After shipping out Ryan Ellis and Viktor Arvidsson in July, Nashville Predators general manager David Poile said his club was undergoing a “competitive rebuild”. Whether Filip Forsberg is part of it remains to be determined.
Forsberg, 27, is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. Since making his full-time NHL debut in 2014-15, he has led the Predators in total goals (177) and points (379) despite being sidelined by injuries over the past four seasons.
The Athletic’s Adam Vingan believes Poile will have to sell Forsberg on his short- and long-term plans for the Predators. He’ll also have to decide how much the left winger is worth.
Forsberg’s current annual average value is $6 million. He could get over $8 million on the open market but Vingan felt the Predators would be wise not to pay that, citing his injury history and inconsistent production. However, he also acknowledged it’s doubtful Forsberg would accept less than the $8- million annually teammates Ryan Johansen and Matt Duchene are getting.
The Boston Globe‘s Matt Porter believes Poile should consider trading Forsberg this season. Having already shipped out Ellis and Arvidsson in exchange for draft picks and young players, he believes Forsberg could fetch a return of “exciting prospects and younger NHLers who have yet to peak.”
Poile could consider that option if Forsberg isn’t willing to accept less than $8 million per season on a long-term extension. Unless he can move Johansen or Duchene to make room for Forsberg’s new contract, the Predators GM could have little choice but to peddle the winger by the March trade deadline if his club is out of playoff contention by then.