Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 05/16/12 at 01:04 PM ET
from Josh Cooper of The Tennessean,
While it’s understandable that some forecasts predict an offseason of gloom and doom for the Predators — there are 15 unrestricted and restricted free agents on the current roster — with a few minor tweaks, this team can contend for the Stanley Cup next season.
Ownership says it has the money to re-sign its important unrestricted free agents, namely All-Star defenseman Ryan Suter.
Defenseman Shea Weber’s restricted free-agent status means his return is likely.
If forward Alexander Radulov decides not to come back to the Predators, they probably can use his rights to deal him for another piece.
Forward Craig Smith had 36 points as a rookie and should have a better sense of the pro game as a sophomore.
Patric Hornqvist and his 27 goals are signed for next season. Leading scorer Martin Erat will be back. Goaltender Pekka Rinne should give the Predators a chance to win on most nights.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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