Nashville had a stellar season in 2014/2015, and they are certainly looking to make use of this current offseason to put together the pieces that will build upon that success. While their playoff run ended in the first round, at least they lost eventual Stanley Cup Champion Chicago, so they will certainly be looking to dethrone the Blackhawks come next Spring.
To date, the Predators have made a number of minor and major moves that are designed to enhance a roster that is already deep at almost every position. To remain competitive, however, the team needs to constantly build for the future, and that is just what Nashville is doing. Just recently they were able to come to terms with Calle Jarnkrok on a one-year contract that is worth a reported $735,000. Jarnkrok came via a trade with Patrick Eaves with the Detroit Red Wings back in 2014 that included Patrick Eaves, so the value appears to be there. The deal is for one-year, likely to make certain that Jarnkrok has what it takes to remain on one of the elite teams in the NHL moving forward. The production has already been there, with the forward scoring 7 goals and assisting on 11 others during 74 games last season. He was also able to add two more assists in the playoff series loss to the Blackhawks that went six games. If he can perform even better this coming year, then perhaps the Predators will decide that he has a future in Tennessee.
Graphic via nhl
The team is also looking to shore up its defense for the coming season, having recently signed both Anthony Bitetto and Taylor Aronson. Both received a one-year deal. Bitetto’s deal does not guarantee him time on the NHL rink, but he will earn $665,000 if he is able to stay up. He has great promise, so the team has given him one more year to test the waters with. All indications are, however, that he will likely remain in Nashville throughout much of this coming season, as the team has lost Cody Franson. As a result, they will be looking to Bitetto to step up big time.
In addition, Aronson will be fighting to even move up to the NHL level in the coming season. He was able to score 3 goals last season and assist on 29 others during his stint with the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals. That allowed him to lead the defensemen on points, which might, just might, afford him a chance to move up this year. In the end, the Nashville Predators possess a full complement of players on the blue line, so this bodes well for the coming season. If they are to lose one to injury, however, Aronson will be ready to fill his skates. In short, the offseason has been productive, the team has not lost any major playmakers, and they should be posed for another great and exciting season in Nashville.
Graphic via tenntruth