Nashville, TN – The future of Juuse Saros with the Nashville Predators is a topic that stirs up a lot of opinions among Predator fans. The Predators are nearing a crossroads at the goalie position. While Saros is undeniably talented, the emergence of Askarov as a prospective future number-one goalie adds a layer of complexity to the situation. If Askarov steps up for the rest of this season in the AHL, the Predators might seriously consider dealing Saros in the offseason. This decision by the Predators front office is one hundred percent contingent on Askarov’s performance and readiness, which is still a huge question mark as he has been largely inconsistent in the AHL thus far.
The return for Saros would most likely be significant regarding a potential trade. However, the quality of assets the Predators could get for him might be lower than expected, given that he is a goalie and the positions trade value isn’t on par with star players at other positions in the NHL. This makes trading him for other star players, multiple high-quality prospects, or multiple first-round picks highly unlikely, leaving the question of whether a trade would even be worth it for the Predators if they can’t get a massive haul in return for the All-Star goalie.
If the Predators trade Saros, the idea of entering a rebuilding phase is a concern, especially considering the team’s current competitive nature and how the current roster is set up with multiple veteran players on decently large contracts. Trading Saros should only be an option if the team has a solid replacement, which seems uncertain with Askarov still developing.
When you ask around Nashville and get Predators fans’ opinions, most are firmly against trading Saros. He is not just a skilled goaltender; he’s the linchpin of the team’s competitiveness. His elite performances constantly demonstrate his vital role in the team. Saros is the anchor, and losing him would be a blow to the team’s spirit and, most likely, their performance.
However, looking at the other side of the coin, relying excessively on a goaltender like Saros is not the way to win in the modern NHL. Management might see this issue with the team, trade him away, and use the trade to build a more balanced team. Nonetheless, this season has shown that the Predators are competitive, and trading Saros now could derail the potential for a successful playoff run, which means if a Saros deal is happening, it will most likely be done in the offseason.
The question of trading Juuse Saros is a multifaceted one. While there are logical reasons to consider such a move, the emotional and competitive aspects make it nearly impossible to pull off for the Predators front office. Saros is more than just a player; he embodies the Predators’ competitive spirit and aspirations.