Even without Weber I don't see Nashville as being bad enough to end up last. They most likely wouldn't make the playoffs, but their goaltending is too good to end up in dead last.
They still have to add 14 mil in salary too which will make them at least a solid team still. Expect them to revert back to their defensive trap play though.
Well, let's say they don't - who is bad enough to be worse than them in this league? Looking at the bottom 5 teams from this year - Columbus, Edmonton, Montreal, New York Islanders, Toronto Maple Leafs - I would say only Columbus would be worse than Nashville at the moment. IF Nash is traded, I reckon that might change with the pieces they get in return.
I think even if they don't finish dead last, they will finish in the bottom 5 - that's a lottery pick in the top 5 of 2012. Not only that, they'll have Philadelphia's 1st round pick (25-30) in their pocket, and two 1st round picks in the next 3 years. I think Nashville could package 2-4 1st round picks (either of their own or PHI's in the next 3 years) and their top 5 pick in 2012 for the 1st overall pick to get MacKinnon. If not, they'll still have a solid prospect in their pocket with their own pick, and maybe try again for Ekblad the next season, or McDavid in the next.
People all say that PHI's 4 1st round picks will be useless, but fact is, without Weber (and Suter), NSH's 4 1st round picks in the future will become lottery picks, and they'll have a 1st round pick to trade for each year to either move up or for a roster player.
It's not as bad as everyone makes it out to be if NSH ends up with a couple lottery picks and rebuild their team from here on out. IMO, if they can't afford Weber, this wouldn't be a bad way to go.
If Poile plays this right and drafts right along with Barry Trotz's coaching and Rinne's net stability, then in the next few years Nashville could rise to be a contending team with lottery pick superstars a la Pittsburgh and Chicago.
Edited by Dasein, 22 July 2012 - 02:37 PM.