Changes are coming in Smashville.
Nashville Predators general manager David Poile has already announced that assistant coach Dan Muse will not be with the team moving forward and more changes are expected this offseason after another disappointing season.
The Preds' offseason began much earlier than they or their fans would have liked, dropping their best of five Qualifying Series to the Arizona Coyotes earlier this month. Muse's dismissal is yet another ripple in the giant wake created by Poile this season in firing long-time head coach Peter Laviolette and replacing him with Hynes. The Preds struggled mightily under Laviolette to start the season and it appeared that the team's core of Roman Josi, Filip Forsberg, Ryan Ellis and Ryan Johansen had essentially tuned him out. Things improved a bit under Hynes, but there's a belief that the new hire simply didn't have enough time to make the sort of structural changes to the team's play that he would have liked. Moving forward Hynes will be given the necessary time and resources to mold the team in his image.
It's expected that more personnel changes are coming from Poile this offseason. Don't kid yourself though, players like Josi, Forsberg and Johansen aren't going anywhere. Ditto for franchise legend Pekka Rinne. It's also unlikely that free agent acquisition Matt Duchene goes anywhere either. Pending unrestricted free agents Mikael Granlund and Craig Smith are probably history though. Kyle Turris and his $6 million annual deal are likely to get bought out. What happens with depth players like Nick Bonino, Colton Sissons and Calle Jarnkrok though? You'd have to imagine that teams will come calling about their availability this upcoming offseason.
In any case, it certainly seems like more changes are afoot in Smashville.
Predators insider Adam Vingan has already drawn lines between the Preds and pending unrestricted free agent Mike Hoffman, who of course has a history with Duchene. Whether he has inside intel or not, Vingan's assessment of Hoffman is pretty spot on.
Check it out:
Hoffman’s 169 goals over the past six seasons with the Ottawa Senators and Panthers are tied for 16th among NHL forwards. He shoots from everywhere and has an excellent release, particularly from the right circle on the power play.
Duchene and Hoffman were linemates with the Senators during the 2017-18 season, which would be a bonus.
Hoffman has carried a $5.1875 million cap hit in each of the past four seasons. His asking price probably will be prohibitive. But Mikael Granlund and Craig Smith, who combined for 35 goals this season, could both leave in free agency, and it would be asking too much of Tolvanen and Trenin to replace that production.
At a reasonable price and term, Hoffman, who scored 29 goals this season, would be a good stopgap.
At the right price Hoffman could be just the kickstart that Duchene needs to get things going in Nashvile.
For the full article from Vingan, click below: