The next few days could provide a big boost to Nashville’s Cup run this spring, and David Poile is ready for however things might unfold.
Elliotte Friedman had a Thursday TV hit on NHL Network, as part of a roundtable discussion with E.J. Hradek and Billy Jaffe.
Following a discussion on Duchene where Friedman mentioned a call he had received on that topic earlier in the day, Hradek wanted to know if the Predators could make a Duchene extension fit financially.
“Well, depending on what Duchene wants, the answer is yes,” replied Friedman. “One thing we’ve seen about David Poile is he’s got big brass ones, right. He’s not afraid to make big deals. He only has one player with a no-trade clause, and that’s Pekka Rinne. So depending on what it would cost him, he could move bodies around, and he has the flexibility to do that.
“One of the things I heard was that he was kind of talking to some of his RFAs. He’s got three big ones: Sissons has arb rights, Fiala does not, Hartman has arb rights. I think he was kind of looking around to see, ‘What are these kinds of guys looking at, what does that give me.’
“He knows in a year he’s going to be giving a big extension to Roman Josi. And then I think he’s trying to figure out A) what Duchene wants, and B) what he might have to move around his roster.
“So I think he’s done all this planning. But like I said, as of this morning I heard it was less likely than now, but it could change.
“You know, I’ll tell you this: If Duchene goes off Nashville’s board, I still think they’re going to try to do something big. Whether it’s Kevin Hayes or whether it’s Panarin, I don’t think that Duchene is the only big swing that David Poile was prepared to take.”
Duchene is months away from being eligible to become an unrestricted free agent, with his five-year, $30 million contract winding down.
Hayes is on a one-year, $5.175 million contract, and can become a UFA July 1 as well.
Panarin seems inclined to test UFA waters this summer, and is in the second season of a two-year, $12 million contract.
Contract-related info via CapFriendly