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Ryan McDonagh Trade Could Show More Trades For Nashville Predators – Hockey Writers – Nashville Predators

The recent trade between the Nashville Predators and the Tampa Bay Lightning, which saw Ryan McDonagh sent back to Tampa Bay, caused quite a stir in Maple Leafs Land. With McDonagh’s departure freeing up $6.75 million in cap space for the Predators, speculation has erupted about possible trade talks between Nashville and the Toronto Maple Leafs involving goaltender Juuse Saros and forward Mitch Marner.

Related: Map Leaves and Predators Swapping Marner for Saros Is a Perfect Trade

By voiding McDonagh’s contract, Nashville greatly increased salary cap flexibility. This newly available cap space could be used to address needs within the team or to make a new trade with the Maple Leafs this offseason. If this trade happens, it could be the biggest trade of the summer and possibly the biggest trade for the Maple Leafs since the Wendel Clark for Mats Sundin deal in 1994, before Marner was even born.

What Can Saros Mean For Marner Trade?

Let’s take a look at the Maple Leafs, who have been a hot selling story since being eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Marner has been the focus since being taken out of the first round for not producing when the team needed it most. Marner, a highly skilled and $10.9 million player, is now seen as William Nylander’s replacement as the Leafs Nation player looks to move on and put his cap elsewhere.

Saros is a talented goalie the Maple Leafs need and has emerged as a potential trade target for teams looking for scoring help. With the Maple Leafs needing stability in the crease, Saros could be an attractive option to bolster goaltending depth and provide a long-term solution in net.

The trade scenario involving Saros and Marner was originally written by me on May 8th and has since gained tons of steam. The trade offers an interesting proposition for both parties. For the Predators, acquiring a power forward like Marner would add an explosive offensive weapon to their lineup, addressing the need for scoring. Meanwhile, the Maple Leafs will get a proven goaltender in Saros, providing stability and reliability in goal, a lack of which has hurt the team in recent years.

Mitch Marner, Toronto Maple Leafs (Jess Starr/Hockey Writers)

Since the start of the Auston Matthews era, the Maple Leafs have used Frederik Andersen, Jack Campbell, and now Ilya Samsonov. There have also been a number of backup goalkeepers or tandem goalkeepers who have played in this organization, including Joseph Woll, who is currently on the team. The Maple Leafs, however, need stability, and the combination of Saros and Woll could provide that. As for the Predators, they don’t have a real star on their roster. Yes, they would benefit at center, but with Ryan O’Reilly, Phillip Forsberg, and then Marner on the line, it would make their team stronger offensively.

Still, any potential trade involving Saros and Marner will depend on a variety of factors, including the salary cap and what a trade proposal would look like. It is worth noting that the Predators will pay Matt Duchene’s fine starting next season. The buyout is worth $5.5 million and increases in subsequent seasons.

However, this could be a start for Nashville to trade other players for big cap hits to help make up for the big cap space. Keep in mind, however, that Marner is owed a huge signing bonus as of July 1, 2024, which would mean both teams waiting until free agency begins to do this. It is also possible that this trade will be completed by the 2024 NHL Draft on June 28-29, 2024. The Predators trading McDonagh is likely a precursor to what their general manager, Barry Trotz, has in store.

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