The Nashville Predators are one of the best teams in the western conference and have a major decision to make on one of their best players. Forward Filip Forsberg is a pending unrestricted free agent who is in need of a new contract extension. From the sounds of it, if a deal isn’t done before March 21, a trade is very likely.
The Nashville Predators know that to re-sign Filip Forsberg, the AAV must be higher than Matt Duchene/Ryan Johansen’s $8M figure. Forsberg knows that, if he wants to stay in Tennessee, he’s going to have to come in lower than Roman Josi’s $9.059M. I wouldn’t be surprised if Forsberg initially asked higher — you don’t negotiate against yourself — but that’s where everyone’s got to get to: the sweet spot between those two numbers. (Plus structure and no-trade protection.) There’s time. I believe there is a will for both sides to get there. If we get to the deadline and the Predators don’t believe they can sign him, that’s when a trade becomes possible. GM David Poile could keep an unsigned Forsberg past March 21, but it’s not his preference, and won’t happen if progress isn’t being made.
So far this season, the 27-year-old has recorded 44 points in 39 games and is making $6 million against the cap. If he hits the trade market there are going to be a number of teams in the east that will be willing to meet Poile’s demands. The Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs and Carolina Hurricanes would all be willing to jump into a bidding war.
For now, keep an eye on Predators’ news. If Forsberg doesn’t get his new deal within the next few weeks, there’s certainly going to be some trade buzz surrounding their hockey club.
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