The Nashville Predators did some brilliant speculating in the 2013 off-season with a relatively obscure young defenseman named Roman Josi. He’d just completed his second NHL season, a lockout-abbreviated 48-game sample. His ice time had jumped from 18 to 23 minutes a night, and he’d snagged a plum role alongside Shea Weber on Nashville’s top pair.
Blessed with great skating, poise and smooth hands, Josi had tremendous upside, but it hadn’t yet translated into big offensive totals. GM David Poile, however, understood what he had. He locked Josi up for what may have looked like an overpay at the time: seven years at a $4-million annual cap hit.
It didn’t take long for that “gamble” to become hockey’s biggest bargain. Within three years, Josi had two top-five finishes in Norris Trophy votin...
About the Author
Matt Larkin is a senior writer at The Hockey News and has been part of the team since 2011. He's your one-stop shop for deep-dive player interviews, predictions, statistics, fantasy player rankings, player safety and hair tips. Catch him weekly as host of The Hockey News Live and The Hockey News Podcast.