Yahoo Sports’ Greg Wyshynski joined Braden & Fitz on Friday to discuss the Nashville Predators’ free agency needs and more as offseason preparations continue. Despite the regular season being just over three months away, the Preds are in full-swing to get ready for another chance at the Stanley Cup.
Wyshynski started the interview by talking about what the Predators need in free agency, saying that the initial focus should be on more offensive help.
“I would like to see one more center,” Wyshynski said. “One more impact forward. When you look at this lineup, I think they’re obviously set with their top four on defense, so I think another forward, preferably a center.”
Wyshynski explained that, while Nashville needs to make a deal, they are in a much more favorable position after their run to the Stanley Cup Final. Having that leverage will make finding a replacement for forward James Neal easier and may give the Preds more options as well.
“There’s some work to be done,” Wyshynski said. “But I think the good news is that if you’re looking for a free agent, I have to imagine it’s a lot easier to lure one now than it was a year ago… I don’t think you’re going to have many players that will look at Nashville and say, ‘This is an undesirable place to go.’ Not only is it an amazing place to live, but now it’s also a place that can challenge for the Stanley Cup.”
Braden & Fitz also asked about the national perception of the Predators, specifically goaltender Pekka Rinne. Rinne’s incredible performance during the majority of the Stanley Cup Playoffs was crucial to the Predators’ success in the postseason.
However, his dip in form against the Pittsburgh Penguins caused discussion among fans and the media, but Wyshynksi thinks that Rinne is still viewed positively on a national level.
“Rinne is now in this situation,” Wyshynski said. “There is a proof of concept over the years that this guy simply can’t win in Pittsburgh. We all thought, ‘That’s a really weird regular season trend’. But it turns out to be something bigger than that… I think that the national perception is still that he had an incredible playoff run. Obviously he’s the reason they won Round 1, probably the reason they won Round 2, but he has some weird voodoo going on.”
Wyshynski also touched on his predictions for the Western Conference next season as well as broader NHL talk. For the full interview, listen here: