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Predators willing to listen on Saros if wowed by offer

Juuse Saros Juuse Saros - The Canadian Press

While the Nashville Predators still plan to open extension talks with goaltender Juuse Saros this summer, a trade is not completely off the table ahead of the March 8 deadline.

TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun reports the Predators will listen to offers on Saros, but would need a massive offer to consider moving the star netminder.

"There is a possibility, and it’s amazing that those words are coming out of my mouth because Nashville has been so steady in saying their only plan is to extend Saros this summer," LeBrun said Thursday on Insider Trading. "It remains the No. 1 plan, but what has changed since the start of the year is the number of teams that are desperate to upgrade their goaltending. Because of that, I’m told that the Predators feel that they have no choice but to listen to teams if they put in a serious, serious offer.

"What I mean by that is don’t put down a couple of first-round picks, which would be in the low 20s for the Predators. That’s not going to get [general manager] Barry Trotz to blink. Let’s take the Los Angeles Kings as an example, if they put down a name like Quinton Byfield as part of a package, that would get the attention of the Predators, or any organization if they want to get in on Saros.

"It’s a huge name and they still intend on signing him, but it’s something to monitor before March 8."

Saros, 28, has been one of the top goaltenders in the league in recent years, though his numbers are down this season. The 28-year-old has an 18-16-1 record with a .903 save percentage and a 2.96 goals-against average through 35 games.

Signed through next season at a cap hit of $5 million, Saros has never finished a season with a save percentage below .900 since becoming an NHL regular in 2016-17. He has a career record of 165-111-28 with a 2.62 GAA and a .918 save percentage in 321 games, all with Nashville. 

The Predators currently sit in the top wild-card spot in the Western Conference with 51 points through 45 games. The team missed the playoffs last year, ending an eight-year postseason streak.