After a miserable, miserable 2013 campaign that saw the Nashville Predators fall to 14th out of 15 teams in the Western Conference, general manager David Poile knows he needs to light a spark this offseason. Poile has overseen a relatively successful operation since hockey came to Nashville and looks to return the Predators to the winning ways that earned playoff berths in seven of the previous eight seasons.
However, before barreling into this weekend’s draft and free agency, Poile can breathe easier knowing he’s re-signed defense Roman Josi to a seven-year, $28 million deal.
“Re-signing Roman was a top priority as we look to regroup heading into the 2013-14 season,” Poile said, via the team website. “Roman has proven, with his growth and success here in Nashville and on the international stage, that he is one of the best young defensemen in the NHL.
“Roman’s skating ability and instincts have allowed him to play in all key situations. With today’s signing, we have our top defensive pairing locked up long-term, and we look forward to Roman’s continued development and contribution to the Predators’ on-ice success.”
The Predators also need a great haul in this weekend’s draft to position themselves well for free agency and the tough decisions it will entail. Poile sits at the enviable spot of fourth overall with Nashville’s top pick, but it remains a wonder who he will choose. Poile has, however, made known is interests with free agency on the horizon.
“Ideally we’d like to get a Top 6 forward, we’d like to get a Top 4 defenseman,” said Poile, via SB Nation’s Predators blog, “And we need to get a backup goalie behind Pekka Rinne“.
The path out of the basement starts this weekend.