Predators GM, David Poile spoke with the media yesterday regarding a few topics, including the upcoming draft and qualifying offers for currently players. The Preds organization is chomping at the bit for a top draft pick, and with the names that are in the hat, this high draft pick could be history-changing for the young team. Though, as much as the draft intrigues us, we have to admit it was more interesting to hear Poile’s take on some more familiar names and where they’d be for the 2013-14 season: Matt Halischuk, Jonathon Blum, Nick Spaling, and Sergei Kostitsyn.
David Poile stated that he did, in fact, extend a qualifying offer to Nick Spaling, which make no sense if he didn’t. Spaling wasn’t a powerhouse by any means this past season, but he knew when to make his presence count. With nine goals and four assists in the shortened 2012-13 season, Spals kept himself well on Barry Trotz’s good side. But two players Poile said he is “keeping his options open” with are Matt Halischuk and Jonathon Blum, two low radar players who have teetered on the fence between the Preds and their farm team, the Milwaukee Admirals. As much as we personally like Hally and Blummer, it might be wise for Poile to use them as leverage to swing a possible mid-to-late-round pick this weekend.
So with Nick Spaling pursued and Blum and Halischuk headed towards the door, that leaves Mr. Belarus himself. In a previous post, we relayed the information that SK74 had been offered a contract from the GM of Avangard-Omsk of the KHL. David Poile addressed this topic yesterday, confirming that there has been talks of “loaning” Sergei to the KHL, if he chooses to accept Avangard’s proposal. Due to a clause in the CBA, the Preds wouldn’t have to pay Kostitsyn’s salary or take his cap hit if he were to jump ship to Russia. Poile also stated that he would not risk a compliance buyout on SK74 and wants the issue resolved by July 5th.
Although Poile said that he’d ideally like to get a Top 6 forward, a Top 4 defenseman, and a backup goalie for Pekka Rinne, we are being skeptical and will wait to see his moves during this draft this weekend. We are hoping he does go in this order, however, as that is the magic combination for the Predators if they want to contend this upcoming season.