The Nashville Predators will bow out of the playoffs earlier than they expected for the second consecutive season, and this time have plenty of question marks heading into the offseason. The team scored just 12 goals in six playoff games against the Dallas Stars, and have to find a way to get more offense from basically every forward not named Filip Forsberg, Viktor Arvidsson or Ryan Johansen. Other than that top line, the Predators didn’t have a single forward with even 40 points on the season.
One of the biggest disappointments in that category was Kyle Turris. The 29-year old was supposed to solidify the team’s second-line center position and provide a healthy amount of secondary scoring, but was completely lifeless at times this season. He finished with just seven goals and 23 points in 55 games, and saw his ice time drastically limited in the postseason.
Turris was acquired from the Ottawa Senators during the 2017-18 campaign and got off to a blistering start with Nashville, scoring 17 points in 17 games following the trade. After breaking out of a slump near the end of the season though, he was a no-show in the 2018 playoffs and recorded just three assists (no goals) in 13 games. That kind of production is just unacceptable from a player the team spent so heavily on, especially in the six-year, $36MM extension he signed quickly after arriving in Nashville. There are five years left on that deal.
Notably, GM David Poile doesn’t hand out no-trade protection. Turris’ contract is also evenly distributed and contains no signing bonuses. If the team wanted to trade him, there would be teams interested given his history as a solid contributor, but there would also likely be some wary of his propensity to disappear at key times. The biggest question would be do the Predators have a replacement for him if they did decide to move on?
This season Poile decided to spend some future assets to load up for a long playoff run, and acquired two pending unrestricted free agents in Wayne Simmonds and Brian Boyle. It seems unlikely that Simmonds will be retained, given the almost non-existent role he was given under head coach Peter Laviolette. Boyle is a useful player but wouldn’t be able to provide the same kind of secondary scoring the team expected from Turris. There was however another forward acquired at the deadline, this time with another year under contract. Mikael Granlund was pulled from Minnesota in exchange for Kevin Fiala, but also struggled to make a huge impact with the team down the stretch. There’s reason to believe that he could fill that role though, despite spending the last few years on the wing.
Still, that would only put a short-term fix on the problem. Turris was supposed to be the long-term answer, and still could be if they give him the chance to bounce back from this dreadful season. What do you think they should do with him? Is it time for a fresh start elsewhere, or does the team come back with him in 2019-20 and hope for better results?
Cast your vote below and make sure to leave your thoughts in the comments.
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