What Roman Josi could fetch on the open market versus what he’ll sign for to remain in Nashville should be an interesting study to watch unfold.
Bob McKenzie had a Wednesday evening NBCSN TV hit during the first intermission of the game between the Predators and Chicago Blackhawks.
With Josi eligible for a contract extension as early as July 1, the Insider was asked how soon the two sides might begin discussing the possibility.
“As soon as is humanly possible,” said McKenzie. “David Poile would love to get this taken care of on July 1 or right thereabouts if he could. And they could obviously talk a little bit ahead of that. But nothing is going to happen obviously until the summer.
“Josi is such an important player to the Predators. One could make a case on a defense that is so good with Subban and Ekholm and Ellis - that Top 4 - that he’s as good as it gets.
“Now, Subban makes $9 million, but he’s on a contract that was originally signed by the Montreal Canadiens. And in Nashville, the defensemen are famous - a lot of players are famous - for taking discounts that would allow them to stay in the fold and keep the Nashville Predators a competitive team.
“Ekholm is only making $3.75 per year, he’s got another four years left. Ryan Ellis, his six-year deal for $6.25 million doesn’t kick in until next year. Those numbers for Ellis and Ekholm are way below market value.
“Why do the players sign them? Well, they want to stay in Nashville. It’s a great city to live in, the cost of living is low, and the Nashville Predator window for winning the Stanley Cup is as wide open as it possibly could be right now. So they love everything about it.
“Now, also in order to do that, David Poile has some philosophies or rules that he likes to follow whenever possible. He doesn’t like giving no-trade clauses, he doesn’t like giving signing bonuses, and he likes to structure - if it’s a five-year deal for $8 million a year, he wants it to be 8, 8, 8, 8 across the board; no lockout protection, no wild fluctuations.
“Now, in the case of Ellis he did end up giving him a signing bonus, and he did give him a bit of a lockout protection and a little bit of up and down structure in the deal. But Ellis did not get a no-trade clause.
“So at the end of the day, I suspect on the Roman Josi deal - Roman Josi, if he wants to stay in Nashville, is going to have to sacrifice some things. But David Poile in terms of no no-trade protection, no signing bonus, no up and down structure - he’s going to have to sacrifice something too.
“But that’s going to be fascinating to watch this summer.”
Josi’s seven-year, $28 million contract has another season to run after 2018-19, and carries a ridiculously low $4 million cap hit.
Contract-related info via CapFriendly