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Report: Preds would listen to offers for Saros but still prefer to extend

Brett Carlsen / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Nashville Predators aren't completely slamming the door on trading star goaltender Juuse Saros.

While the No. 1 plan remains signing Saros to an offseason extension, the club is willing to listen if it gets a serious trade offer, reports TSN's Pierre LeBrun.

The demand for reliable goaltending among contending teams is the primary reason for the Predators' new-found openness to entertain offers, LeBrun added.

Saros has established himself as one of the NHL's premier netminders over the last few seasons, never finishing worse than sixth in Vezina Trophy voting since 2021.

However, Saros is in the midst of his worst NHL campaign. He entered the year without ever recording a save percentage below .915 in a season, but he sits at .900 so far in 2023-24. The underlying numbers aren't any better, as his minus-0.23 goals save above expected also stands to be the worst of his career, per Evolving-Hockey. For comparison, he saved 45.5 goals above expected last year, the second most in the league.

Nashville drafted Saros in the fourth round in 2013. He shared the crease with the legendary Pekka Rinne until his fellow Finn retired in 2021. Since then, Saros has started a league-leading 164 games.

Saros' $5-million cap hit, tied for the 14th-highest among NHL goalies this season, would be appealing for teams. The 28-year-old is under contract through 2024-25 and is eligible to sign an extension July 1.

The Predators entered Thursday occupying the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference with a handful of teams on their tails. MoneyPuck gives them a 43.8% chance of making the postseason.

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