For those that want Stamkos, there does appear to be a legitimate way to get him on the Predators with very little change to the current roster.
The Short Version: Trade away Ribeiro and Nystrom. That frees up $6 million in cap.
Now to explain:
Stamkos Rumored Demands:
1) Cup Contender
With him we definitely are.
2) $9+ Million
Maybe closer to $10 million but most think that is only if he doesn't care about contending immediately. I will assume $9.5 million is needed.
1) Do we have the actual cash?
Other than "would Stamkos pick the Predators?", this is the biggest question. We know Nashville is on a cash budget. Will this put Nashville over that budget? Probably.
Having said that, would Nashville expand the budget for a player of Stamkos' talent? I think they should, and would. Adding Stamkos would make the Predators as good as anyone for the next few seasons at the very least. Basically, imagine this year's team but with Stamkos instead of Ribeiro and we would have this for a few seasons at least. This gamble should allow the Predators to make it deeper in the playoffs and pay for the added expenditure of acquiring Stamkos. Plus any residual money from adding someone of his caliber from added fans and merchandise sales.
2) Do we have the Cap space?
Forsberg's deal today helped to clear up that question. We currently have $7.1 million in cap space after Forsberg's deal. As stated before, I am assuming $9.5 to sign Stamkos. So we have to clear up $2.4 million. Ribeiro at $3.5 million cap hit does that.
3) Who would want Ribeiro?
If we aren't picky I think we could get a team to take him based on his regular season performance last year. We may not get much in return, but he's an expendable piece if we get Stamkos.
4) But trading Ribeiro and Signing Stamkos only leaves us with $1.1 million to sign Jarnkrok plus have space for injury replacements as the season progresses.
That is where we have to take care of Nystrom's $2.5 million contract that should've never been offered. Especially with a NTC. 2 options here. Convince Nystrom to waive the NTC by pointing out he won't be playing much and then offer a draft pick or two to a team to take it off our hands. This gives us $3.6 available cap space. The second option is a buyout which would save $2 million in cap this year and add $1 million to our final cap next season. For this year that would mean $3.1 million free to sign Jarnkrok and space for injury replacements.
5) How much will Jarnkrok cost?
The people here speculated in their Preview of the Nashville Free Agency players that it would cost between $3-3.5 million. If it's that high then Jarnkrok may be a player we lose to acquire Stamkos. Not ideal, but it's not the end of the world and I'd do that every time. Bottom 6 of Fisher, Arvidsson, Sissons, Watson, Salomaki, Bourque, and Bass. We might could even trade Jarnkrok for a little bit of something. If we don't need Jarnkrok, then we could just buyout Nystrom.
6) Will this make us tight on cap in the future?
No. Thanks to Poile's deals with players like Josi, Ellis, and Ekholm we have room to play in upcoming years. This season of 2016-17 was just explained fairly well what we would have.
2017-18: Mike Fisher comes off the books and frees up $4.4 million. Johansen needs resigned. Probably means about $2 million of Fisher's savings goes to Johansen. Arvidsson, Watson, and a replacement for Jackman on D would have to be found. At this point you have to hope the Nashville prospects are ready for the NHL since we have a good core.
2018-2019: James Neal is due a new contract.
The deal would basically be:
Nashville Gains: Stamkos
Nashville Loses: Ribeiro, Nystrom, Jarnkrok. If we found a trade partner for Nystrom maybe you add a mid-round pick or two.
I'd take that in a heartbeat.