutely stack the blue line. That leads us to...

Barret Jackman

Position Age GP (2014-15) G A P CF% / Rel Prev. AAV
D 34 80 2 13 15 53.9 / 2.0 $3.16 mil

Speaking of a reliable presence to replace Anton Volchenkov, Jackman is not very fast and won't score many goals, but he's physical and posts solid underlying stats. The 34-year-old could lend his experience and wisdom to guys both on the defense and in the rest of the locker room.

Jackman may not be the best defensive player in the world, but he doesn't have to be considering who slots ahead of him on the depth chart. If Nashville thinks they can promote their 6D from within, they should by all means do so. But they could do much worse than brining in Jackman for a couple of years.

Besides, Blues fans hated seeing him go, so you would be guaranteed tears of St. Louisians every time he hits the ice.

Johnny Oduya

Position Age GP (2014-15) G A P CF% / Rel Prev. AAV
D 33 76 2 8 10 50.2 / -4.5 $3.375 mil

Similar to the other defensemen listed above: a reliable left shot, who would be playing third-pair minutes and isn't afraid to get physical. He would be a great addition to the lower end of the lineup, but someone is likely going to offer him more than his previous salary.

Sean Bergenheim

Position Age GP (2014-15) G A P CF% / Rel Prev. AAV
LW 31 56 9 10 19 53.4 / 1.8 $2.75 mil

The winger was someone we were keeping an eye on during the trade deadline, before Minnesota scooped him up for a third round pick. He's never broken the 20 goal or 30 point benchmark in his career, but he could potentially be what Mike Santorelli was supposed to be: a bottom-six forward who pots more goals than your average fourth-liner.

Erik Cole

Position Age GP (2014-15) G A P CF% / Rel Prev. AAV
LW 36 68 21 18 39 51.1 / -0.4 $4.5 mil

Cole has scored 20 goals in each of his last two seasons, and might still have some gas left in the tank. He's another player that could help improve scoring in the midrange of the line up. Despite his age, he may be the type of guy to flank Calle Jarnrkrok and help him get some points. It'd be understandable, however, if you immediately think "Matt Cullen" when picturing this scenario.

Martin St. Louis

Position Age GP (2014-15) G A P CF% / Rel Prev. AAV
RW 40 74 21 31 52 48.7 / -3.5 $5.625 mil

Marty is as close to the "No Thank" bin as you can possible get as a free agent. Though he registered 50+ points this year, the 40-year-old looked several steps behind the game during the playoffs, only chipping in for a goal and six assists through three rounds.

What keeps him on the list is the very remote possibility signing a Derek Roy/Olli Jokinen style contract. One year at a couple of million, just to see what he can do. His presence could do wonders for a maturing player like Filip Forsberg. But is a guiding hand worth a roster spot for a guy who might be past his sell by date? Probably not.

No Thanks

These guys may seem like great signings, but I promise you they aren't.

Scroll up to the top of the article and click the link that takes you to the list of players looking for contracts this summer. Any player listed there and not listed here deserves a firm pass.

Bargain Bin

Some possible game changers that could be had for very little.

I got nothing. Not even a discount can make some of these guys look appealing.

So who you got? Do any of these players strike your fancy as someone you'd want to see playing in gold next year? Anyone left off? Who on the list do you most want to stay away from? Be honest, how bad is this year's market?

CF% and CF% Rel data reflects 5v5 Score Adjusted situations for 2014-215 only. All data gathered from War on Ice.