Filip Forsberg's future with the Nashville Predators was the subject of off-season speculation as the club underwent what GM David Poile called its “competitive rebuild.” Where the 27-year-old left winger fits into those plans remains unclear.
Cap Friendly indicates Forsberg is slated to become a UFA next summer, carrying an annual cap hit of $6 million on his current contract. The Athletic's Adam Vingan recently cited a player agent suggesting it could cost the Predators $8 million annually to re-sign Forsberg. Vingan also thinks the Predators could balk at giving Forsberg signing bonuses or a no-movement clause as an enticement to accept a team-friendly deal.
Vingan felt the Predators should pass on re-signing Forsberg. NHL.com's Dan Rosen disagrees, pointing out Forsberg's value as a scoring winger in his prime. Despite him missing nine games to an upper-body injury, his 13 goals tie him with Matt Duchene as the Predators' leading goal scorer.
With other core players such as Duchene, Roman Josi, Ryan Johansen, Mattias Ekholm and Juuse Saros under contract through at least 2024-25, Rosen thinks Nashville should be in “win-now” mode. He raised the question of whether Forsberg wants to test next summer's free-agent market. However, Rosen felt they should keep Forsberg as an “own rental” if they're still in the playoff race by the March-21 trade deadline.
The Predators' position in this season's standings will determine Forsberg's fate for the remainder of this season. They could place him on the trade block should they drop out of contention by March 21. Despite Forsberg's reputation as a streaky scorer, he'll draw plenty of interest from contenders seeking to bolster their offense for the post-season.