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July 7, 2023, 11:22 AM ET [12 Comments]
Clay Brewer
Nashville Predators Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The shot heard around the world this week in hockey has been the rare instance of mutual contract termination as opposed to a buy-out or otherwise. Detroit has parted ways with 2018 6th overall pick Filip Zadina after both parties decided on Thursday to mutually terminate Zadina’s contract. In 2022, Zadina signed a 3-year, $5.475m contract with an AAV of $1.825m. In terminating his contract, the 23-year-old winger is forfeiting $4.56m of his outstanding salary and entering the UFA market for the first time.

The Preds should snag this young winger and sign him to 2-years at $1m AAV, maybe a little more to sweeten the pot. With the cap most likely increasing for the 24-25 season, one can hope some of the dead cap space will become a wash and Preds management can find more flexibility. You can write diatribes about how little his junior game may have translated to the NHL, but this is a very skilled winger who is, I repeat, 23! Reading articles, you’d think he’s 33. Take the risk and let him join the youth party in Nashville. I chose to not jump on the Zadina article train as many across the league have been discussing this and writing numerous about this team or that team should or should not sign him articles. But where I decided to take the plunge was where every article found the urge to compare him to those in his same draft class to demonstrate his failures or to compare him to other similarly drafted players of the same age to, once again, demonstrate his failures. I see promise in this former diamond turned black swan. The left-handed shot at the top of the right circle can find the net, he just needs a system to help him utilize his skill. He’s nowhere near as heavy a skater as Forsberg, but he has the same approach to scoring when it comes to coming down the boards or setting up in the zone and releasing the heavy shot. He doesn’t mind playing right wing either as a left shot, and that flexibility can help the Preds. The Brunette style of play can open things up for him since the defensive, hard hitting days of Hynes are likely behind this team for now.

His skill will add some much-needed competition to camp and permit him to show his talents in a new environment. You’d be surprised at how much a new shot at life can change a player. He will be an RFA with arbitration rights in 24-25 due to his age and pro experience, so the Preds can afford to let him shine or fall, his choice. Mutual contract termination isn’t a common occurrence in the NHL. This youngster is believing in himself and that’s exactly the type of player confidence the Preds need. He may very well fall like Icarus, but if he shines, oh will he shine! And it’s a smalltown deal, not a break the bank one where $8m is getting you different results depending on the night.

This is the Redwings Tolvanen moment. Trotz should dive headfirst with this one. It’s a no-brainer. It’s time Nashville starts to take some swings. Duration risk in the hockey sense for you financial enthusiasts out there.
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