More than ever before there appear to be more and more maneuvers being made by organizations in the National Hockey League motivated purely by salary concerns. We have already seen a number of trade deals this summer that have demonstrated that cap space is now an asset that can be wielded as surely as a player contract or a draft pick, and it sounds like we are not done yet.
In a recent mail bag Nashville Predators insider Adam Vingan of The Athletic was asked about the likelihood of the Predators shedding one of their expensive centers via trade prior to the start of the 2019 - 2020 NHL regular season. Specifically Vingan was asked about the possibility of either veteran center Nick Bonino or veteran center Kyle Turris being moved during the offseason.
I won’t be surprised if Turris and Bonino are still on the team at the start of the season, but my gut feeling is that one of them gets traded by opening night.
Vingan is unarguably the best insider in the business when it comes to the Predators, so when he makes a comment of this nature it is absolutely worth listening closely. Of course there has already been plenty of talk regarding the future of Kyle Turris within that organization given that he has looked like a shell of his former self since joining the Predators, but he would likely be very difficult to move. Turris is under contract through the 2023 - 2024 season and at a cap hit of $6 million per season it seems unlikely that there would be any takers given his recent play. The Predators would almost certainly have to retain salary on the deal or pay a premium to move him in the way the Toronto Maple Leafs did earlier this summer when they traded Patrick Marleau to the Carolina Hurricanes.
Vingan believes that Bonino would make the farm more attractive target, especially with him coming off such a good season. The Predators could sell high on Bonino, clear some significant cap space in the process, all the while hoping Turris will return to form for them this season. What actually happens in the end however will depend entirely on general manager David Poile, a man that has already shown a willingness to make stunning moves this summer.