NHL Rumors: Top insider believes $8,250,000 AAV deal for Juuse Saros could push Predators to trade star goalie

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Vancouver Canucks at Nashville Predators
NHL insider David Pagnotta discusses Juuse Saros contract situation

One of the hottest topics involving Nashville Predators this free agency is star goalie Juuse Saros. NHL insider David Pagnotta joined "NHL Now" to discuss potential trades. Pagnotta said that Saros is attracting interest from other teams.

"Saros is certainly a player that is going to generate more interest," Pagnotta said.

According to Pagnotta, Saros is eyeing a deal with an average annual value (AAV) of around $8–$8.25 million in an extension. However, he said the predators may not go for it.

"I don't think Nashville has an appetite to do that," Pagnotta added.

On August 16, 2021, Juuse Saros signed a four-year, $20 million contract with the Nashville Predators. He will be an unrestricted free agent after the 2024–25 season ends.

Accommodating an $8 million+ contract would not have been feasible for the Predators since they have seven players approaching free agency this year.

In the 2023–24 regular season, Saros had 35 wins, 24 losses and five overtime losses, tying for sixth in wins. He had a goals-against average (GA/G) of 2.86, placing him 26th, and a save percentage (SV%) of .906, tying for 23rd. Saros also recorded three shutouts, tying for 11th in the league.

Saros conceded only 12 goals on 120 shots over six playoff games, despite finishing with a 2-4 record. The Finnish goaltender remains under contract for one more season with a $5 million cap hit.

Juuse Saros expected to stay with Nashville Predators amid major trades

On June 19, the New Jersey Devils acquired Jacob Markstrom and the Los Angeles Kings picked up Darcy Kuemper, filling two major goaltending vacancies.

This development likely means the Nashville Predators’ star goalie, Juuse Saros, isn’t going anywhere. Despite Predators GM Barry Trotz expressing a priority to extend Saros' contract, trade rumors persist.

Saros, a former Vezina Trophy finalist and two-time NHL All-Star, is Nashville's top trade asset. Though there was strong interest from the Devils before the trade deadline, their acquisition of Markstrom for a reasonable price suggests a trade for Saros is less likely.

With limited teams willing to meet Nashville’s high asking price for Saros, a contract extension appears more probable. An expected extension could range from six to eight years with an AAV of $8–8.5 million.

Negotiations are anticipated to progress post-July 1, as both parties show mutual interest.

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Edited by Krutik Jain
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