Nashville Predators GM David Poile expects to explore a few changes to his roster this off-season, but the majority of the team will remain in tact for the 2016-17 campaign.
Speaking to the local media on Wednesday, Poile indicated that the only two players who definitely won't be back with the club next season are forwards Paul Gaustad and Eric Nystrom.
Gaustad is set to become an unrestricted free agent July 1 and will not be re-signed, while Nystrom, who has one-year remaining on his team, will either by traded or possibly bought-out.
"When we have the meetings with the coaches and we go through each area, we'll identify where we think we have weaknesses and we'll identify where the opportunities are," Poile said, as quoted by NashvillePredators.com. "We have a good team. There's not going to be a lot of changes, but would I like to make a couple of changes? Yes, I think that's good to always keep people on their toes, to push and challenge people."
Poile indicated that he is very pleased with how his roster has shaped up over the last couple of seasons.
The acquisition of center Ryan Johansen finally gave the organization a No.1 center to build around and the development of forwards James Neal, Filip Forsberg and Colin Wilson, among others, has been impressive.
"If Colin Wilson plays to his potential, if Ryan Johansen just plays a little bit more to his potential, Craig Smith with not quite as many ups and downs; that's a lot of ifs, I get that, but I think we have a lot of the pieces," Poile said. "We have top-six forwards, we have bottom-six forwards, we have top-four defensemen, we have the goalie, we have to get it together just a little bit more."
Poile admitted that he would prefer to "promote from within rather than go out and get a free agent," but added that he will explore all of his options.
"We'll use every resource that's available to us to make our team better," he said.