David Poile is trying to save money with the hope that money will save the Predators.
The general manager made two moves Wednesday to ensure some insurance that he hopes will provide some reassurance for the direction of the franchise: He put Kyle Turris on unconditional waivers for purposes of buying out the remaining four years and $24 million of his contract and traded Nick Bonino and his $4.1 million cap hit to the Wild for a younger and cheaper Luke Kunin.
Yes, the Predators are on the hook for a $2 million cap hit through 2027-28 because of the Turris deal. But they save $4 million for the next four years against a cap that will remain at $81.5 million next year at least by doing so.
According to capfriendly.com, the Predators have more than $17.6 million with which to work as the free-agency period begins Friday at 11 a.m. Central.
Poile said he has no orders from ownership about spending, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll empty the team’s pockets by signing a big name in the coming days.
“I don’t have any financial restrictions,” Poile said. “This is tough times for the Predators because we don’t have any revenues. Our owners have been very fair and want to be as competitive as we can be, so we have all the means to spend up to the cap if I find areas that will make us a better team.”
First, he said, he wants to shore up the bottom of the defense, with the departures of Yannick Weber (free agent) and Dan Hamhuis (retired).
“It would be my hope that maybe through free agency I can say … that we’ve improved our defense,” Poile said. “What I’m looking for