What to do with Mikael Granlund and Craig Smith

The biggest problem that has plagued the Predators over the last handful of years has been one of consistency. Consistency in every facet of the game for a full regular season and especially in the playoffs. Most importantly, though, Nashville has a major issue with finding and maintaining secondary scoring outside of the top line of Ryan Johansen, Filip Forsberg, and Viktor Arvidsson.

General Manager David Poile has tried multiple times to rectify this problem, bringing in players like Kyle Turris, Nick Bonino, and Mikael Granlund to help. Even with some of the homegrown talent on the Predators roster, it’s still largely been an issue for the team.

This off-season Poile will have to make a bit of a decision: with expiring contracts for both Granlund and Craig Smith, does he try to re-sign both, one, or neither?

And honestly, the answer isn’t as difficult as some might believe it is.

Fortunately for the Predators, they have roughly $10 million of cap space freeing up with both players facing free agency, so before we look at the statistical element of the equation, you have to first look at the cost.

Smith’s most recent deal came back in 2015 at five years, $21.25 million, coming off back-to-back seasons of posting better than 20 goals and 20 assists. It was a justifiable contract for a 25-year-old player reaching his prime and . . .

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Author: Kristopher MartelCovering the Nashville Predators since 2011, and a fan of the team since they arrived, Kristopher has witnessed both the highs and the lows of the organization, spanning quick exits in the playoffs, multiple coaching changes, their only trip to the Stanley Cup Final, and more. Often trending to a more analytical approach, Kristopher enjoys breaking down some of the more detailed aspects of the Predators while at the same time trying to offer fans a friendly approach to the advanced side of hockey. When he's not around the rink, Kristopher is an avid Cleveland Browns fan, collects and enjoys fine bourbon, and likes to spend plenty of time around his grill and smoker. Kristopher, his wife Amanda, and their four children reside east of Nashville in Lebanon, Tennessee.