When the Predators started to move out their core veterans, many wondered if Juuse Saros would be among them. However, GM Barry Trotz told Pierre LeBrun of TSN and The Athletic (subscription link) that he intends to keep the netminder in the fold:
I met with his agent, I’d like to re-sign him, I told them that’s our intention. We’re obviously in a little bit of a re-tool type of situation and when we get reset here, I’d like him to be part of the backbone.
The 28-year-old is signed through the end of next season which means he isn’t even eligible to sign an extension until July 1, 2024. At that point, Saros will be owed a significant raise on his current $5MM AAV, one that has been a significant bargain. On that deal, he has led the NHL in games played by a goalie in each of the last two seasons (and is the early leader this year) while posting a .916 SV%. Saros has also finished no lower than fourth in Vezina voting the last two years so basically, the Predators have been getting top-level goaltending for a bit more than the price for a platoon option. That will be changing soon enough.
Elsewhere in the Central Division:
- While Jets forward Gabriel Vilardi took part in practice today, he still isn’t ready yet to suit up in a game, relays TSN’s John Lu (Twitter link). The 24-year-old suffered an upper-body injury in his third game of the season and has missed nearly a month since then. At the moment, Winnipeg is targeting Wednesday for Vilardi’s return to the lineup. He had been in their top six before the injury and will likely return to that role once he’s cleared to return.
- Avalanche defenseman Josh Manson is day-to-day with an upper-body injury, notes DNVR Avalanche’s Meghan Angley (Twitter link). The veteran has been limited due to injuries over the past few years although he had managed to play in all but one of their first 14 games this season where he had an assist along with 18 blocks and 20 hits while logging just under 16 minutes a night. Recently recalled blueliner Caleb Jones is expected to take Manson’s spot in the lineup with the team announcing (Twitter link) that Sam Malinski was returned to AHL Colorado.