Predators plan to let free agents walk

General manager David Poile plans to part with all three Nashville Predators with expiring contracts.

In exit interviews after the Predators lost in the final game of a best-of-seven series with the Winnipeg Jets, Poile said players made one request known more than others: Keep our core together.

“A lot of the players expressed to us in the team meeting that they really believed in our team, they loved our team, they thought our chemistry and our culture was really good,” Poile said. “If I was trying to frame it correctly, basically what I think they were trying to say to the general manager and the coach is they didn’t want to see a lot of changes.”

Poile said forward Scott Hartnell and defenseman Alexei Emelin, both unrestricted free agents in July, will not return to the team next season. Hartnell, 36, is contemplating retirement after scoring 13 goals in his 16th NHL season.

Center Mike Fisher is not under contract but announced his retirement on Saturday.

Poile plans to discuss contracts with restricted free agents Miikka Salomaki and backup goalie Juuse Saros.

Defenseman Ryan Ellis, 27, will be entering the final year of a five-year contract. The Predators plan to pursue an extension during the offseason. Ellis told reporters over the weekend that he’d love to finish his career in Nashville.

–Field Level Media

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