Countdown: Predators' cap situation continues to amaze

The Nashville Predators are stacking good contract on top of good contract. (Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images)

6. Brady Tkachuk

So the Senators signed fourth-overall pick Brady Tkachuk this weekend, which is a little bit of a surprise.

I mean, not for the player. Go get that money even though your dad is already insanely rich. That’s all well and good, in theory.

Now, would I say I would have liked to see Tkachuk get in another year of college hockey? Sure. He could have been an elite player last year but he didn’t really get as many minutes as you would have thought and his production suffered a bit as a result. Making him a top-line player for the whole season (which would have meant playing 22, 23 minutes a night) would have given him a little extra runway, but again, I get it.

If the Senators are going to burn the first year of that ELC on what’s going to be a potentially very embarrassing season, that’s fine. I think it’s fairly likely he goes and dominates the OHL for the London Knights instead of being a full-timer in the NHL at 19, but with a roster this bad, the opportunity is there.

Although because it’s the Senators, man, if I were Tkachuk I might have waited until the arena/owner situation gets sorted out and, if it doesn’t, just go UFA at the earliest point possible. You never see players that high up in the draft do that, though Kevin Hayes did and he was a mid-20s first-round pick if I remember right, but these are kinda special circumstances. Why would you ever want to be an Ottawa Senator if you weren’t already contractually obligated to do so?

5. Just posting extremely normally and regular-style

You know your organization is in really good — some would say “great” — shape when you need to tweet something like this on a Tuesday afternoon in August:


I love going to the golf tournament of a player I have publicly tried to trade to no avail for months and acting like “Actually this is just a regular thing for us to do.” Yeah we know. Very cool.

Just trade the guy already. Trade him while he’s putting on 18. Who cares.

4. Six years for Christian Dvorak????????????

Really not sure I get what the Coyotes are doing with this one.

Like, it seems to me Christian Dvorak is perfectly alright. He had a career-high 37 points last season at age 21 so he’s likely going to keep scoring and maybe even improve. But honestly, how much? Because he’s currently Arizona’s No. 3 center behind Derek Stepan and now Alex Galchenyuk, and I’m not sure Dvorak is gonna have a ton of space to get power play time that would make him more “worth” the $4.45 million AAV.

This guy doesn’t move the needle at 5-on-5 and he didn’t exactly play tough competition last season, so maybe bumping him down a slot in the lineup helps with that, but also maybe it doesn’t.

I just don’t see the need to sign a player like this, who’s fine and very credibly an NHLer, for either this money or this kind of term. Not right now anyway. It’s hard to see a universe in which he goes from being a 37-point guy playing 16 minutes a night to being anything more than that, given how the team is set up right now. Like, there’s no danger at all of him having some kind of go-off season where he scores 55 points and would have suddenly been able to demand $7 million AAV coming off his ELC.

The guy put 151 shots on net in 78 games last season. This isn’t some lurking secret goalscoring dynamo where the contract is going to look incredible because he signed now instead of a year from now.

If you wanna lock up your players that’s fine and I guess the money doesn’t really matter that much, but this is just one of those contracts where it’s like, “Uhhhh, is everything okay over there?”

3. “Eerily silent” contract talks

Sorry to bring up the Senators again. I’m sorry.

But I saw a thing on TSN yesterday about “Oh isn’t it so weird that the Senators and Erik Karlsson haven’t had any more real contract talks in the past couple weeks.” Here’s the answer:

nO iT iSn’T wEiRd At AlL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That would be an incredible turn of events. Saying the “silence” on this is “eerie” is the opposite one of those Poltergeist or Amityville Horror things where you’re scared because everything is so normal on the outside. Like, I would think it was scary if they were having discussions at this point.

Nothing about the Karlsson relationship with the team, or indeed anything to do with the club as a whole, is normal. The idea that they can’t even have a discussion with the best player in franchise history about a contract extension? Yeah, no kidding.

2. Trade rumors, baby!!!!

Kind of out of nowhere in the last week I’ve started to see a bunch of stuff about, “Oh isn’t it weird what’s going on with Tyler Seguin? What’s Dallas gonna do here?”

And I had to frantically scour the whole of the internet to see what the hell people were talking about. Had Tyler Seguin run over a wizard’s dog and been turned into a lizard? Had the pile of newspapers he keeps in what I’m assuming — based on all that Switzerland stuff — is a filthy, filthy home toppled over, trapping him for days on end? Did he finally get the surgery necessary to pull the knife out of his back the Boston media put there when he was traded?

Turns out, no. None of that or really anything had happened. Most of this seemed to be about the fact that Seguin is a UFA after 2018-19 and has not signed an extension with the Stars despite the fact that, I don’t know, he owes it to them or something?

You’d think the Stars would be eager to get a deal done here. Just give him the same money as Jamie Benn and call it good, right? But nope, that’s not happening (yet) so instead it’s time to start really cranking out the “are they gonna trade him?” rumors because not a single half-decent NHL player is allowed to just go through a season with an impending contract expiry and not be grilled about it every second of every day for the whole season. It’s a distraction!!!!!!!

So Tyler Seguin, you’re getting traded unless you sign with the Stars right now! But also maybe not! You jerk!

1. The Predators cap situation again somehow

How much money do you think Ryan Ellis left on the table here? I’m gonna say at least $1.5 million a season against the cap. And the fact that he got no trade protection and only $7 million in bonus money? And that’s after he already played with a huge hometown discount contract (a $2.5 million AAV? c’mon man) for FIVE years.

That’s truly incredible to me. But it shows the amount of buy-in this group has, and how much signing one or two good deals for non-stars trickles down to everyone in the lineup.

Obviously they still have to re-sign Roman Josi and that’s a guy who could get expensive, but if you pay him about the same amount of money for about the same number of years as Ellis, you have an entire top four of Subban, Josi, Ekholm, and Ellis signed for the next four seasons at a combined cap hit that looks like this:

$19.25 million for 2018-19

$23 million for 2019-20

$25.5 million for both 2020-21 and 2021-22

Those last two are assuming Josi signs for $6.5 million. Which I guess sounds about right but might be a little high given his age when his new deal starts. Anything in that range, though, would be a steal.

I don’t know how they keep doing it but they are. Pretty amazing.

(Not ranked this week: Forgetting about the other more important stuff.

Of course, I can’t fully support the Preds at this time because Austin Watson is still allowed to be part of the team even though you should be able to easily boot a guy for pleading no contest on charges of beating up his wife. Any mention of “Ah the Preds did a good thing,” it’s also important to say, “And also the Austin Watson thing majorly sucks.”

I know dumbasses are gonna say “stick to sports” or “it’s not relevant when talking about other stuff with the club, but if they cut a single paycheck to Watson this season, it should be a mega mega mega scandal that gets talked about all year.

For as good as they are on the ice, and all the good management they’ve done building this roster, there’s no defending the kinds of things David Poile has done with respect to Watson and Mike Ribeiro. It’s really gross. You hate to root for a team this good to fail, but here we are.)

Ryan Lambert is a Yahoo! Sports hockey columnist. His email is here and his Twitter is here.

(All statistics via Corsica unless otherwise noted.)