Back at the draft, there was some speculation that the Predators were offering up goaltender Yaroslav Askarov in an effort to move up. GM Barry Trotz acknowledged to Paul Skrbina of The Tennessean that he did put the 21-year-old in play back in June, citing a desire to draft (or acquire) an impact young center but obviously, that didn’t come to fruition. It shouldn’t be construed that with him being available then that he’s available now, however. Trotz said there’s no reason in his mind why the team couldn’t carry Juuse Saros and Askarov as a tandem for the long haul. It’s a decision that’s still a couple of years away as Saros has two years left on his deal while Askarov is likely to need a couple more years in the AHL before being NHL-ready.
More from the Western Conference:
- While Sam Gagner is looking to earn a third stint with the Oilers, he has a tough hill to climb as Postmedia’s Jim Matheson relays that the veteran won’t play in the preseason. Gagner is still working his way back from hip surgery and his doctor has only recommended that he be allowed to practice for the next few weeks. The 34-year-old has expressed an openness to starting the year with AHL Bakersfield and since he won’t be able to make his case for a roster spot in exhibition action, the Condors seem like the most probable landing spot for him.
- Kraken winger Jordan Eberle would welcome a contract extension, notes Geoff Baker of The Seattle Times. The 33-year-old says he has made his stance known about his desire to remain with Seattle and it’s certainly understandable why that’s the case as has had two quality seasons since being picked in the expansion draft. Eberle is coming off a 21-goal, 63-point campaign which could have him in line for a small raise on his current $5.5MM AAV if he gets an early extension from GM Ron Francis.