<a href='http://predjoe.wordpress.com/files/2007/06/jp.jpg' title='jp.jpg'><img src='http://predjoe.wordpress.com/files/2007/06/jp.jpg' alt='jp.jpg' /></a>
Sure we don't have an owner (that's a minor detail right?) but the Preds have money to burn in the free agent market. With the NHL announcing the new salary cap numbers yesterday the Preds, like it or not, will find themselves being buyers just to reach the 34.3 million dollar minimum.
At this point the Preds sit with 14 players under contract for a total cap hit right at 24 million. This means that the Preds have to spend a minimum of 10 million.
With all this money to spend one has to wonder what happened with Paul Kayria? Rumor has it that Paul turned down a two year deal at 4.5 million per. That would have been the exact same deal that brought Paul to Nashville. While I think the price is in line I think that Paul has seen some of the deals (Kimmo Timonen getting EIGHT million the next two years in his front loaded deal and Scott Hartnell getting 5.2 next season in his front loaded deal) that have happened so far and thinks with the new salary cap sitting at over 50 million some team may offer him in the 5.5-6 million neighborhood. I think some team will do that and when they do I think they just overpaid.
While the uncertainty with the ownership is troubling for fans it has to be more troubling to Daivd Poile who is trying to sell would be Preds on coming here. In the past we had a story to tell. Long tenured coach (who now is on a one year deal that could be the end if they do not go deep in the playoffs), great town, great fans and other marquee players who chose to make Nashville home. Now with Paul, Kimmo, Scotty and Peter Forsberg all exiting stage left one has to wonder what story Poile will be telling now?
The bottom line is the Preds have money that they must spend and when they do I believe David Poile will, once again, find some diamonds in the rough (like JP Dumont last year) that will bring Nashville back to a contender once again.
UPDATE: The Preds resigned Scott Nichol to a one year deal worth $750,000. Scotty is a key role player and brings a ton of energy to each shift he takes. I hope he can play within himself this year and not take stupid penalties that lead to suspensions.