DAILY RUMORS: Kovalchuk to the Predators?

We at HockeyIndependent.com want to be your resource and filter for what is going on in the NHL. We try to disseminate the noise in the blogosphere. We don’t look to to attack those sources, but to question the veracity of the rumor with cold logic, hockey smarts and knowledge. To do that… we have partnered with the one of the best in the NHL blogosphere….Lyle Richardson of SpectorsHockey.net. Daily Rumors with Lyle Richardson will now be a regular feature on HI this summer and beyond…

In the aftermath of the Nashville Predators trading away Dan Hamhuis and Jason Arnott there’s been some talk Predators GM David Poile made those moves to perhaps clear space to pursue a big name free agent star.

Over the weekend The Bleacher Report suggested Poile might target New Jersey Devils winger Ilya Kovalchuk, slated to be the star in this summer’s UFA market.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/408625-are-the-nashville-predators-looking-to-sign-ilya-kovalchuk

The report suggests the Predators might not be amongst Kovalchuk’s preferred destinations but claimed they have the cap space to afford his anticipated salary demands of $7.5-$9 million per season plus have an up-and-coming roster.

Other options might include San Jose’s Patrick Marleau, Montreal’s Tomas Plekanec or Phoenix’s Matthew Lombardi.

What the author of this bit overlooks is the Predators, for their vaunted “cap space” are under a self-imposed cap for next season believed to be between $45-$47 million, meaning the $38.8 million they’ve currently got committed to 17 players for next season leaves them less than $10 million in cap space, not the $20 million they might have if they could afford to spend up to next season’s anticipated cap ceiling.

Furthermore, as noted by The Tennessean, the Predators are more likely to commit their available cap space toward re-signing promising young players like Patric Hornqvist, Cody Fransen and Dustin Boyd.

Having dealt away Hamhuis they’ll likely try to re-sign defenseman Denis Grebeshkov, a restricted free agent they acquired at the trade deadline from the Edmonton Oilers, as well as Ryan Parent, whom they received from the Philadelphia Flyers in the Hamhuis deal.

While I’ll admit anything’s possible I would expect the Predators to stay well under the salary cap, use their available space to retain their young talent, and shun the big names in this summer’s UFA market.

Lyle Richardson
SpectorsHockey.net
twitter.com/spectorshockey

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About the Author: B.D. Gallof is a published writer and hockey blogger. He writes about Hockey, NY Islanders & the NY Islanders venue situation for CBS New York. BD has been written up in Sports Illustrated, TSN.ca, the NY Times Slapshots blog, Yahoo's Sports and SportsBusiness Journal. He has been a featured blogger for The Huffington Post, as well as owner, lead writer, and managing editor at HockeyIndependent.com.

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  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by BDGallof, LightningShout and Fred Poulin, Hockey Independent. Hockey Independent said: DAILY RUMORS: Kovalchuk to the Predators? Lyle Richardson on HockeyIndependent.com http://bit.ly/awdWiA [...]

  2. shruew says:

    “disseminate” isn’t the word you wanted to use.

  3. Codey H. says:

    I’m sorry, when did Nashville have $7.5-$9 million per season? They have the cap space, sure.. but they’re a cap floor team by nature. Someone didn’t do their research, or is oblivious to how Nashville operates. shame really.

  4. Looks like I was wrong about Grebeskov. Poile told The Tennessean today he’s not qualifying his rights.

  5. Jeff Benson says:

    If they were to sign Kovalchuck, it would generate excitement for sure.

    If they started to win consistently and maybe made the 2nd round of the playoffs, and people in Nashville felt they had a winner I think they would get behind that team for sure. A winning team, with a bona fide star, that is a playoff contender, I think would generate a ton of revenue in that city. But I guess the question is can they risk such a signing and risk not reaping those dividends right away