Nashville Predators – Mattias Ekholm
The Nashville Predators have their work cut out for them after making their way to the Stanley Cup Finals. The team has a huge chunk of the salary cap tied up in one forward, two defensemen, and a goalie. At the same time, they have many pieces up front that need to be re-signed.
As such, the Predators need to shed some salary. Not to mention, the Predators’ biggest strength is the Rangers’ biggest weakness. Of the defensemen on the Predators’ deep roster, Mattias Ekholm is the most moveable.
The 27-year old, 6’4″ 215 pound lefty is known for his solid all around play. He would fit oh so well with the Rangers’ style of play with his crisp passing and smooth skating. Even though he’s left-handed, he has experience playing both sides of the ice.
As for his contract, he is making $3.75 million for the next five seasons. Nashville needs to sign Viktor Arvidsson, Ryan Johansen, and Mike Fisher this offseason, so that cap space could be very useful. From the Rangers’ side of things, if Ekholm is acquired, Brendan Smith becomes the more expensive option on defense.