Will Saros Stay in Smashville Next Season?

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With the recent dramatic success of the Nashville Predators and their historic game point run, it’s hard to even imagine talking about trading key players in the off-season. However, it’s never too early nor too late to talk about making strategic trade moves and no doubt General Manager Barry Trotz will have something up his sleeve to help keep the Preds in continuous playoff contention.

The almost-hypocrisy of even discussing pending trade talks at this point in the season seems hopelessly lost on the fact that the Nashville Predators are one of the hottest teams in the National Hockey League, and barring any last-second total collapse, the Preds should find themselves in some sort of postseason spot either as a wild card team or Central Division playoff seed. Nevertheless, the job of Barry Trotz is not to focus on where Nashville is today but where it will be this time next year and this time five years from now. Trotz made that clear when the Preds became buyers at the March NHL trade deadline and brought in both Jason Zucker and Anthony Beavillier to help with this recent ascent back into playoff relevancy in the Western Conference. While the coaches and the players have the luxury of thinking about tonight, the Predators’ front office no doubt has the onerous task of keeping this franchise alive and vibrant years into the future.

Will Juuse Saros be back in Nashville next year?

That, folks, is the million-dollar question regarding the future of Preds’ top goaltender Juuse Saros. Saros is part of the core foundation of this franchise and a long with team captain Roman Josi, it’s almost incomprehensible to think of Saros wearing anything but a Predators’ sweater on game night. Then again, there were somewhat intense trade talks over Saros leading up to the March trade deadline, as Nashville seemed to be destined for Central Division mediocrity prior to the All-Star break. However, an interesting spark developed not only for the Predators but Saros himself, and during the recent point streak, Saros himself found new life in Smashville and posted a 10-0-2 record during this run and posted a stellar 1.99 goals-against average and .927 save percentage (32-22-4 overall with a 2.83 season goals-against average and a .906 save percentage. Nashville, of course, is now back in strong playoff contention, and with Juuse Saros minding the net for the Predators, there is a reasonable expectation that Nashville will make a strong playoff run.

Once the Stanley Cup playoffs are over, there is nothing written in stone that Juuse Saros will be back in training camp next September. Saros is an Unrestricted Free Agent (UFA) in 2025 and can sign a contract extension with the Predators beginning July 1st. Barry Trotz can also trade Saros as soon as the season is over and make room for top goaltending prospect Yaroslav Askarov. The more likely scenario is that Askarov will become the backup to Juuse Saros to gain valuable NHL experience under a wise, veteran goaltender, and then Saros can make his exit to another team by next year’s trade deadline. The only thing that is certain at this point in Nashville is that Saros is the top goaltender for the Predators heading into the final stretch of the regular season and then into the Stanley Cup playoffs. The rest is up to the secret society of NHL front-office executives and player agents to decide Saros’ future in Smashville.

We Got The Jack Inside The Rink

In episode 8 of the Inside The Rink podcast, Matty and Smitty are joined by new co-host Conrad Jack. After the long hiatus, we get back to hockey with a PACKED episode!Matt Rempe & the Devils vs. Rangers Line BrawlCould the Vancouver Canucks squander a playoff opportunity? Have the Winnipeg Jets finally figured out their lines?Flyers Head Coach John Tortorella is a sound byte MACHINEOvechkin is on his way to 895, Who is next?McDavid joins elite company with 100 Assists in a seasonRyan Hartman was suspended 3 Games, was it worth 3 games??Can Auston Matthews hit 70 Goals this season?The Eastern Conference Wild Card race is heating up, who lands the two playoff berths?For all of your hockey news and more from the show, visit us at insidetherink.com and watch us on YouTube! How to support us and our sponsors:TicketmasterColumbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITR
  1. We Got The Jack
  2. Episode 7. Player Safety First!
  3. Episode 6. Early Trade Season
  4. Episode 5. Longing For The Chiarelli Years
  5. Episode 4. Ottawa’s On Fire

Mike Gambill

I'm a retired high school teacher and former coach who enjoys sports writing as a way of expressing my continued passion for the game. I try to bring a bit of a technical side to my articles, as well as keeping a bit of sarcastic humor alive.

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