from Jared Clinton of The Hockey News,
The more important question, however, pertains to the Predators’ direction at the conclusion of this campaign. Though there remains a chance Nashville sneaks into the playoffs and manufactures a Los Angeles Kings-esque low-seed Stanley Cup victory, those chances appear about as slim as Mary Swanson ending up with Lloyd Christmas. And whether this season ends after Game 82 or at the conclusion of whatever brief post-season run the Predators are able to piece together, it will almost assuredly be the case that this campaign is either a step backward or nothing more than a lateral move. And that could, and probably should, mean some changes are on the horizon.
Chief among those changes, of course, is finding a solution to the Kyle Turris situation. Though the 30-year-old center has played a regular role since spending seven consecutive games as a healthy scratch in November, he’s remained a bottom-six fixture earning top-six dollars – he has another four years remaining at a $6-million cap hit after this season. And while his contract isn’t necessarily a drag on the Predators’ cap situation with Nashville projected to have upwards of $11 million with which to work come the off-season, it’s the additional flexibility that Turris’ contract doesn’t provide that’s the great issue.
But that’s not the Predators’ only concern.
The perception of this roster, and the spirit in which it has been built, is that it’s a defense-first club that carves its path to success by way of quality goaltending and strong defending.
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