When insiders talk about the Nashville Predators being “open for business” this trade deadline, it usually includes a small caveat. Three untouchables are on the roster: Roman Josi, Juuse Saros, and Filip Forsberg. Notably, that list does not include long-time Predator Mattias Ekholm, who has seemingly been on the block-off the block for a few years.
After last night’s stunning return for Tanner Jeannot, Predators fans may be on board with blowing up the core and rebuilding, and there may even be a little trust returning to a front office that had lost the confidence of many in the market.
Today, Darren Dreger of TSN reports that the Predators are in discussions with the Edmonton Oilers regarding Ekholm, though there is no indication that a deal is close. The Oilers have been connected to just about every high-priced defenseman on the market as they try to give Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl some support ahead of the playoffs. Dreger adds that there are still talks between Edmonton and the Montreal Canadiens centered around Joel Edmundson.
Ekholm, 32, is signed through the 2025-26 season and carries a $6.25MM cap hit, meaning the Oilers would have to find a creative way to fit him into their current structure. The team essentially has to move out any money they bring in, and it seems unlikely that the Predators would want to retain a large portion of Ekholm’s salary, given how long his contract extends.
But the Oilers aren’t the only team in the mix. David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period adds that the Los Angeles Kings have also “kicked this idea around” as they look for their own defensive addition.
If the Predators can strip some of the expensive, veteran contracts off the books while adding future assets, new general manager Barry Trotz will be coming into an enviable situation. The team is already looking at a pretty full draft cupboard, with 11 picks this year, nine in 2024, and an extra first-round selection in 2025.
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As a Preds fan, Ekky is as consistent as they come and a true class act, but the way the team is constructed, it’s best to let him go while he still has some value.
poolparty and a bunch of picks sounds good to me
Looks like they gave up on the Karlsson idea.
Joe Carters walkoff
No choice. That 11.5m is too hard to fit in under the cap. For pretty much any team in contention!
I mean if you are willing to pay the price, you can get double retention and knock it down to just shy of 3 million. if they move Jesse in the deal it can work but would mean significant prospect or draft capital
Hello Barry welcome back , about time
To think that had Poile just hired a better coach than John Hynes, this fire sale wouldn’t be happening. They may have even been buyers right now.
Never mind that Forsberg is out and Joey is out for the season. Wouldn’t even matter who was behind the bench.