Rumor: Contract demands to drive Juuse Saros out of Nashville
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Rumor: Contract demands to drive Juuse Saros out of Nashville

The Preds' star goaltender looks to be on the move.

Trevor Connors

According to a report from NHL insider David Pagnotta, Juuse Saros' time with the Nashville Predators may be coming to an end.

The star netminder's four year, $20 million contract expires next offseason and he's slated to become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career. Saros is 29 years old and Pagnotta reports that Saros is looking for as much as $8.25 million per season on an eight year contract.

From Pagnotta on

Juuse Saros is looking for an $8 to $8.25M AAV on an extension and doesn’t believe Nashville has an appetite for that given Yaroslav Askarov is right behind him.

- David Pagnotta

Given that the Preds have top prospect Yaroslav Askarov ready to step into NHL action at any given moment, you can understand the team's hesitancy to award Saros a long-term deal. 

The flip side though is that Askarov has played just 3 NHL games... are you really confident in riding a rookie goalie in a season where you expect to qualify for the playoffs? That seems like setting both the team and the young goaltender up for failure.

So... what happens next?

If the Predators receive an 'offer they can't reuse' for Saros this offseason, I think they have to take it. Sign a veteran goaltender to shelter Askarov a bit and hope for the best.

If the Preds can't find a deal they like for Saros though, I think they have to enter the season with a Saros/Askarov tandem. Let Askarov show you what he's made of and then make a hard decision on Saros at the trade deadline. It's a risky proposition for sure, but so is putting all of your chips on a rookie Askarov.

Source: David Pagnotta