NHL Rumors: Would the Predators Move Juuse Saros to Give Yaroslav Askarov the Net?

Originally published by NHLRumors.com

Sportsnet: Elliotte Friedman on the Jeff Marek Show talking about the Nashville Predators goaltending situation and if they’d move Juuse Saros to give Yaroslav Askarov the net. Who would be interested?

** NHLRumors.com transcription

Marek: “One of the one of the stories that I’m still, and I think a lot of us are still maybe a little bit puzzled by, and I’ll throw sort of wildcard name out at you, although we have heard the name previous. You know, you mentioned the Nashville Predators and that game against the Arizona Coyotes and I think we’ve looked at the Preds and kind of said, ‘Okay, what is Barry Trotz trying to do here?’

Like there were. and I was one of them who reported it last year at the draft that they the Nashville Predators were trying to get up higher. Maybe look at someone like Will Smith, who ended up going to San Jose. Was there a deal potentially, between the Preds and the San Jose Sharks, Yaroslav Askarov? The netminder for the Nashville Predators could have been part of that deal. So then that was never denied. And you know what that means Elliotte.

But the name Juuse Saros. Like we looked, you know, how many times and how many phone calls and how many conversations did we have about Juuse Saros and a team like the Los Angeles Kings last year a trade deadline. Do you think we go through another scenario this year with Juuse Saros and the Nashville Predators?

We talk a lot about the goalie market. A lot of it revolves around a player like Jacob Markstrom for the obvious reasons. How much do you think we’ll be talking about Juuse Saros come March 8th?

Friedman: “Well, I think it’s possible because there’s a couple things there. You keep, you’re the, you’re the king of the Carl Taylor fan club right now. You keep promoting him as Milwaukee..”

Marek: “14 games in a row baby.”

Friedman: “Well a lot of that, and, and the coach, the coach gets the credit when things go well and it gets the blame when things go wrong. So that’s true, but a lot of guys, you know, they got a hell of a goalie.

And, you know, I think one of the things that kind of really happened with Nashville was, don’t, don’t ask Askarov to do too much, right? Get into a situation where, you know, he’s really ready for the NHL. Well, when you’re having the kind of year that guy’s having, you know, there’s nothing to prove in the American Hockey League anymore. So we got to clear the path for him.

Now you know, what, what can you do? You can make him the backup or, and that’s possible, but the more I look at this Saros situation, I see two things. Number one, I see the Predators, they’re looking for a top offensive player, and those players are hard to find, but that’s what they’re looking for. They’re looking for offense.

And, you know, Saros is the kind of guy who can get you some offense. Now, the name Byfield has been thrown around he’s not getting you Quinton Byfield. I just don’t think. I don’t think the Kings are doing that.

But there are good offensive players out there. Like one guy kind of wonder about a little bit Jeff is, is a guy like (Martin) Necas from from Carolina. And I don’t know if that’s something that would happen now. But like that’s kind of a player that I kind of, I look at and I say ‘okay, is there a fit here that makes sense?’

But the other thing too is, you know, Saros contract is up after next year. He can have an extension on July 1st. And I do wonder if Nashville’s looking at that and saying, ‘hey, you know, we love Juuse Saros but does this make sense for us?’

And, and I’ve kind of wonder about that. I don’t, like nobody from Nashville has said to me, we don’t want to pay that or we don’t want to pay him what he’s worth. But I do think teams look at that. They say okay, you know, Saros on this deal. Now, what’s his next deal gonna look like? And what’s that going to mean?

I’ll tell you the team that I come back to with, with any goalie of any name or any repute at all in the marketplace is, you know, the team that you talked about on the weekend with regards to Jacob Markstrom and that’s the New Jersey Devils. And if you’re looking for…”

Friedman: “Well, I have to think that that’s true. I have to think you’re right.

If they’re going at Markstrom, and they did, they’re thinking about it.”

Marek: “Yeah. I look at all the high-end veteran goaltenders that could be available and I just look at New Jersey, and they have players that can score. They have an abundance of youth and established players. They have first-round draft picks.

I don’t know Elliotte, I, and I know that, you know, technically they’re, you know, they’re, they’re not out. It’ll be difficult for New Jersey to get in. But nonetheless, if any team when healthy, you know if there’s any team out there that can go on a run and we saw that last year, it’s the New Jersey Devils. Especially if they have netminding. I don’t know that one, just me, to me makes, makes, makes too much sense.”