Filip Forsberg is enjoying a strong performance this season, leading the Nashville Predators with 26 goals in 39 games and sitting third with 44 points.
However, questions arose over the 27-year-old left winger's future in Nashville after Bally Sports Midwest's Andy Strickland took to Twitter reporting the Predators were “actively shopping” him.
Forsberg is slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer after completing a six-year contract worth an annual average value of $6 million. He was the subject of early-season trade speculation but that had melted away with the Predators in the thick of the Western Conference playoff chase.
The Athletic's Joe Rexrode reports Predators general manager David Poile swiftly denied the report, indicating the goal remains to sign Forsberg. Strickland stood by his sources but admitted to Rexrode that “due diligence” would've been a better term to describe Poile gauging Forsberg's value in the trade market.
Poile conducted similar “due diligence” last season when he reportedly tested the market on defenseman Mattias Ekholm. He ultimately retained Ekholm and signed him to a contract extension last October.
Forsberg and Poile could reach an agreement on a contract extension before the March 21 trade deadline. Nevertheless, a trade is still possible if they fail to hammer out a deal by then.
Forsberg could draw interest from a playoff contender in need of scoring punch such as the Los Angeles Kings. Perhaps a promising team with salary-cap space and plenty of trade assets becomes interested provided they get permission from Poile to talk to Forsberg about a contract extension before the trade deadline. The Anaheim Ducks, Detroit Red Wings and New Jersey Devils could fall into that category.